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How Does Inflammation Influence CLL?
Posted: Mar 18, 2024
How Does Inflammation Influence CLL? image

Researchers found that when CLL cells are removed from a patient and placed into a lab culture by themselves, the CLL cells self-destruct (apoptosis). CLL cells inside of a patient’s body, however, continue to multiply. The researchers concluded that chronic inflammation plays a key role in the development of CLL and its symptomatology and progression. For this reason, therapies that target inflammation can be particularly effective in treating CLL, but there are other external factors that can affect the levels of inflammatory molecules in your body. Read below about proven ways to reduce inflammation and support your treatment to reduce CLL cells. 

7 Ways to Reduce Inflammation

1. Get 7-9 Hours of Sleep Each Night

Getting adequate sleep has been proven to reduce inflammation. Not sleeping well? Learn from neurologist Dr. John Hatch about the science behind experiencing healthy deep sleep by watching the video below. 

To receive Dr. Hatch’s tips and brain exercises that will help you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper, click here

2. Moderate Exercise for 20 Minutes a Day

A study showed that 20 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking helped participants reduce inflammation.

3. Reduce Psychological Stress 

High psychological stress causes inflammation. A study showed that practicing mindfulness helped participants reduce inflammation. The website Dialectical Behavior Therapy created by licensed counselors, contains free mindfulness exercises you can use. You may also benefit by reaching out to a licensed mental health counselor for personal support in navigating mental health challenges. 

4. Stop Smoking

Smoking causes inflammation. Talk with your doctor about ways to help you stop smoking. 

5. Reduce Obesity

Reducing body fat has been proven to decrease inflammation. If you think you might be overweight or obese, talk with your doctor about safe ways to help reduce excess weight. 

6. Swap Inflammation Causing Foods & Drinks with Healthier Alternatives

Limit the consumption of inflammation causing foods and drinks and swap them with healthier alternatives. Inflammation-causing foods include:

  • Refined carbohydrates (swap with whole grains) 
  • Refined sugar (swap with cane sugar)
  • Processed (cured) meats (swap with fresh meat) 
  • Margarine, shortening, and lard (swap with healthy oils like olive oil)
  • Fried foods (try an alternative cooking method like baking or air frying)
  • High consumption of red meat (swap with lean meat like chicken or fish)
  • Alcoholic drinks (swap with non-alcoholic drinks) 

7. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods and Spices

Decrease inflammation by eating anti-inflammatory foods such as tomatoes, fruits, nuts, olive oil, leafy greens, fatty fish, and herbs/spices. 

Other Natural Sources Proven to Help CLL Patients Reduce Inflammation

Other natural sources that have been proven to help decrease the levels of inflammation in your body include: 

  • Curcumin found in turmeric
  • Epigallocatechin gallate found in green tea 
  • Quercetin found in foods like capers, elderberries, red onion, white onion, and cranberries 
  • Resveratrol found in foods like blueberries, raspberries, and plums 
  • Triterpenoids found in beans, soybeans, spinach, lentils, and oats
  • Xanthones found in the mangosteen fruit 

In conclusion, taking steps to reduce inflammation through lifestyle factors such as nutrition, moderate exercise, and getting adequate sleep can improve your overall health and may support your CLL treatment. 

Help Accelerate Research Towards a CLL Cure by Answering the Six-Minute Survey on Diet and Alternative Therapy

Have you ever wondered if what you eat or alternative therapies you have tried help lower the chance of your CLL progressing? By filling out this six-minute survey, you can aid CLL researchers in answering key questions such as:

  • Do dietary changes affect disease progression? 
  • Does the use of dietary supplements affect disease progression? 
  • Do sleep habits affect disease progression? 
  • Do alternative therapies (such as acupressure) affect disease progression? 

Help us move closer to a cure by contributing your answers in just six minutes! 

Take the Diet and Alternative Therapy Survey

Please note that before shared with researchers, your data is anonymized. We value your privacy and are grateful for your contributions.

If you have any questions or concerns about the survey, you can contact our HealthTree Patient Navigators at or (800) 709-1113.

If you don't have a HealthTree Cure Hub account, you can sign up for free today. 


The author Megan Heaps

about the author
Megan Heaps

Megan joined HealthTree in 2022. As a writer and the daughter of a blood cancer patient, she is dedicated to helping patients and their caregivers understand the various aspects of their disease. This understanding enables them to better advocate for themselves and improve their treatment outcomes. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family. 

Thanks to our HealthTree Community for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Sponsors:


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