Anti-inflammatory (or antiinflammatory) is the property of a substance or treatment that reduces inflammation or swelling. Anti-inflammatory drugs make up about half of analgesics, remedying pain by reducing inflammation as opposed to opioids, which affect the central nervous system to block pain signaling to the brain.
On the other hand, there are analgesics that are commonly associated with anti-inflammatory drugs but that have no anti-inflammatory effects. An example is paracetamol (known as acetaminophen or Tylenol in the U.S). As opposed to NSAIDs, which reduce pain and inflammation by inhibiting COX enzymes, paracetamol has - as early as 2006 - been shown to block the reuptake of endocannabinoids, which only reduces pain, likely explaining why it has minimal effect on inflammation; paracetamol is sometimes combined with an NSAID (in place of an opioid) in clinical practice to enhance the pain relief of the NSAID while still receiving the injury/disease modulating effect of NSAID-induced inflammation reduction (which is not received from opioid/paracetamol combinations).
Antileukotrines are anti-inflammatory agents which function as leukotriene-related enzyme inhibitors (arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase) or leukotriene receptor antagonists (cysteinyl leukotriene receptors) and consequently oppose the function of these inflammatory mediators. Although they are not used for analgesic benefits, they are widely utilized in the treatment of diseases related to inflammation of the lungs such as asthma and COPD as well as sinus inflammation in allergic rhinitis. They are also being investigated for use in diseases and injuries involving inflammation of the brain (ex. Parkinsons disease).
The ImSAIDs were discovered by scientists evaluating biological properties of the submandibular gland and saliva. Early work in this area demonstrated that the submandibular gland released a host of factors that regulate systemic inflammatory responses and modulate systemic immune and inflammatory reactions. It is now well accepted that the immune, nervous, and endocrine systems communicate and interact to control and modulate inflammation and tissue repair. One of the neuroendocrine pathways, when activated, results in the release of immune-regulating peptides from the submandibular gland upon neuronal stimulation from sympathetic nerves. This pathway or communication is referred to as the cervical sympathetic trunk-submandibular gland (CST-SMG) axis, a regulatory system that plays a role in the systemic control of inflammation.
One SGP-T derivative is a three-amino acid sequence shown to be a potent anti-inflammatory molecule with systemic effects. This three-amino acid peptide is phenylalanine-glutamine-glycine (FEG) and its D-isomeric form (feG) have become the foundation for the ImSAID category. Cellular Effects of feG: The cellular effects of the ImSAIDs are characterized in a number of publications. feG and related peptides are known to modulate leukocyte (white blood cells) activity by influencing cell surface receptors to inhibit excessive activation and tissue infiltration.
Anti-inflammatory treatment trials for existing Alzheimer's disease have typically shown little to no effect on halting or reversing the disease. Research and clinical trials continue. Two studies from 2012 and 2013 found regular use of aspirin for over ten years is associated with an increase in the risk of macular degeneration.
In addition to medical drugs, some herbs and health supplements may have anti-inflammatory qualities: bromelain from pineapples (Ananas comosus). Cannabichromene, a cannabinoid, also has anti-inflammatory effect. Honokiol from Magnolia inhibits platelet aggregation, and works as an inverse agonist at the CB2 receptor. Black seed (Nigella sativa) has shown anti-inflammatory effect due to its high thymoquinone content. St. John's wort's chief constituent, hyperforin, has been found to be a potent COX-1 and 5-LO inhibitor, with anti-inflammatory effect several fold that of aspirin.
Suggested diets to reduce inflammation include those rich in vegetables and low in simple carbohydrates, and fats such as saturated fats and trans fats. Anti-inflammatory foods include most colorful fruits and vegetables, oily fish (which contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids), nuts, seeds, and certain spices, such as ginger, garlic and cayenne. Extra-virgin olive oil contains the chemical oleocanthal that acts similarly to ibuprofen. Those following an anti-inflammatory diet will avoid refined oils and sugars, and show a preference for anti-inflammatory foods in their meal choices.