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Inflammation and muscle building.

Vegan Joe

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With all the hype now adays about inflammation this and inflammation that, and how even swollen gums can give you a heart attack.

I was wondering about the inflammation involved in the repair of muscle tissue, and if anyone thought this an issue, or whether it is in the same realm of understanding.

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I don't consider it the same type of inflammation since it's localized and not generalized. A local inflammation is temporary (usually) and short in duration. This engages different components of the inflammatory response system. I've found no evidence that this contributes to long term inflammatory based diseases - although I've found no studies to debunk it either. But the science, so far, is on the side of not worrying about it.

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  • 2 weeks later...


The Mystery of Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy

Richard Joshua Hernandez, B.S. and Len Kravitz, Ph.D.

Part of article:



As described earlier, resistance exercise causes trauma to skeletal muscle. The immune system responds with a complex sequence of immune reactions leading to inflammation (3). The purpose of the inflammation response is to contain the damage, repair the damage, and clean up the injured area of waste products.

The immune system causes a sequence of events in response to the injury of the skeletal muscle. Macrophages, which are involved in phagocytosis (a process by which certain cells engulf and destroy microorganisms and cellular debris) of the damaged cells, move to the injury site and secrete cytokines, growth factors and other substances. Cytokines are proteins which serve as the directors of the immune system. They are responsible for cell-to-cell communication. Cytokines stimulate the arrival of lymphocytes, neutrophils, monocytes, and other healer cells to the injury site to repair the injured tissue (4).


The three important cytokines relevant to exercise are Interleukin-1 (IL-1), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). These cytokines produce most of the inflammatory response, which is the reason they are called the “inflammatory or proinflammatory cytokines” (5). They are responsible for protein breakdown, removal of damaged muscle cells, and an increased production of prostaglandins (hormone-like substances that help to control the inflammation).

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