Monday, March 21, 2011

Low-dose naltrexone can promote immune-modulation and may reduce inflammatory autoimmune processes

Norman Brown a,*, Jaak Panksepp b:

a Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL 32114, United States
b Department of VCAPP, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, P.O. Box 646520, Pullman, WA 99164-6520, United States

S u m m a r y:
The use of low-dose naltrexone (LDN) for the treatment and prophylaxis of various bodily disorders is discussed. Accumulating evidence suggests that LDN can promote health supporting immune-modulation which may reduce various oncogenic and inflammatory autoimmune processes. Since LDN can upregulate endogenous opioid activity, it may also have a role in promoting stress resilience, exercise, social bonding, and emotional well-being, as well as amelioration of psychiatric problems such a autism and depression. It is proposed that LDN can be used effectively as a buffer for a large variety of bodily and mental ailments through its ability to beneficially modulate both the immune system and the brain neurochemistries that regulate positive affect.

Low-dose naltrexone’s potential for enhancing the quality of life through both reward and energy functions arises from the welldemonstrated links between mu opioid receptors and central dopamine neurons in the mesencephalon [51,52]. Solid evidence for safety and tolerability of chronic LDN is present in the recent Crohn’s trial [12] and MS trial [13], as well as decades of FDA approved daily 50 mg doses for alcoholism. There is no published evidence
to support the old ‘‘black box” warning about potential liver damage from chronic high doses [53]. This only happened at extremely high doses that were used in some of the early toxicology

In sum, we conclude that low-dose naltrexone presents a safe and promising approach to prevention and/or treatment of many autoimmune diseases and cancer variants, as well as potentially various viral (e.g., AIDS) and neurological diseases (Multiple Sclerosis) that are exacerbated by compromised immunity. LDN’s potential for modulating both opioid and immune systems yields a very wide field for clinical experimentation as well as novel research directions for strengthening the scientific evidence for linkages between opioid and immune systems in the regulation of various disease processes. Read more>>

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