Inflammation occurs when the white blood cells attack foreign substances or, in the case of autoimmune diseases, healthy tissue within the body, causing symptoms like swelling, redness, stiffness, and pain. Many medical experts believe that certain vitamins may be linked to the presence or absence of inflammation in the body. According to these individuals, the best vitamins for inflammation include vitamins A, E, C, K, B6, and D. Many in the medical community believe that the best way to get the appropriate vitamins for inflammation is through the diet.
Medical studies have suggested that vitamin A may diminish inflammation. This effect seems to be especially noticeable among those who suffer from inflammation of the lungs and bowel, as well as those who have inflammatory acne. Vitamin A occurs naturally in liver as well as some dairy products. The human body can also convert beta carotene, a natural compound found in many orange and green vegetables and fruits, into vitamin A.
Many health experts believe that vitamin E is also among the best vitamins for inflammation. Specifically, vitamin E may reduce the occurrence of heart-related inflammation. This vitamin can be found in a range of foods, including some grains, nuts, leafy vegetables, poultry, and certain oils.
Some of the recommended vitamins for inflammation have been noted for their ability to reduce levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a substance that is released by the liver when inflammation is present in the body. The fact that this set of vitamins, which includes vitamins C and K, reduces CRP levels in certain people suggests that they may also play a role in keeping inflammation in check. Vitamin C can be found in tomatoes, citrus fruit, and broccoli, while a number of green vegetables, like spinach and asparagus, contain vitamin K.
Research has revealed a lack of vitamins B6 and D in many individuals with inflammatory conditions. Further evidence is needed, however, before researchers can establish whether increasing one’s levels of these vitamins will in turn decrease inflammation. Nonetheless, those who want to boost their B6 intake can find the vitamin in some red meats, poultry, and fish. Individuals who wish to bolster their D levels can do so by eating eggs, liver, beef, and certain types of fish, as well as increasing their exposure to sunlight, which can be converted by the body into vitamin D.
Apart from deriving vitamin D through sun exposure, most health experts hold that the best way to increase one’s overall vitamin intake is by eating a healthy diet made up of whole foods and many vegetables and fruits. Vitamin supplements, these experts argue, generally cannot provide the same nutritional boost as fresh, natural foods. Those attempting to increase their intake of vitamins for inflammation through dietary means should avoid robbing vegetables and fruits of their vitamin content by overcooking them.