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Not inherently good or bad, Inflammation is the process recruiting immune cells to tissues in the body for their actions; good for immunity and cell defense, excessive levels can cause joint pain and accelerate signs of aging and disease pathology such as cancer or obesity.

Our evidence-based analysis on inflammation features 3 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published:
Last Updated:

Frequently Asked Questions about Inflammation

Should I take Fish Oil if I am sick?

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect inflammation
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-a Fish Oil Minor Moderate See all 17 studies
Highly mixed and unreliable influences on circulating inflammatory cytokines (although, due to immunosuppression on cellular adhesion factors, the overall effect may still be antiinflammatory)
grade-b Curcumin Notable Very High See all 5 studies
There appears to be a decrease in disease states or conditions characterized by inflammation associated with curcumin ingestion, does not appear to be too discriminatory in which inflammatory states it benefits
grade-b Ginger Minor Very High See all 4 studies
Inflammatory parameters seem to be reduced following ginger consumption
grade-b Serrapeptase  
grade-b Coenzyme Q10  
grade-b Conjugated Linoleic Acid  
grade-b Vitamin C  
grade-c Japanese Knotweed  
grade-c Alpha-Lipoic Acid  
grade-c L-Carnitine  
grade-c Melatonin  
grade-c Panax ginseng  
grade-c Spirulina  
grade-c Stinging Nettle  
grade-c Benfotiamine  
grade-c Glutamine  
grade-c Olive leaf extract  
grade-c Phosphatidylserine  
grade-c Pycnogenol  
grade-c Quercetin  
grade-c Salvia hispanica  
grade-c Sea Buckthorn  
grade-c Theaflavins  
grade-c Vitamin D  
grade-c Whey Protein  
grade-d Boron  
grade-d Bromelain  
grade-d Coffee  
grade-d Hibiscus sabdariffa  

All comparative evidence is now gathered in our ​A-to-Z Supplement Reference.

The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available ​here.


  1. Byleveld PM, et al. Fish oil feeding delays influenza virus clearance and impairs production of interferon-gamma and virus-specific immunoglobulin A in the lungs of mice. J Nutr. (1999)
  2. Schwerbrock NM, et al. Fish oil-fed mice have impaired resistance to influenza infection. J Nutr. (2009)
  3. Byleveld M, et al. Fish oil feeding enhances lymphocyte proliferation but impairs virus-specific T lymphocyte cytotoxicity in mice following challenge with influenza virus. Clin Exp Immunol. (2000)