Cytokines are chemical messengers secreted by the cells of your immune system. They indicate a state of inflammation and are the chief communication signals of your T cells.

How Cytokines Affect Your Health

In the last decade, researchers have found these tiny proteins play a big role in the major health conditions we face today including insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

Cytokines include include tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin, interferon and C-reactive protein (CRP) to name a few.

One cytokine – C-reactive protein – has been found to predict the occurrence of heart disease in healthy people.

Because blood sugar stimulates the release of cytokines, researchers have explored the link between blood sugar, CRP and the adverse cardiovascular events associated with diabetes. Studies have found that fasting glucose is significantly and positively associated with CRP, meaning the higher the blood sugar level, the more C-reactive protein produced in the body and the more inflammation.

Reduce Cytokines for Lower Levels of Inflammation (and a Longer Life!)

The good news is your lifestyle – and especially your diet – plays a profound role in the level of inflammation in your body. Learn more about reducing harmful cytokines that promote systemic inflammation in these articles:


Ajani UA, Ford ES, Mokdad AH. Dietary fiber and C-reactive protein: findings from national health and nutrition examination survey data. J Nutr. 2004 May; 134(5): Maat MP, Trion A. C-reactive protein as a risk factor versus risk marker. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2004 Dec;15(6):651-7.Ford ES, Mokdad AH, Liu S. Healthy Eating Index and C-reactive protein concentration: findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, 1988-1994. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Feb; 59(2): 278-83 Gao X, Bermudez OI, Tucker KL. Plasma C-reactive protein and homocysteine concentrations are related to frequent fruit and vegetable intake in Hispanic and non-Hispanic white elders. J Nutr. 2004 Apr; 134(4): 913-8. Zieske AW, Tracy RP, McMahan CA, Herderick EE, Homma S, Malcom GT, McGill HC Jr, Strong JP. Elevated Serum C-Reactive Protein Levels and Advanced Atherosclerosis in Youth. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2005 Mar 31; [Epub ahead of print]

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

Speak Your Mind


 Name: Email: We respect your email privacyEmail Marketing by AWeber