What is a noncommunicable disease (NCD)?
NCDs or non-communicable diseases may not be a term that is familiar to most. Unfortunately, the reality is that almost everyone knows someone who has had a heart attack, stroke, cancer, asthma, or diabetes. NCDs belong to a category of disorders that develop over long periods of time. In 2008, there were 57 million deaths in the world, of which 36 million were attributed to noncommunicable diseases. And this figure is expected to increase continuously.
The worst of all? There are numerous risk factors, despite the fact that their elimination is relatively simple. Tobacco, a sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet drastically increase the total number of deaths. However, with small changes, deaths from cancer and other chronic diseases can be reduced by up to 40%. Statistics published by the World Health Organization (WHO) highlight what we already knew, but against a highly morbid backdrop. The life of comforts and excesses kills.
NCD: the pandemic of our era
In addition to the WHO statistics, an exclusive editorial has been published highlighting how NCDs have become the biggest killers on the planet. For a long time, infectious diseases caused the majority of deaths in the world. However, as science and medicine have advanced, so has our ability to cope with these conditions. These advances made life much easier for Western society, but then a new cause of death appeared. The rapid expansion of developed economies coupled with rising medical costs have made these chronic diseases alarmingly common. 87% of deaths in developed economies are the result of an NCD. This is not a problem unique to one country. It affects us all.
The magnitude of this problem is overwhelming, but if we break it down into more manageable parts, we can formulate a plan of action. Tobacco use is the main risk factor, something that governments and society have recently put a lot of effort into combating. However, after smoking, the second most common risk factor is the Western diet. Fortunately, many parts of the world have adopted a diet that not only allows them to live longer, but also in a healthier way. Here you can read more about this topic.
The modern way of life
The repercussions of modern life – the decisions we make about how to live our lives – are very important. In the case of NCDs, an unhealthy lifestyle is one of the main contributing factors. The NCBI cites several ways in which this lifestyle affects multiple areas of our existence. The WHO estimates that “60% of the factors related to an individual’s health and quality of life are related to lifestyle.”
Nine contributing factors have been identified that have a huge impact on our health, both physical and mental. They are diet, study, the application of modern technology, sex, drug addiction, leisure, drug abuse, exercise and sleep. In most cases, several of these factors come together, compounding potential health problems. The difficulty lies in being able to juggle all of these categories. And if we add to this a job or caring for a family, the micromanagement of all the aspects necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle becomes extremely complicated. Instead, we should look at the causes of the nine factors and see if there is a common characteristic that we can focus on.
We have already discussed in detail the detrimental effects of stress. However, when we look at the root cause of several of the nine factors mentioned, stress shows up repeatedly. Therefore, instead of trying to juggle, it would be more beneficial and natural to focus on stress management. When we keep our stress under control, adopting a healthy lifestyle is much easier.
And the same can be said of NCDs. Given this situation, non-communicable diseases are very numerous, and trying to promote a lifestyle that avoids them all would be impossible. Instead, we must focus on the root cause. We know that chronic inflammation is the precursor to several of the disorders categorized as ENTs.
Chronic inflammation: one step away from NCDs
Chronic inflammation occurs when our inflammatory response does not stop, despite having treated the initial infection. If ignored, the accumulated inflammation could lead to the onset of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It is about connecting the dots between different diseases and making changes that prevent multiple risk factors. To combat chronic inflammation, the changes that need to be made in our daily habits are fewer than those needed to avoid non-communicable diseases. By reducing the size of the enemy, the probability of defeating it is increased.
All roads lead to the same remedy. An unhealthy lifestyle can lead to chronic inflammation, which has the potential to develop into a NCD. Chronic inflammation is much easier to prevent with small changes to our diet and lifestyle. And in comparison, the beneficial effect on our health is enormous.
New CBD Studies Shed Some Light on Managing Chronic Inflammation
Although diet alone helps prevent chronic inflammation, it is always advantageous to have support. In this case, several investigations identify CBD as a powerful anti-inflammatory and a fundamental compound to combat chronic inflammation.
The remainder of this article are quotes from studies that highlight some of the advances that have been made. While these studies are not entirely conclusive, nor do they represent the opinion of Cibdol, each document is a testament to the fantastic potential of CBD.
Cannabinoids as new anti-inflammatory drugs
The researchers note that “cannabinoids inhibit the inflammatory response and subsequently attenuate disease symptoms,” adding: “Cannabinoids may directly inhibit tumor growth or suppress inflammation and tumor angiogenesis.”
Prakash Nagarkatti, Rupal Pandey, Sadiye Amcaoglu Rieder, Venkatesh L. Hegde, and Mitzi Nagarkatti
Corresponding author: Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC 29208, USA, [email protected]
The endocannabinoid system: a new key agent of inflammation
The summary of this analysis mentions that “the complexity of what could be called the ‘endocannabinoidome’ requires an approach that takes into account its dynamics and interconnections with other regulatory systems. This endocannabinoidome continues to offer possibilities for prevention and intervention, but a focus of Multiple targets might be the only key to success.”
Witkamp R.1, Meijerink J.
Corresponding author: Department of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviors in rats with arthritis
This time, the researchers have found that “these data indicate that topically applied CBD has therapeutic potential for mitigating arthritis, pain-related behaviors, and inflammation, without obvious side effects.”
DC Hammell,1,to LP Zhang,2,to F. Ma,2 SM Abshire,2 SL McIlwrath,2 AL Stinchcomb,1. and KN Westlund 2.
Corresponding author: 1. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Kentucky School of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY, 40536-0082, USA.
2. Department of Physiology, University of Kentucky School of Medicine, Lexington, KY, 40536-0298, USA, [email protected]
Cannabidiol protects oligodendrocyte progenitor cells from apoptosis caused by inflammation by reducing endoplasmic reticulum stress
Another study concludes that “CBD protects POCs from inflammatory stimuli and apoptosis, independently of cannabinoid receptors.”
M. Mecha, AS Torrao, L. Mestre, FJ Carrillo-Salinas, R. Mechoulam, and C. Guaza
Corresponding author: Cell Death & Disease. Volume 3, page 331 (2012).