Betalains: A Source of Relief for Inflammation?

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Betalains are a powerful, but rare class of antioxidants found in only a few plants on earth. There are 24 betalains total, but only the prickly pear cactus is known to contain all or almost all 24 betalains, which makes it very desirable for healing purposes. Current scientific studies center around betalains role in controlling inflammation and blood sugar levels in humans. Betalains have been found to work at the cellular level, keeping cells detoxified, strong and healthy, which prevents premature aging and chronic health ailments.

Scientific studies

Over 200 studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of betalains and the conclusions support betalains ability to alleviate acute health issues, naturally. When cells become unhealthy, they can leak and become weak. Betalains attack a enzyme that keeps cells from functioning normally and eventually can correct pain points in the body that affect many peoples quality of life.


Inflammation can lead to many common ailments such as gout, fibromyalgia and Psoriasis. Although inflammation is your body`s natural defense mechanism against trauma, it can spin out of control and begin to have a detrimental effect on the body. In 2004, Time magazine featured the topic of inflammation as it`s cover story for the month in hoping to raise awareness of this silent killer for the general public. Across the board, inflammation has been responsible for many people remaining in excruciating pain for years without relief, reducing their quality of life drastically.

Roads to Recovery

People are taking a more active role in managing chronic inflammation by various means including medications, steroids and creams, etc. Many find that by eating a diet that includes anti-inflammatory foods that their health is improved, with a better state of balance and less inflammation in their bodies. Lifestyle choices like these can make all the difference.

Nopal cactus: Is it for you?

Although inflammation has been the subject of research and treatments, the Nopal cactus is only now becoming known as a effective means of managing inflammation. The betalains in the plant are regarded as a safe and effective treatment in quelling the fires of inflammation. Most people are finding that by incorporating the Nopal in their diets, that they have experienced dramatic changes in their health. Many report positive changes in LDL Cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as reducing their risk of developing blood clots. Bromalain, found in pineapple, is another substance that should be included in an anti-inflammatory diet for effectively managing inflammation. Consult with your physician to determine if a specialized diet that includes these foods is appropriate for your inflammation management plan.

Scientific studies on betalains:

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, addressed the effectiveness of betalains. The objective was to determine the bioavailibilty of betalains from dietary sources:

Absorption, excretion, and distribution of dietary antioxidant betalains in LDLs: potential health effects of betalains in humans1, 2, 3

"The plasma kinetics and urinary excretion of betalains were studied in healthy volunteers (n = after a single ingestion of 500 g cactus pear fruit pulp, which provided 28 and 16 mg indicaxanthin and betanin, respectively. The incorporation of betalains in LDL and the resistance of the particles to ex vivo-induced oxidation was also researched. "

Conclusion: "Our results show that cactus pear fruit is a source of bioavailable betalains and suggest that indicaxanthin and betanin may be involved in the observed protection of LDL against ex vivo-induced oxidative modifications. "

Clearly, the scientific treatment of inflammation should include betalains, which will help people suffering from many ailments, find relief from chronic pain.

David Riebe is a expert source on topics concerning health and wellness.To contact him and recieve more information on sources for the nopal cactus can be found at

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