You may know that C-reactive protein is a major indicator of inflammation in your body. It's also a risk factor for heart disease, macular degeneration, and cancer. While there are some great supplements that will lower CRP, including magnesium (500 mg) and curcumin (500 mg),  you can effectively reduce it without the expense of any drug or supplement.

That's right! Researchers in Germany found strong evidence that all you have to do is increase your intake of carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables. What's most interesting is that the researchers not only measured carotenoids in the blood plasma of the subjects, but also vitamins C and E. Their data suggested that the reduction in CRP was associated with higher plasma levels of carotenoids and not the two vitamins.

Everywhere you look, you're seeing more reasons to increase your intake of whole plant foods. Carotenoids are red, yellow, and orange pigments in a variety of plants. These include carrots, tomatoes, watermelon, and many more. Individual carotenoids can protect you from macular degeneration (lutein, zeaxanthin) and prevent prostate cancer (lycopene). Now we see that it reduces CRP (the family of compounds) as well.

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I do recommend specific supplements for the above conditions (such as Healthy Resolve's Sharper Vision for macular degeneration). However, supplements are just that - supplements. They will not replace what God intended. At best, they will mitigate damage. Please eat plenty of colorful, organic fruits and vegetables as your first treatment (and prevention) of choice!

Watzl, B. and S.E. Kulling, et al. "A 4-wk intervention with high intake of carotenoid-rich vegetables and fruit reduces plasma C-reactive protein in healthy, nonsmoking men," Am J Clin Nutr, 2005; 82(5): 1052-8.

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