Most degenerative diseases are driven by chronic, sub-clinical inflammation. The old view of the inflammation is that it represents the healing process. This is true to a certain extent; however when the inflammation becomes chronic it becomes a disease.
Today the study of inflammation has gone from the tissue levels deeper into the nuclear level. Cell-signaling molecules have been identified which stimulate the gene that induce the expression of the COX enzyme, which in turn induce inflammation.
Nuclear Factor-ĸB: The Master Regulator of Inflammation
Nuclear Factor-Kappa B (NF-ĸB), as the ‘master switch’, is the primary means by which inflammation is ‘adjusted’.
- In the normal state NF-ĸB resides in the cytoplasm of the cell and is bound to its inhibitor—IkB (Inhibitor of ĸB)
- Injuries and inflammatory stimuli, such as free radicals trigger the release NF- ĸB from IkB
- The free NF-ĸB, now moves into the nucleus and activates the genes responsible for expressing cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)
- This leads to inflammation
NF-ĸB activation is a major mediator of inflammation in most diseases and inhibition of NF-ĸB can help prevent/delay the onset of the disease. Curcuminoids―natural compounds derived from turmeric roots, inhibit NF-ĸB.