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Chronic and Unresolved Inflammation

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Inflammation is a complex physiological and pathological activation of the immune system in response to harmful stimuli such as pathogens, infections, or tissue trauma. The activation of acute inflammation is a necessary process required to keep the body in homeostasis.1 The acute response which is beneficial to the host and should only last a short time (48–72 hours).1-2  

Under optimal circumstances, the body can resolve acute inflammation by ‘switching’ the class of lipid mediator from pro-inflammatory to pro-resolving. This starts with a shift of arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism from pro-inflammatory leukotrienes and prostaglandins to specialised pro-resolving mediators (SPMs).3-4 Omega-3 derived SPMs, including resolvins, protectins and maresins, stimulate neutrophil apoptosis and switch the classic inflammatory macrophage phenotype toward a pro-resolving phenotype. In turn, this promotes efferocytosis for the clearance of debris and the return to tissue homeostasis.3-4 

However, if the lipid mediator class switch fails, an excessive accumulation of pro-inflammatory cells and an impaired biosynthesis of SPMs will result. Unresolved inflammation leads to chronic inflammation and is a key driver of chronic disease.1-2

This infographic details the various herbal and nutrients that help inhibit pain and inflammation, and how we can utilise them to assist the resolution process of chronic inflammation.


1. Peng Y, Ao M, Dong B, Jiang Y, et al. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Curcumin in the Inflammatory Diseases: Status, Limitations and Countermeasures. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2021 Nov 2;15: 4503-4525.

2. Chen L, Deng H, Cui H, et al. Inflammatory responses and inflammation-associated diseases in organs. Oncotarget. 2017 Dec 14;9(6):7204-7218.

4. de Wit N, et al. The role of sphingolipids and specialized pro-resolving mediators in Alzheimer’s disease. Frontiers in Immunology. Jan 2021. Vol. 11. Article 620348.

5. Gudernatsch V, Stefanczyk SA, Miarakaj V. Novel resolution mediators of severe systemic inflammation. ImmunoTargets and Therapy 2020:9 31–41.

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