The Anti-Inflammation Zone: Reversing the Silent Epidemic That's Destroying Our Health

The Anti-Inflammation Zone: Reversing the Silent Epidemic That's Destroying Our Health

by Barry Sears


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The Anti-Inflammation Zone: Reversing the Silent Epidemic That's Destroying Our Health by Barry Sears

Combat silent inflammation — the most serious health threat you never heard of

Heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans.
Cancer is the #1 fear of Americans.
Dementia is the #1 concern of Americans.

What do these devastating illnesses have in common? All three have been linked to silent inflammation, a condition that occurs when the body's natural immune response goes awry. Silent inflammation attacks the heart, arteries, and even the brain — and you will not even know it. Obesity is the primary cause of silent inflammation and excess body fat is causing today's epidemic rise in countless health threats.

Now Dr. Barry Sears shows you how to combat silent inflammation in this comprehensive guide. His research shows that following the Zone dietary plan, including supplements of ultrarefined fish oil concentrates, is the best way to ensure the future of your health. You can reduce your risk of each disease and condition, or reverse silent inflammation if you have it already — in only thirty days. The Anti-Inflammation Zone includes a week of Zone meals, exercises that you can do at home, and tools and tests for determining your level of silent inflammation. Follow this plan and enjoy these benefits:

  • Better health
  • Greater longevity
  • Reduced symptoms of chronic diseases
  • Improved emotional control
  • Greater mental acuity
  • Improved physical performance

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060834142
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/13/2005
Series: Zone
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 184,035
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

Dr. Barry Sears is recognized as one of the world's leading medical researchers on the hormonal effects of food. He is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller The Zone as well as Mastering the Zone, Zone-Perfect Meals in Minutes, Zone Food Blocks, A Week in the Zone, The Age-Free Zone, The Top 100 Zone Foods, The Soy Zone, The Omega Rx Zone, Zone Meals in Seconds, and What to Eat in the Zone. His books have sold more than five million copies and have been translated into twenty-two languages in forty countries. He continues his research on the inflammatory process as the president of the nonprofit Inflammation Research Foundation in Marblehead, Massachusetts. The father of two grown daughters, he lives in Swampscott, Massachusetts, with his wife, Lynn.

Read an Excerpt

The Anti-Inflammation Zone
Reversing the Silent Epidemic That's Destroying Our Health

Chapter One

What Is Wellness?

We assume we have it, and we take it for granted until we're sick. I'm referring to "wellness." Webster's dictionary defines wellness as "the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal." This means we have to make an effort if we want to be healthy -- something many of us don't do.

You probably think of wellness as simply the absence of chronic disease. If you aren't sick, then you must be well. That definition simply won't cut it because it can take years, if not decades, for diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's to finally emerge. The seeds of chronic disease are planted at an early age, sometimes even as early as our childhood. Our genes, body weight, dietary habits, and physical fitness all determine whether we are in a state of wellness, and whether we are already moving toward chronic disease in the years to come. They also determine whether we have a stealth killer: silent inflammation. Having increased levels of silent inflammation means you are not in a state of wellness. In fact, here's my personal definition of wellness:

Well ness\'well-ness\n: the absence of silent inflammation.

You may be asking yourself, What on earth is silent inflammation? Even more perplexing, How can inflammation be silent? Silent inflammation is simply inflammation that falls below the threshold of perceived pain. That's what makes it so dangerous. You don't take any steps to stop it as it smolders for years, if not decades, eventually erupting into what we call chronic disease.

I can't emphasize enough how strong the link is between silent inflammation and life-threatening chronic diseases. If you have high levels of silent inflammation in your body, even if you are not actively sick, it means that you simply cannot be well.

Ironically, inflammation is the life-saving component of your immune system that helps fend off bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbial invaders. It also helps damaged tissue repair itself from injury. Without inflammation we would be sitting ducks in a very hostile world, with no way to repair the damage constantly being inflicted on us. But inflammation also has a dark side if it isn't turned off. Study after study points to myriad ways in which chronic inflammation does great harm to the body. It has a damaging effect on arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. It destroys nerve cells in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. It depresses the immune system and helps promote the formation of cancerous tumors. In essence, silent inflammation is the polar opposite of wellness. It lays the groundwork for chronic disease. What's more, it has become an epidemic in America -- and threatens to destroy our health care system as we know it.

The good news is that you can do something to alter your future if you're now on a course to chronic disease. You can achieve a state of wellness when it's still early enough to head off heart disease or diabetes. This, of course, requires you to take action. First you need to find out whether you're in a state of wellness or on the path to disease. If you carry excess body fat, eat poorly, and get little exercise, you're probably heading down the wrong track. That should be fairly obvious, but measuring the extent of silent inflammation in your body will reveal just how bad off you really are. What's amazing, though, is that your state of wellness can now be measured scientifically. Blood tests can reveal your level of silent inflammation. If you have high levels, you need to take the next course of action-to move into the Anti Inflammation Zone, which is the pathway back to wellness.


All pain is ultimately due to inflammation. You generally begin to notice inflammation if you have swelling in your joints and tissues, but you really begin to pay attention when it creates pain. This kind of inflammation manifests itself as what I call screaming pain. You know it when you have it, and probably deal with it by reaching for an anti-inflammatory drug like aspirin or ibuprofen. If those over-the-counter drugs don't work, then you may reluctantly go to your physician for more powerful drugs.

If you ask your physician what inflammation actually is, he or she will simply tell you that it's very complex. This is medical shorthand for saying, "I really don't know, but it's probably bad." In fact, the primary focus of medicine since the beginning of time has been the search for compounds that reduce pain. Although pain medications can be very effective at providing temporary relief, they are powerless to stop what's causing the inflammation in the first place.

Let's take this one step further. Let's say you are lucky enough not to have a condition that causes chronic screaming pain. You think you're feelingjust fine. You might still be suffering from the dangerous effects of chronic inflammation that is below the threshold of perceived pain. Your body suffers without complaint from this silent inflammation. You might even consider this to be silent pain. You don't feel the pain of this type inflammation as it relentlessly takes a toll on your brain, your heart, and your immune system.

The Anti-Inflammation Zone
Reversing the Silent Epidemic That's Destroying Our Health
. Copyright © by Barry Sears. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Anti-Inflammation Zone 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
konaerto More than 1 year ago
Unlike many other nutrition and health books, Dr. Sears backs up his easy-to-understand recommendations with detailed scientific background. It is possible to go into the original scientific literature and find support for the background that he provides. However, even if you don't care about science, this book is down to earth and helps you understand the effect of what you eat on your body and how healthy you feel. I especially like that fact that, for lazy persons like me, you can just follow his general rule to eat one palm-sized piece of protein on one-third of your plate and fill the other two thirds with low-glycemic fruits and vegetables. Without counting anything, but being conscious of what Dr. Sears explains about how foods act as "drugs", I was able to improve my health in a couple weeks and, without overeating, now I am able to go 4-5 hours between meals without feeling hungry. Dr. Sears also provides additional informatin on-line which supplements the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I lost over 50 pounds and I feel great! EPA/DHA for my back pain works better than anything else I have tried. The plan works!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Welcome bios at next res and main room res 3.
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AshleyR28 More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued by the idea of this book and have read in other journals and health magazines that inflammation can cause stress on the body and affect our health. This book, however, was not very helpful in explaining realistic ways people can work to minimize inflammation. The writer discussed blood tests that can be performed to determine if someone has silent inflammation but most of the labs that could run the tests are located in Canada. The same goes for the supplements that he recommends. Clearly, the Zone diet is a huge fad and this guy was just pushing his agenda. I believe in the basics of the zone diet and having balanced nutrition but this book really did nothing for me. Don't recommend it. I also bought the nook book version so I couldn't really browse the book before buying it. Had I picked it up in the store and flipped through the pages, I doubt I would have spent my money on it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It tells you about important nutritional issues, i enjoy its reading as well
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I have this illness . Wrote the book ,beyond the dark cloud road to recovery from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia after 25 years . This is a must read book ,the author is right on . Inflamation with in time harms our body . Very grate full for this much needet book