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Dr. Sears' Blog

Breaking down the latest research on Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition
Written By: Dr. Barry Sears, Ph. D | Creator of the Zone Diet

Written by Dr. Barry Sears
on September 25, 2019

Some 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates stated that the goal of the physician was to prevent disease, to do the patient no harm and that your best medicine was ultimately your diet. This foundation of these ancient insights still rings true today. The primary goal of medicine should be to increase human healthspan, which can only be achieved by increasing the length of time you spend in a state of wellness. Healthspan, or healthy aging, is defined as the period of one’s life unburdened by the diseases of aging. What causes your healthspan to decrease is the increasing level of chronic, low-level, inflammation in your body that is below the perception of pain. This is called unresolved cellular inflammation.

The Resolution Zone tells the story of how unresolved cellular inflammation occurs and how it significantly reduces your potential healthspan. More importantly, The Resolution Zone provides a highly defined dietary pathway to reclaim your maximum potential healthspan using food as if it were a drug that can be used for a lifetime without doing you any harm. This concept is not all that different from old maxims like “eat an apple a day to keep the doctor away” or “you can’t leave the table until you eat all your vegetables”, but now updated to reflect our new knowledge of how food can affect our hormones and our genes.

You Need A Balance of Inflammation

All inflammation ultimately begins with injuries to the body. The types of injuries that can cause inflammation range from external and internal injuries, infections, diet-induced inflammation, a leaky gut, exercise-induced inflammation, side effects of prescription drugs, surgery, pollution, stress, and others. Whatever the initial cause, once inflammation is turned on, it has to be turned off. Only then can your body begin to repair the damage caused by the initial inflammation. This is the body’s natural healing response and is the obligatory foundation for your maintaining wellness. The scientific term I use to describe this natural internal healing mechanism is the Resolution ResponseTM.

In an ideal world, when inflammation is induced by any type of injury it should be balanced equally by a robust Resolution Response. This keeps inflammation in balance and the result is you maintain a state of wellness. On the other hand, if your Resolution Response is too weak, then the result is the continuing buildup of unresolved cellular inflammation, which is the real reason why your healthspan decreases.  Thus, any blockage of the body’s Resolution Response will be a driving force for the earlier development of chronic disease and the acceleration of the aging process.

Unfortunately, there is no drug that can increase the Resolution Response. This is because the Resolution Response is a highly orchestrated hormonal and genetic (mediated by gene transcription factors) process that is under profound dietary control. When optimized, the Resolution Response can neutralize the inflammatory damage induced by any type of injury. However, optimizing the Resolution Response also requires consistent dietary control since each component of the Resolution Response works in a highly coordinated manner to reduce, resolve, and then repair the tissue damaged by any type of an injury-induced inflammatory response.

The Resolution Zone provides a defined dietary program that is highly personalized to the individual to optimize the Resolution Response. This is a lifelong program since the injuries that cause inflammation will occur at random whereas the Resolution Response must always be constantly ready to counteract injury-induced inflammation to prevent the development of unresolved cellular inflammation.

A blocked Resolution Response is also the underlying cause of many other problems appearing at every stage of life including those occurring in early childhood, to the accumulation of excess body fat, as well as failure to recover from exercise-induced inflammation. Because the driving force of all of these problems are caused by a similar mechanism (i.e. a blocked Resolution Response), the same dietary system described in The Resolution Zone system can also address each of those problems in addition to your primary target goal of increasing your healthspan.

What Happens to Unresolved Cellular Inflammation?

Unresolved cellular inflammation caused by a blocked Resolution Response doesn’t simply disappear. As discussed in The Resolution Zone, one pathway it can take is the increased formation of fibrosis (i.e. scar tissue) that compromises organ function leading to an earlier development of chronic disease. Approximately 45% of all deaths are associated with extensive fibrosis. These conditions include heart disease, stroke, liver, kidney failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and many more.

A far more insidious pathway unresolved cellular inflammation can take is the development of cellular senescence. Cellular senescence is a natural biological mechanism to protect you from genetic damage caused by unresolved cellular inflammation. Once the senescence mechanism is activated, the damaged cell permanently loses its ability to divide, but in the process the cell becomes a generator of constant inflammation. Such senescent cells can be viewed as “zombie” cells. They are immortal and secrete large amounts of inflammatory mediators increasing the overall burden of unresolved cellular inflammation. Furthermore, these secreted inflammatory mediators also contain factors that can induce the development of cellular senescence in neighboring healthy cells essentially causing them to become new senescent cells. This sets off a cascade of inflammatory events that culminates in the generation of an increasingly compromised organ function that underlies the early development of many types chronic diseases.

The older you are the more senescent cells your body contains. Ironically, the organ that contains the largest number of senescent cells is your adipose tissue. This means the greater the amount of excess body fat you have, the greater the number of senescence cells you have in your body. Furthermore, these senescent cells are particularly concentrated in your visceral fat deposits. This is why excess visceral fat is so highly associated with so many chronic diseases as it becomes a staging area for the creation of new senescent cells throughout the body.

Whether unresolved cellular inflammation results in either increased fibrosis or increased formation of senescent cells, it becomes a permanent part of your body reducing your maximum potential healthspan. The dietary system described in The Resolution Zone provides a pathway to not only reduce further fibrosis, but more importantly to neutralize this new source of unresolved cellular inflammation generated by a growing number senescent “zombie” cells throughout your body.

Who Can Benefit From an Optimal Resolution Response?        

People tend to take wellness for granted until they begin to lose it. Then they find that trying to reclaim wellness is exceptionally difficult once a chronic disease is established and their healthspan begins to decrease. Chronic diseases associated with aging such as metabolic conditions (i.e. obesity and type 2 diabetes), auto-immune conditions (i.e. type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis), loss of vision due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and cognitive decline (i.e. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) are associated with significant economic, personal, and societal burdens. The prevalence of chronic disease increases with age. Currently 80% of Americans greater than age 65 have at least one chronic disease, and 50% have two or more chronic diseases. The severity of these age-related diseases typically increase from the time of their onset until death. It is also estimated that providing healthcare expenses for people over the age of 65 costs four to five times more than for younger individuals. Thus, any medical success for increasing longevity achieved by treating the symptoms of chronic disease using drugs without optimizing your Resolution Response to improve your healthspan will only increase the financial burden on our health care system.


Optimizing your internal Resolution Response to reduce the inflammatory damage caused by random injuries can extend your wellness and therefore increase your healthspan by slowing the progression of age-related chronic diseases. Reading The Resolution Zone provides you with a dietary pathway to retake control of those hormones and genes that are critical to maintain your wellness as long as possible. In doing so, you can return to the real principles of medicine that Hippocrates first articulated 2,500 years ago.

The Resolution Zone is now available.


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