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Healing with Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

By Elaine Moore on 8/27/2008

Increasing evidence confirms that low dose naltrexone (LDN), by increasing endorphin production, is an effective immunomodulator. Immunomodulators are substances that restore immune system health by re-establishing the normal balance of lymphocyte subgroups (T and B cells and natural killer cells) and immune system chemicals known as cytokines.

Autoimmune Disease Mechanism

In autoimmune diseases, abnormal ratios of Th1/Th2 lymphocytes, and deficiencies in suppressor lymphocytes perpetuate the proliferation of autoreactive cells. This leads to autoantibody production. Similarly, increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and decreased levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines contribute to inflammation and other toxic effects.

Immune System Balance

By restoring immune system balance, low dose naltrexone allows the body to heal itself. Studies to date have shown benefits in multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, pancreatic cancer, head and neck tumors, and other conditions that stem from defects in immune function.


Pharmaceutical companies are in fierece competition to develop new drugs such at the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors to reduce symptoms in autoimmune disease. TNF is a pro-inflammatory cytokine.

Many of these drugs like etanercept (Enbrel) have serious side effects and are very expensive. LDN works by restoring cytokine balance without targeting one particular cytokine and causing other imbalances with their own set of side effects.

Low-dose Naltrexone

Graves' Disease and Autoimmune Disease Education
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