Last week, I wrote about a super family of naturally occurring lipid mediators called specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs), which play a crucial role in switching off the inflammatory response.
The potential clinical uses for SPMs are basically any condition related to chronic inflammation. Research suggests that SPMs can be particularly valuable for asthma, arthritis, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and cognitive decline.
SPMs have also been used very effectively to treat gut problems, particularly leaky gut syndrome and irritable bowel disease, and to aid recovery in bone and muscle injuries.
SPMs are a valuable addition to the Five Rs protocol used in integrative medicine for healing the gut:
- Remove chemicals (artificial sweeteners, for example), allergens, processed foods, gluten, lactose, sugar, and bad bacteria
- Replace what was removed with an improved diet and lifestyle and the addition of digestive enzymes and stomach acid
- Reinoculate the gut with probiotics to restore a better balance of good bacteria
- Regenerate and repair the damage to the intestinal lining with supplements, including natural anti-inflammatories such as bioavailable curcumin, rosemary, ginger, quercetin, and omega-3 fatty acids
- Retain the gains with ongoing careful attention to diet and the microbiome
SPMs are helpful at every stage of the protocol, but they are particularly useful for regeneration and repair because they reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Clinicians often find that this step in the protocol can be very slow and discouraging for the patient. Symptoms such as bloating and pain continue, even when the patient is very compliant. This is where SPMs can make a big difference by filling the gap in our treatment of inflammation. SPMs supplements can give the patient’s immune system the final element it needs to calm the inflammation and move on to healing and a return to homeostasis.
After the protocol is complete, daily SPMs supplementation helps retain the gains by controlling any inflammation that may develop from illness, lapses in diet, stress, and other unavoidable factors.
SPMs may also be a highly effective treatment for preventing bone loss and stimulating bone regeneration. In particular, the resolvins found in SPMs may mediate bone preservation by direct inhibitory action on osteoclasts.
For treating bone injuries, SPMs may be very helpful by improving bone regeneration and remodeling. For treating osteopenia and osteoporosis, SPMs offer a significant improvement in safety and patient comfort.
Bisphophonate drugs such as alendronate (Fosamax) and ibandronate (Boniva) for osteoporosis inhibit osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. However, these drugs can cause dangerous side effects, such as osteonecrosis of the jaw. Selective estrogen receptor modifiers (SERMs) such as raloxifene (Evista) slow bone loss, but carry a high risk of dangerous blood clots and stroke.
SPMs may also be valuable for treating unresolved inflammation in muscle injuries. When inflammation lingers on in damaged muscles, it leads to inefficient tissue repair, which in turn leads to long-term loss of muscle mass and function. The tightly choreographed inflammatory response to muscle injuries can be thrown out of step by a wide range of factors, such as re-injury or dietary deficiencies.
The final step in resolution isn’t reached and the inflammation continues at a low level, preventing a full return of normal function. Supplementing with SPMs as the injury heals can reduce or eliminate lingering inflammation and speed tissue remodeling.
For more information about Dr. Silverman, please visit www.drrobertsilverman.com or Facebook.com/drrobertsilverman.
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