(NaturalNews) Bullying has received a great deal of attention lately since the toll it takes on people, especially children, can lead to emotional and psychological scarring throughout their life. But a new study says that schoolyard meanies may do more than cause mental upset; their belittling actions may lead to detrimental physical consequences that can affect the health of the child being bullied.
William Copeland led a Duke University School of Medicine study in which nearly 1,500 children from ages nine to 21 were interviewed. Along with their mothers, they were questioned about bullying. Additionally, their blood samples were taken every couple of years to measure C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker in the body that indicates inflammation levels. The results?
The bullying-inflammation connection
The findings show that children who were victims of regular bullying had increased levels of C-reactive protein. In a nutshell, the more frequently they were bullied, the more the inflammation increased in their body as time went on.
An increase in this inflammation marker in the blood can develop from a host of stress-inducing situations ranging from sleep deprivation to psychological problems, which in itself can be brought on by incessant bullying.
Dr. Andrew H. Miller, a psychiatrist at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia says, "The idea that bad things happening to you leads to inflammation has been what we are beginning to think may be the link between bad events early in life and bad health outcomes later." Dr. Miller explains that the higher CRP levels in bullied children is an indication that they have a three- to four-fold increased risk of getting diabetes or even heart disease.
Other factors that increase inflammation and the best foods to eat to fight it
While this study makes the case that childhood stress due to bullying can cause CRP levels to increase, it's important to know that CRP levels can change due to other factors such as genetics, diet, environmental toxins and exposure to secondhand smoke. A diet that is filled with processed, refined and manufactured foods can be one reason for elevated CRP levels that lead to inflammation, so it's always wise to choose fresh, organic foods.
The best foods to eat to reduce inflammation include foods such as avocados, seeds and nuts as well as powerful anti-inflammatory herbs like garlic and turmeric. Sources for this article include:
About the author: A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well.