High C-reactive protein levels suggest inflammation possibly caused by an infection, autoimmune disease, injury, cancer, or other chronic diseases. Medications like valsartan and olmesartan, which are angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), have CRP lowering capacity.
But you can also reduce C-reactive protein CRP levels naturally by eating foods that fight off inflammation, weight loss, exercise, relaxation, and giving up unhealthy habits like smoking and heavy drinking.
Pro Tip: Reading CRP blood test results is as simple as matching the test value with the normal range indicated on the report. However, if you want to further understand the test conclusion, book a virtual consultation with one of our doctors.
- Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Managing inflammation is key to knowing how to reduce CRP levels naturally. Inflammation is an immune response that tells your body that foreign invaders or autoimmune cells attack your tissues. Think of it as a distress signal, evident through joint pain and stiffness. However, if it persists or gets more intense, it’s doing worse than good.
If you have a high CRP test result, eat anti-inflammatory foods that help reduce chronic inflammation, such as the following:
- Dark chocolate
- Fatty fish
- Green tea
- Leafy greens
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil
Anti-inflammatory nutrition helps reduce C-reactive protein by producing substances that deal with the condition. For example, fatty fish like mackerel and salmon contain long-chain omega-3 fatty acids with anti-inflammatory effects when converted into compounds named protectins and resolvins.
Including the abovementioned foods in your diet stabilizes your CRP levels. On the other hand, if the increased CRP level is due to impaired immune response, you also opt to avoid foods that worsen autoimmune diseases.
- Get Regular Light to Moderate Exercise
Research suggests that people who engage in moderate or regular light exercise have lower CRP levels than those who don’t exercise at all. This goes to prove that consistent activities help lower chronic inflammation.
Exercising for about 30 minutes a day helps you lose weight, increase insulin sensitivity, and lower the production of cytokines from fats as well as mononuclear cells. Cytokines are proteins that aid cell signaling during inflammation, while mononuclear cells are considered inflammatory infiltrates.
Pro Tip: Don’t have the time to go to a gym and work out? You can do light physical activities at home for less than an hour. No equipment necessary, just your determination to reduce CRP levels and take control of your health.
- Address Underlying Sleeping Problems
Getting enough sleep equates to good health. This remains true when taking steps on how to reduce CRP levels naturally, as sleep deprivation is a marker of inflammation. If you have been experiencing poor sleep, see a doctor to get a full diagnosis of the cause or sleeping disorder involved.
Individuals with high CRP levels associated with chronic diseases like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and coronary heart disease often experience poor sleep. Additionally, people with insomnia also become more prone to increased C-reactive protein levels.
The connection between sleep and inflammation is still being studied, but several theories have been pointed out. For example, the disruption of the circadian rhythm due to poor sleep is said to drive inflammation, which in turn prevents the CRP lowering in the blood.
- Quit Smoking and Heavy Drinking
Lifestyle changes cover the hallmark of practical ways to reduce CRP levels naturally. One crucial change is giving up tobacco smoking and heavy alcohol drinking.
Smoking contains substances that induce inflammation. The intensity of the inflammatory effects, however, depends on factors such as the type of tobacco, smoking frequency, and dose. On top of that, cigarette smoking also promotes autoimmunity, which correlates with high CRP levels.
On the other hand, heavy alcohol drinking also contributes to chronic inflammation. As alcohol damages the liver and gastrointestinal tract, it leads to this immune response.
Interestingly, moderate drinking has the opposite effect. In a 2015 review, it was pointed out that controlled consumption of alcohol reduces the production of inflammation markers, including C-reactive proteins.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
Body weight influences the production of C-reactive proteins. According to research, increased body weight results in high CRP levels. Hence, it makes sense to target and maintain a healthier weight if you’re looking for ways to reduce CRP levels.
Losing weight involves adopting a healthier diet with the anti-inflammatory foods mentioned above. Plus, it requires regular physical activities to burn stored fats and improve metabolism.
If you’re having trouble achieving your weight loss goal, you can always sign up for coaching or consult with a dietitian or your healthcare provider. Another critical step is getting tested for underlying conditions that block metabolic improvement. Check out our weight loss profile blood test.
- Try Meditation and Breathing Exercises
CRP increases when you experience stress. With that in mind, you could lower chronic inflammation by employing relaxation techniques. Research shows how activities like mindful meditation lower elevated CRP among those involved in randomized clinical trials. This can be associated with decreased cortisol production, also known as the stress hormone.
Cortisol, when produced in large amounts, disrupts the balance of other endocrine functions. As a result, it elevates CRP levels. So, relaxation activities like meditation reduce stress, which in turn, lowers cortisol and CRP.
Additionally, breathing exercises help you relieve stress, especially if it’s related to anxiety or panic attacks. Plus, these simple exercises also aid in improving lung health which reduces inflammation linked to respiratory issues.
Try meditating for 10 to 30 minutes a day. Do it after waking up or before going to sleep. Also, explore other relaxation activities like gardening, listening to music, and more.
- Get Tested for Diabetes and Hypertension
An elevated CRP level happens for a crucial health reason that demands immediate action. It is linked with different conditions, but the two most prominent health disorders it associates with are diabetes and hypertension. Addressing these medical conditions can help reduce CRP naturally.
Once you learn about having diabetes or hypertension, it should dictate the number of changes you need to make so you can lower your serum sugar levels and blood pressure. These, in turn, will bring your CRP within the normal range. For example, to lower your glucose level, you have to cut back your sugar intake. On the other hand, eliminating saturated and trans fats from your diet can help stabilize your blood pressure.
Unsurprisingly, the lifestyle adjustments intended to manage these disorders have positive effects on dealing with other health conditions. One of which is getting your CRP levels reduced.
Pro Tip: A regular wellness checkup includes a blood test for diabetes and monitoring your blood pressure. Book a routine general wellness assessment to diagnose and identify your risks for chronic diseases.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Quickly Can You Lower CRP Levels?
You can observe a decline in your CRP levels within two to three weeks of adhering to the lifestyle changes mentioned above. However, how quickly CRP decreases ultimately depends on several factors, such as its cause and course of treatment.
For instance, if the cause of the elevated CRP is an infection, the length of treatment for the condition determines how fast your CRP levels drop. But if it’s due to an autoimmune disease, further treatment may be essential on top of the natural methods.
Nonetheless, monitoring your CRP levels through a quantitative blood test remains an essential way to identify treatment roadblocks that could be slowing down CRP reduction.
Does Vitamin C Lower CRP?
Vitamin C supplementation effectively reduces CRP levels, according to several studies. For example, in a 2018 study, it was found that participants of the clinical trial under the subgroups for vitamin c supplementation achieved a significant decrease in their CRP levels compared to those in the control group.
It is widely known how vitamin C improves cellular functions, which strengthens immune defense. Plus, vitamin C also lowers cortisol levels in the blood. These activities help decrease CRP production.
With this data, you may want to increase your intake of natural vitamin sources such as oranges, cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes, guavas, strawberries, papayas, etc. If you’re not yet prescribed supplementation, consult your doctor first to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Is Milk Good for CRP?
Dairy can either increase or decrease CRP depending on the type you consume. For example, low-fat milk lowers CRP and other inflammation markers. On the other hand, high-fat milk and other dairy products are said to have the opposite effect as they increase CRP concentrations in the blood.
The Bottom Line
Understanding the steps on how to reduce CRP levels naturally allows you to explore options outside a framed medical treatment. In doing these actions, you supplement the medication and speed up the decrease of your C-reactive proteins to healthy levels. Still, it’s wise to consult your doctor first to ensure that you’re employing the appropriate lifestyle adjustments based on your condition.