Top vitamins for fighting inflammation

Everyone's looking for ways to beat inflammation and the diseases that come along for the ride. But, it turns out some of the best all-natural inflammation fighters could be the very supplements you're already taking.

And if you're not, maybe it's time to get started -- because a new study of CRP levels in nearly 10,000 men and women finds that fish oil, ginseng, glucosamine, and chondroitin could all slash levels of a major marker for inflammation.

It's called C-reactive protein, or CRP for short, and high CRP levels have been linked to heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and even dementia.

Chondroitin, however, can chase CRP levels down by a third in women, according to the new study. And chondroitin's longtime partner, glucosamine, can help sink those levels by 27 percent.

The two supplements didn't have the same effect on CRP levels in men. For them, a little ginseng helped do the trick. And in men and women alike, fish oil cut CRP levels by a combined average of 16 percent.

But that shouldn't surprise anyone, since fish oil is already widely recognized as one of the best all-natural inflammation fighters money can buy -- which is just one of the reasons omega-3 fatty acids can help protect the heart, brain, and more.

If you're not taking fish oil now, be sure to add a quality supplement from a maker you trust. And don't let your all-out assault on inflammation end there, because the study in the American Journal of Epidemiology confirms two other major risk factors.

One is age, the other is weight.

You can't do much about the passage of time except enjoy it. But if you find that you've added pounds along with years, then take action now to get yourself back in shape.

For complete and personalized help with both weight loss and all-natural inflammation relief, visit a holistic physician. And if you're in the Southern California area, make an appointment to see me at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.