This post is a follow-on from my previous post regarding exercise and the Hysteresis Model of Inflammation vs. Strength. The concept is almost identical in nature except that this time we’re talking purely in terms of diet and not exercise.
The above graph is a modified version of the diet, inflammation & longevity curves that I first introduced in this post. For clarity, I have simply removed the longevity curve to leave only the inflammation curve. All the rest is the same.
Hysteresis – The Long-Term damage that can’t be undone
Let’s consider someone on a “high-carb” diet at the far left of the graph, “point 1.” on the lower blue curve. Note that this “point 1.” is the same for all other diets along the bottom blue curve, at the intersection with the dashed (black) diet line. The longer they remain on this or any other “high inflammation” diet, the greater the cumulative oxidative stress, and hence also the greater the permanent damage incurred to the organism becomes. Accordingly, their long-term chronic inflammation also starts to increase vertically until they arrive at “Point 2.” on the upper blue curve. Again, this “Point 2.”corresponds to any other diet where the solid black line intersects the upper blue curve. At this point, the individual decides to move to a Lower Inflammation diet, let’s say “Meat & Water” but it could be any other diet to the right of the current diet, along the x-axis.
Once they are at the “meat & water” diet, they are at “Point 3.” on the upper blue inflammation curve. Note that despite moving to a much lower inflammation diet, they are unable to return to the ultimate state of dietary low inflammation at “Point 4.” on the lower blue curve. Why? Because of the “Age / Time” gap that opened up between points 1. & 2. on their high(er) inflammation diet. This is known as hysteresis & is a function of both your age and the time spent between points 1. & 2. – the greater the gap here, the greater the “residual” inflammation between points 3. & 4. also becomes. This may manifest itself in terms of metabolic diseases such as T2D, autoimmune diseases such as osteoarthritis or any other form of long-term, chronic “silent” inflammation. In this case, the only possible way (excluding strength training) that you may be able to return to Point 4. is through the use of a “longevity drug” such as Metformin or Berberine. As with the Inflammation/ Strength curves discussed above, a full recovery, even using Metformin, is unlikely except for the very young. Hence, for max longevity, it is in the individual’s own interest to choose a low inflammation diet as soon as possible and stick to it!