Inflammation can be a visible part of how your body fights illness or injury. If you’ve ever sprained your ankle, you already know about it.
But it also can be much less obvious, and researchers are still unraveling its mysteries. Some of what they’ve learned has intriguing potential for treating heart disease and other illnesses.
“Inflammation is a complex reaction triggered by your immune system when it fights off invaders – such as a virus, or what it thinks are invaders,” said Dr. Jun Li, a research scientist in the departments of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. On a basic level, most of it is considered either acute or chronic.
When inflammation is responding to an injury or intruder – such as bacteria, viruses or a splinter – it’s acute. The immune system