There are medicines and naturals that reduce TNF-Alpha which is potentially a powerful contributor to cytokine inflammation and illness.
Measure blood TNF-alpha levels, however it is important to realize that you can have TNF elevated locally in areas such as your hypothalamus or gut and it wouldn’t show on blood tests.
Medicines include Humira and Enbrel–Which use an antibody to dramatically decrease TNF-alpha levels. They are used in diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis & Ulcerative Colitis, but since TNF-alpha has helpful effects too, they can have dangerous side effects.
Natural Ways to Reduce TNF-Alpha include:
- Calorie restriction (R)
- Fasting (R)
- Curcumin (R) and (R)
- Elemental diet (R)/ Lectin avoidance diet if lectin sensitive
- Fish Oil/DHA+EPA (R)
- PQQ (R)
- Resveratrol (R)
- Nicotinamide Riboside NAD+ (R)
- EGCG (R)
- Black Cumin Seed Oil….powerful (R)
- Rooibos (R)
- Carob (R)
- Licorice (R)
- Kombucha/Lactic acid (R)
- Hops (xanthohumol) (R)
TNF can be increased in either Th1 dominance or Th2 dominance.
It’s important to realize that you can have TNF elevated locally in areas such as your hypothalamus or gut and it wouldn’t show on blood tests.
Many kinds of cells release TNF and then TNF goes on to stimulate other immune cells.
TNF is released by Macrophages, Dendritic cells, T cells, Fat cells, and Fibroblasts.
TNF then affects various cells. In particular, it will affect cells that line our blood vessels (endothelial cells), which causes vascular problems and this strongly causes cancer, as it causes angiogenesis and increased blood vessel formation (hypervascularization). It can also cause heart disease, kidney disease, and cognitive problems.
TNF stimulates macrophages and effector T cells, which leads to more inflammatory cytokine production and apoptosis resistance (which contributes to cancer).
TNF Positive Effects
Therefore, it’s good to have this elevated somewhat at night when we want to fall asleep. TNF is elevated naturally in healthy people at night time.
So high levels of TNF makes you thinner by causing you to eat less and by inhibiting glucose into fat cells.
If you decrease TNF, you will become more hungry and store more fat.
Hence, it’s not surprising that anti-TNF therapy results in weight gain -an average of 5.5kg or 11 pounds in only 12 weeks (R). It’s incredible that only one variable changed (TNF) and the study participants gained on average 11 pounds.
Even a relatively low level of TNF decreases aldosterone synthesis in response to ACTH (precursor of cortisol), which increases in response to stress and intense exercise (R). This can lower blood pressure.
Exercise increases ACTH, which normally tells our body to conserve saltby increasing aldosterone. However, if we have inflammation, then aldosterone production will be limited and if we sweat a lot it can cause low levels of salt in the body.
TNF Negative Effects
If you have elevated TNF and you bring it down, this will positively affect your mood and motivation.
TNF can cause lasting harm by damaging your mitochondria (R).
Orexin is an extremely important neurotransmitter for many bodily functions.
Orexin performs a number of key roles in memory acquisition and consolidation, as well as in long-term memory reinforcement (R). Hence, if you have elevated inflammation, it will harm your cognitive performance (also by decreasing BDNF, etc).
If you have nasal or intestinal mold infestation, or skin fungus that will not resolve, the body attacks it with cytokines that include TNF which recruits other aspects of the immune system (R).
Diseases Associated With TNF-alpha
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (R)
- Autoimmune disease: in general (R), Multiple Sclerosis (R), Behcet’s(R), SLE (R), Scleroderma (R), Sarcoidosis (R), Hidradenitis suppurativa (R), Ankylosing spondylitis (R), Erythema nodosumleprosum (R)
- Heart disease (R) – Heart failure (R), Atherosclerosis (R), Stroke (R)
- Cancer in general (R), Melanoma (R)
- Insulin Resistance (R), Diabetes II (R)
- Alzheimer’s (R), Parkinson’s (R), ALS (R)
- Major Depression (R) – Depressed people had TNF levels that were about 3.97 pg/ml higher than healthy people (R).
- IBS (R, R2), Crohn’s/Ulcerative Colitis (R)
- Osteoporosis (R)
- Psoriasis (R), Eczema (R)
- Asthma (R), COPD (R). TNF stimulates various molecules which recruit eosinophils, neutrophils, and lymphocytes to the airway. TNF can induce corticosteroid resistance (R).
- OCD – only sometimes (R), Schizophrenia (R), Bipolar (R, R2), Anorexia (R)
- PCOS (R) – TNF shifts production of cortisol to testosterone, hence causing PCOS (R).
- CFIDS, ME/CFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (R),
- Oxidative stress – TNF activity is dependent on the generation of ROS(R).
- Lectins – For people who are lectin sensitive (perhaps a quarter of the population)
- Sun – Both UVA and UVB, which are emitted by the sun, acutely increase TNF-alpha (R, R2, R3). I still support sun exposure.
- Excessive exercise/Marathons (R)
- Sleep deprivation (R)
- Chronic insomnia – in the day time (R).
- Obesity (R)
- High glucose levels (R) – usually because of high glycemic index foods (R).
- A lack of exercise (R)
- A lack of resistant starch (R)
- Circadian disruption (R)
- Excess alcohol (R)
- Smoking (R)
- A high-fat diet (especially palmitic acid (R) – this doesn’t mean to eat a low fat diet) (R).
- A lack of foods like fruits and vegetables, which contain phytochemicals that inhibit TNF and other kinds of inflammation (R, R2).
- Heavy metals (R)
- Some toxins (R)
- Magnesium deficiency (R)
- Zinc deficiency (R)
- Vitamin D deficiency (R, R2, R3)
- Chromium deficiency (R)
- Choline Deficiency (R) – People who consumed more than 360 mg per a day had a 12% lower concentrations of TNF than those who consumed less.
- Coffee – Coffee drinkers had an average of 28% higher TNF, but maybe people with high TNF are tired, so they’re more likely to drink coffee. I got inflammation from it.
- Goji Berries (R), Aloe – (in cancer cells) (R), Reishi (R) – decreases if high (R), Andrographis (R), Apismin – found in honey and royal jelly(R). (I once took 20X the dosage of royal jelly and got fever from it). Arabinogalactan – (R).
- Vasopressin (R), IGF-1 (R), Angiotensin II (R).
There are drugs that target TNF (monoclonal antibodies). They are effective and should be taken if all else fails and if they are indicated for your condition (with the approval of your doctor). You’d also want to measure your blood levels of TNF before you take these drugs.
The biggest problem with inhibiting TNF too much is that you become more susceptible to infections – and when you do get sick it’s more dangerous.
When researchers tried to give drugs to inhibit TNF and IL-1b together, they had to stop the trials because people started to get sick very easily. The supplements are not as strong, so there’s not much concern here. Also, when herbs inhibit TNF, they are simultaneously acting as antimicrobials, which prevents you from getting infections to begin with (or activating latent infections).
Diet And Lifestyle To Inhibit TNF
- Identify allergies, and avoid food allergens.
- Try eliminating different foods that help some people dramatically decrease inflammation and TNF–Gluten or Casein Free diets, legume-free diets, specific carbohydrate diet and others.
- Vagus nerve stimulation (R) – This is being researched as an alternative to MAbs.
- Ketosis (R)
- Acute psychological stress (R) and Glucocorticoids/Cortisol (R) (not recommended)
- Calorie restriction (R)
- Yoga (R)
- Tai Chi (R)
- Wim Hof Breathing/Meditation (R)
- Cycling/Exercise bike with desk (R)
- Mediterranean diet (R) – The resistant starch diet is an upgraded Mediterranean diet.
- Elemental diet for lectin sensitive (R).
- Increase Oxytocin with prescription oxytocin from a compounding pharmacy, falling in love, having sex, nursing, and positive social encounters.
- Infrared, Low Level Laser Therapy
(R, R2, R3)
- Taking oxytocin
Foods To Inhibit TNF
- Sardines (the protein in it) (R)
- Cinnamon/Sodium Benzoate
- Nutritional Yeast/B-glucans (R, R2) – found in mushrooms.
- Stevia (R, R2)
- Honey (R)
- Chocolate /Coffee – PDE inhibitors such as xanthines, caffeine, and theophylline
- Trehalose (R, R2)
- Garlic (R)
- Fish Oil (R)
- Dates (R, R2)
- Blueberries/Berries/Cyanidin-3-O-β-glucoside (C3G) – typical anthocyanin found in blackcurrant pomace, European elderberry, red raspberries, plum, peach, lychee, and açaí (R).
- Sulforaphane/Broccoli Sprouts/Cruciferous Veggies (R)
- Soy (R)
- Betalain/Beets (R)
- Kamut (R)
- Coriander (R)
- Tamarind (R)
- Slippery elm (R)
- Dandelion (R)
- Cortisol (R)
- MSH (R)
- ACTH (R)
- Oxytocin (R)
- Adiponectin (R)
- Melatonin (R)
- Vitamin D3 (R)
- Progesterone (Pregnenolone converts to it) (R)
- Estrogen (Pregnenolone converts to it) (R)
- DHEA (R)
- Ghrelin (R)
Top Supplements To Inhibit TNF
- Aspirin (R)
- Inositol (R, R2)
- Boswellia (R)
- Nicotinamide (R)
- EGCG (R)
- Hydroxytyrosol (R)
- Licorice (R), LicoA (R), Glycyrrhizin (R)
- Luteolin (R)
- Andrographolide (R)
- Fisetin (R)
- Resveratrol (R)
Other Supplements To Inhibit TNF
- Bile (R)
- Lactoferrin (R)
- Glycine (R)
- Chromium (R)
- Sialic Acid (R, R2)
- Arginine (R)
- Bromelain (R)
- Berberine (R, R2)
- Apple polyphenols (R)
- Silymarin (R)
- Honokiol (R)
- Chinese Skullcap (R)/Baicalin (R)
- Ginkgo (R)
- Hespderidin (R)
- Carnosine (R)
- Phytosterols (R)
- Tart Cherry (R)
- Astaxanthin (R)
- Astragalus (R)
- Probiotics/B. coagulans (R)
- Cat’s claw (R)
- Artemisinin (R)
- Carnitine (R)
- Genistein (R)
- Amla/Indian Gooseberry (R)
- CoQ10 (R)
- Magnolol (R)
- Echinacea (R)
- Chaga/Betulin (R)
- Bitter melon (R)
- Mastic gum (R)
- Oxymatrine (R)
- Red clover (R)
- Glucosamine (R)
- Quercetin (R)
- Rutin (R)
- Myricetin (R)
- Chrysin (R)
- Mannose? (R)
- Forskolin (R)
- Molecular Hydrogen (R)
- Histidine (R)
- Antler velvet (R)
- Emodin (R).
Drugs That Inhibit TNF
- Low Dose Naltrexone – LDN (R)
- Metformin (R)
- Red Yeast Rice/Statins (R)
- Bupropion (drug, Wellbutrin) (R)
- Cannabis/THC/Marijuana (R, R2)
- Allegra/Fexofenadine (R)
- Mizolastine (antihistamine) (R)
- Monoclonal antibodies are obviously the strongest: infliximab (Remicade), adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), and golimumab (Simponi), etanercept (Enbrel).
Pathways To Inhibit TNF
Elevated TNF and Chronic Infection
It’s possible that TNF is activated by a chronic infection.
- See “CFIDS: A Roadmap” to discover the many, many possible chronic, sub-clinical infections that some may have.
- An infection can also cause lectin sensitivity. Many of the herbs should help here, but in some cases, antibiotics are more useful.
- Antibiotics like doxycycline should be explored as a last resort. While Doxycycline might not work and may have some side effects, at least it has some potential benefits. Doxycycline is a nootropic, where it increases neurogenesis and reduces microglia in the hippocampus (memory center) (R) and has been found to extend worm lifespans (R). Minocycline also increases neurogenesis in adults (R) and lifespan in flies (R).
Gene Polymorphisms that Cause more TNF Production
The reason why some people produce TNF more than others is that in some people it is at least partially a result of genetic predisposition.
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