Michael Ash BSc(Hons) DO, ND, DipION reviews the possibility that strategically selected foods and food concentrates represent a valid therapy for inflammatory illnesses.

There is substantive interest in the potential translation from bench to bedside of simple safe strategies to modify the adverse effects of inflammation. Approaching from a preventative and restorative angle the numbers of papers being published on the role of orally ingested bacteria (probiotics) and in this article – the herb Tumeric (active ingredient of which is curcumin) is presenting increasingly supportive evidence for their reasonable and safe clinical use.

Modern analytical techniques are helping to reveal novel opportunities for inflammation control in the gut and the systemic tissues in new ways that even a few years ago would have been thought of as very alternative!

Co-evolutionary development of the immune system together with infections and non-infectious environmental proteins (allergens) has generated biologically relevant thresholds and major directions to be taken by the immune system. The default healthy immune response to allergens is expected to be no response, however, detectable T cell and antibody (particularly IgG4 and IgG1) response has been demonstrated in sensitized, but clinically healthy individuals. If an immune response develops in healthy individuals, the immune system shows allergen-specific tolerance by using multiple mechanisms in order to keep the intensity of the inflammation low and tissue destruction small.