Is Low Dose Naltrexone (#ldn) Stimulating Autoimmunity?

Naltrexone (#ldn) is usually used in 50mg doses as a drug to help heroin or opium addicts, by blocking the effect of such drugs.  By blocking opioid receptors, naltrexone also blocks the reception of the opioid hormones (endorphins) that the brain and adrenal glands produce.   Many body tissues have receptors for the endorphins, including virtually every cell of the body’s immune system.

FDA-approved naltrexone, in a low dose (only 3mg), can boost the immune system, helping those with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and Autoimmune Diseases. The Immune System is “uncontrolled” in Autoimmune conditions. Boosting an uncontrolled Autoimmune response is a bad thing.

LDN is currently under experimental use for many conditions.  Preliminary results in theory are very encouraging: Naltrexone increases the body’s production of the beta and metenkephalin endorphins and blood tests have indicated that it can double or even triple the activity of natural killer cellsNatural killer cells (also known as NK cells, K cells, and killer cells) are a type of lymphocyte (a white blood cell) and a component of innate immune system. NK cells play a major role in the host-tissue rejection of both tumours and damaged cells.

Oh, but Doc, this is Low-Dose Naltrexone. My response: A single spark can ignite a forest fire.

A wealth of experimental data suggest that T cells are self-restricted or self-regulated. Immune regulators of the NEI Supersystem cannot be too high or too low as the self-regulation is dose-dependent. Artificially suppressing or stimulating the levels has detrimental effects on the immune response.


LDN works by suppressing the immune system. Eventually, to quote, Dr. Ian Malcolm of Jurassic Park:

… the kind of control you’re attempting simply is… it’s not possible. If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life (the immune system) will not be contained. Life (the immune system) breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is.

There are three different methods by which the body fights infections.  While cellular immunity (Th1) directs Natural Killer T-cells and macrophages to attack abnormal cells and microorganisms at sites of infection inside the cells, humoral immunity (Th2) results in the production of antibodies used to neutralize foreign invaders and substances outside of the cells. T helper 17 cells (Th17) are a subset of T helper cells producing interleukin 17 (IL-17). They are developmentally distinct from Th1 and Th2 cells. Th17 cells are associated with autoimmune disease. The Th17 effector cells are triggered by IL-6 and TGF beta or IL-23 and IL-1β.

woman on fire

Are you on fire?

In many cases, all three arms of the immune system fight an infection.  At other times, only one is predominantly needed to control an infection.  A healthy immune system is both balanced and dynamic: it should be balanced between Th1 and Th2 and Th17 activity, switching back and forth between the three as needed.  This allows for a quick eradication of a threat and then a return to balance before responding to the next threat.  The inability to respond adequately with a Th1 response can result in chronic infection and cancer; an overactive Th2 response can contribute to allergies, various degenerative syndromes and autoimmune disease is a consequence of a Th17 response.  In autoimmune illnesses, all of the arms of the immune system are active, creating the inflammation and tissue injury in autoimmune disease.

A failure of the Th1 arm of the immune system and an overactive Th2 arm is implicated in a wide variety of chronic illnesses.  These include autoimmunity, CFS, candidiasis, multiple allergies, multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), viral hepatitis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, cancer and other illnesses.  If these three arms of the immune system could be balanced by stimulating Th1 and decreasing Th2, then many of the symptoms associated with these chronic illnesses would diminish or disappear and we would have found the answer to immune restoration and balance or the equivalent of a cure. Unfortunately, where Th1 and Th2 leaves off, Th17 takes over and most treatments don’t take account of Th17. This is definitely the case for Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN).

While correct in theory, it is incorrect in terms of how the immune system functions. Most view the immune system only in terms of Th1, Th2 and rarely if ever include Th17. Cytokines, chemokines, neurotransmitters and hormones that control the Th1, Th2 and Th17 responses direct the immune response. Hormones are always thought of as only involved in sex and reproduction. However, progesterone, estriol and testosterone are immune suppressive. While two of the estrogens – estrone, and estradiol are immune stimulating. Not to mention the inflammatory hormone Etiocholanolone, which is rarely tested for and drives the Th17 response. Yes, Etiocholanolone is a hormone made from DHEA that drives Th17. All too often low DHEA is thought to be an adrenal problem, when it is actually being converted into etiocholanolone. Neurotransmitters work both to alert the immune system to an area of the body in distress and signal the immune system that the work is over. Again, rarely tested for. Collectively, this is known as the NEI Supersystem.

NEI supersystem

Th1 cells secrete INF-gamma and IL-2, which activate macrophages and cytotoxic T-cells to kill intracellular organisms; Type Th2 cells secrete IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10, which help B cells to secrete protective antibodies. Th17 cells are triggered by IL-6, IL-17, IL-1β, and IL-23 to clear out damaged tissue damaged by autoimmunity or the uterine lining during menstrual cycles or miscarriages.

Interferon gamma (IFNγ) is secreted by T helper cells (specifically, Th1 cells), cytotoxic T cells (TC cells), macrophages, mucosal epithelial cells and NK cells. Among the effects of increased IFNγ are:

  • Promotes NK cell activity
  • Increases antigen presentation and lysosome activity of macrophages.
  • Activates inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)
  • Induces the production of IgG2a and IgG3 antibodies from activated plasma B cells
  • Causes normal cells to increase expression of class I MHC molecules as well as class II MHC on antigen-presenting cells.
  • Promotes adhesion and binding required for leukocyte migration
  • Induces the expression of intrinsic defense factors.
  • IFNγ is the primary cytokine that defines Th1 cells: Th1 cells secrete IFNγ, which in turn causes more undifferentiated CD4+ cells (Th0 cells) to differentiate into Th1 cells.

I recommend calming and quieting the immune system so it can respond appropriately when needed.

Low Dose Naltrexone works by stimulating suppression of the immune response. When immune suppression occurs, those using LDN don’t feel the pain and discomfort with their immune system being suppressed. It’s a win/win situation. The patient isn’t feeling any pain and the Doctor isn’t getting asked by the patient isn’t feeling any better.

Low Dose Naltrexone works by Stimulating Suppression of the Immune system.

Parsing the Benefits of LDN

It’s worth mentioning LDN “stimulates” suppression. Proponents will parse it to “LDN works by stimulating an immune response.” Conveniently leaving off the end of the statement. “LDN works by stimulating an immune response to calm down or stop inflammatory immune responses (AKA – suppression).” Technically they are correct. By convention today, there is an agreement to only look at one aspect when publishing medical studies. They publish a study showing LDN works by stimulating a immune response. End of story. They assume those in the know reading this study would understand the consequences of this “stimulation.” However, the average person or Doctor(s)  (Don’t assume Doctors know much about the immune system) doesn’t know or care how it works. They only want to know will it give relief. Consequences be damned.

Fact: Inflammation is an immune response.

In answer to “a common anecdotal report is that people don’t get the common cold as much. Technically, they are correct. But??? They are equating not getting sick to a normal healthy immune system. After seeing the results from the Stimulated Cytokine lab test. I realized the reason they not getting sick is because their immune system is so fatigued or suppressed that no symptoms are generated. They come to my office reporting they feel like crap but they “never get sick”. “How can I be so healthy but feel so bad?”

Those using LDN usually report a blissful period where their inflammation (see fact above) subsides. Usually for a four to six month period; then other components of the immune system become overstimulated without the feedback control from the components that LDN suppressed. They have had half a year for smoldering inflammation doing further damage to their body. The good news is they will not feel it. The bad news is they will now seek help from a Doctor that will recommend immune stimulating supplements. Exacerbating the condition and the damage being done.

Alternative / Functional treatments focus on Stimulating the Immune Response.

Naltrexone Treatment by Immune Stimulation

A possible line of therapy being investigated by the medical community is to reintroduce some of these cytokines to people who have severe immune deficiencies.  This approach can be tricky because large amounts of any particular cytokine can have serious side-effects. This approach fails to recognize fatigued cells that are too exhausted to produce immune cells cause the deficiencies. How is stimulating the immune system beneficial?

The immune system by design provides your body with numerous layers of protection with a multiple backups. The system is set up so that if the responsible system is unable to handle the job and bigger, stronger system is recruited. Thus, if the basic Th1 or Th2 systems are fatigued to respond, the Th17 system is alerted to come in and take care of business.

Naltrexone t cell

Naltrexone Stimulation of the Immune System

Naltrexone treatment increases NK cell cytolytic activity and cytokine production in the spleen. Chronic naltrexone administration enhanced both basal and the cytokine-modulated NK cell cytolytic activity and IFN-γ production.

Naltrexone treatment increased the production of IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, and IL-18 and the basal and cytokine-activated NK cell cytolytic activity and IFN-γ production in the splenocytes. Chronic administration of naltrexone stimulates the production of cytokines and NK cell cytolytic activity in splenocytes. Naltrexone does not block IL-1β.,


Naltrexone Stimulation of NK cells

Natural killer cells are a T cells that share properties of both T cells and natural killer cells. NK cells can also produce many different cytokines as well as chemokines.  T cells are inherently cross-reactive, and this versatility and specificity is a hallmarks of adaptive immunity. T cells are prone to be autoreactive and thus able to induce autoimmunity.  Increasing the NK cell avtivity results in enhanced alloreactivity  and autoimmunity.

IL-2 promotes the differentiation of T cells into effector T cells and into memory T cells when the initial T cell is also stimulated by an antigen.

IL-2 does not specify the type of Th differentiation that occurs; instead, IL-2 modulates expression of receptors for other cytokines and transcription factors, thereby either promoting or inhibiting cytokine cascades that correlate with each Th differentiation state. In this fashion, IL-2 can prime and potentially maintain Th1 and Th2 differentiation as well as expand such populations of cells, whereas it inhibits Th17 differentiation but also can expand Th17 cells.

IL-2 has a narrow therapeutic window, and the level of dosing usually determines the severity of the side effects. Some common side effects:

  • Flu-like symptoms (fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue)
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Dry, itchy skin or rash
  • Weakness or shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Drowsiness or confusion
  • Loss of appetite

More serious and dangerous side effects sometimes are seen with increased IL-2, such as capillary leak syndrome, breathing problems, serious infections, seizures, allergic reactions, heart problems or a variety of other possible complications.

T-cell recognition is essential for protection against microbial pathogens, recognition of self-peptides by T cells that have escaped negative selection in the thymus can lead to autoimmune disease. A disregulated T cell interaction can initiate autoimmunity. Thus, antigen recognition by T cells must be tightly regulated in order to ensure protection against pathogens and tumors, avoiding activation of self-reactive T cells.

NK cell cytolytic activity has been shown to be activated by interferon-γ (IFN-γ), which has a number of opioid-like effects. Various other cytokines are also known to increase NK cell cytolytic activity and lymphocyte proliferation. Of these cytokines, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-12, and IL-18 stimulate NK cell cytolytic activity. Other cytokines like IL-4 and IL-6 are known to regulate NK cell proliferation and differentiation. Cytokines IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-12, and IL-18 have been shown to also affect the function of other immune cell populations in splenocytes.

Alcohol consumption is also known to suppress Lectin-induced production of various cytokines, including IL-2, IL-6, and IL-4 from splenocytes. Initially, Naltrexone therapy counteracts the suppressive effects of alcohol on NK cell cytolytic activity for the first couple of weeks allowing increase production of IL-2, IL-6, and IL-4 from splenocytes.

Naltrexone Stimulation of Chemokines

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist when administered the first couple of weeks, but shows δ-opioid-like activity following chronic long-term administration. With constant use naltrexone selectively promotes the δ-opioid receptor activity and enhances NK cell cytolytic activity response to β-endorphin. Naltrexone disrupts the feedback control that results in enhanced NK cell cytolytic response.

Bone broth cytokinesThe chemokines, macrophage inflammatory protein-1 (MIP-1) and its subunit MIP-1 beta, induce an intense fever. The central action on body temperature (Tb) of MIP-1 beta with that of interleukin-6 (IL-6), has been implicated in the mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of fever along with etiocholanolone. This is potentiated by the presence of lipopolysaccharide.

Naltrexone increases in neutrophil-associated myeloperoxidase activity and chemokine mRNA expression, including macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha (MIP-1α) and -2 (MIP-2).

LDN could enhance both morphological and functional maturation of bone marrow dendritic cells (BMDCs). Their main function is to process antigen material and present it to the cell surface to the T cells of the immune system. They act as messengers between the innate and the adaptive immune systems. LDN markedly up-regulates expression of key surface molecules, which will trigger a chain of cell mediated responses. In addition to this, LDN also markedly upregulate production of cytokines IL-12 and TNF-α, which will trigger Th1 cell response.

Dendritic cells are present in those tissues that are in contact with the external environment, such as the skin (where there is a specialized dendritic cell type called the Langerhans cell) and the inner lining of the nose, lungs, stomach and intestines. They can also be found in an immature state in the blood. Once activated, they migrate to the lymph nodes where they interact with T cells and B cells to initiate and shape the adaptive immune response.

Interleukin (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), IL-3, and IL-6 collaborate with GM-CSF. β-endorphin increased the number of macrophage colonies when bone marrow cells were cultured in the presence of GM-CSF plus lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Naloxone and Naltrexone, an antagonist of endorphins for opioid-receptors, completely abolishes the effect of β-endorphin. Both Naloxone and Naltrexone stimulates suppression of the production of GM-CSF.

Naltrexone Stimulates Suppression of Cytokines

Naltrexone and naloxone stimulates suppression of microglia activation, reduces the production of re- active oxygen species and other potentially neuroexcitatory and neurotoxic chemicals.

Naltrexone causes a significant decrease of IL-12 and IL-10 production by macrophages. With chronic dosages, IL-12 remaines significantly suppressed. As for IL-10, naltrexone seems to partially prevent the IL-10 reduction. Naltrexone significantly inhibited the production of TNF-alpha induced by LPS.

Naltrexone Stimulates Suppression of Chemokines

The anti-inflammatory effect of opioid antagonists naltrexone and naloxone also extend to the periphery, as evidenced by stimulates suppression of TNF-alpha, MCP-1, and other inflammatory agents in peripheral macrophages.

Stimulated Cytokine Testing on LDN Patient

The lab results shown below are from a woman using Naltrexone therapy. Despite feeling better on the Autoimmune protocol recommended to her, she stopped doing the Autoimmune protocol after deciding to start Naltrexone.

After starting the Naltrexone, things changed drastically. A lot of the old symptoms reappeared and some got worse. She was experiencing severe pain on right side of body from neck and shoulder down to her hip and ankle. Her low back was really bad, and she could hardly walk being constantly achy and sore. She could not get out of bed, and had diarrhea a couple of times a week. When she gets a flair up – it can occur for no reason and they are lasting longer. Unfortunately, she failed to mention the LDN therapy.

Naltrexone Induced Ischemia

Ischemia is a restriction in blood supply to tissues causing a shortage of oxygen and glucose needed for cellular metabolism (to keep tissue alive). Ischemia is generally caused by problems with blood vessels, with resultant damage to or dysfunction of tissue.

Neurons that demonstrate particular vulnerability to ischemic challenges have been termed “selectively vulnerable neurons”.  Of the entire brain, the neurons of the hippocampus are the most vulnerable.

This would result in problems with endocrine system, (thyroid, hormone, adrenal) as the blood-brain-barrier would be further compromised as a results of compromised (ischemic) blood flow to the pituitary, hypothalamus and hippocampus.

Exogenous ligands, i.e. naltrexone, that activate the δ receptors mimic the phenomenon known as ischemic preconditioning. Ischemia preconditioning/hypoxia preconditioning (IPC/HPC) is a phenomenon whereby brief ischemia/hypoxia “preconditions” cells and increases cellular resistance against subsequent lethal ischemia/hypoxia injury. Short periods of transient ischemia are induced the downstream tissues are robustly protected. This serves as a protective mechanism to restrict blood flow around an inflamed area of the body to prevent inflammation or microbes from spreading throughout the body. It is intended for short periods until the immune system is able to control the situation. If longer-duration interruption of the blood supply is then effected, ischemic damage from the lack of oxygen, glucose and elimination of cellular waste products occurs. Naltrexone and naloxone with δ activity mimic this effect.

Naltrexone Reduces Liver Enzymes

Naltrexone significantly reduces the elevation of serum glutamate-oxalacetate transaminase (SGOT) and glutamate-pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) (as index of hepatic function) induced by LPS.

Is LDN right for you?

The comments and posts you are reading saying how good they feel is because their immune status matches how LDN supports their imbalanced cytokines and chemokines. LDN works only for those with the correct immune status that Naltrexone or Naloxone supports.

If you do not match that cytokine or chemokine profile. LDN will only increase the damage and further disrupt your body’s ability to control the immune system. If you are using LDN and not satisfied with the way you are feeling. It is probably not right for you.

It is possible to get the immune system back under control. It is not a quick process but steady progress is experienced giving you the faith and confidence you need to know you did the right thing. One should never guess when it come to the immune system. Call today to have your Stimulated Cytokines and NEI Supersystem tested.

Are Edible Enemies contributing to poor health and inflammation? Lectins cause a plethora of damage to the body, promoting chronic inflammation and sensitivity. Take the Edible Enemy Quiz to test your knowledge on lectins.

Use the Lectin Control Formula to reduce the inflammatory response that occurs due to lectin consumption. Take two capsules with each meal.

Use Registration Code: DP283 to get access to the Doctor’s Supplements Store.

Get your “Autoimmune Diet Lectin Avoidance Guidelines” eBook

Click on this image to get your Autoimmune Diet Lectin Avoidance Guidelines eBook.

126 thoughts on “Is Low Dose Naltrexone (#ldn) Stimulating Autoimmunity?

  1. Hi David,
    Fascinating stuff. I have theorized the the low dose naltrexone functions as a means to limit endorphins (natural opioid type substances) and function as a negative feedback system to increase endorphin production and help with pain and joint healing. From your research is there any feasibility in this consideration?

    • In short, Low dose Naltrexone induces a negative feedback in other words – an Iatrogenic Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (iAIDS). This does not suppress cytokines or chemokines while allowing the inflammation and damage to continue silently. The only tool the Medical community has is immune suppression. The Alternative and Function community recommend immune stimulation. I recommend quieting the immune system through supplements for the un-regulated Neuro-Endo-Immune Supersystem components.
      This was confusing until I applied Major’s 1930s publications on Vasomotor control and the NEI Supersystem.

      • Hello, nice to meet you; with all due respect, I would like you to attach the data source of the concepts you’ve commented on this page. I was trying to find them in PubMed, for example, and I do not see anything that you mention, including the issue of naltrexone inducing ischemia. Perhaps it’s still unclear the right dose to prevent the development of cancer stimulated by naltrexone, a possible terrible side effect, an issue to consider. Your concepts are theoretically interesting, but it’s essential to have a solid proof behind your statements, if not, they are minor compared with the results of Dr. Zagon with their experiments or Dr. Bihari, with their patients.
        I’d like to keep in touch with you and discuss, if you want, other topics related to health. I like your vision.

        Best regards
        Dr. Fridman

      • Hello Dr. Fridman, All of my blogs post are referenced to the point where I can defend them should they be questioned. In my early blogging, I did post the references supporting the post. Then I found the posts, graphics and references were being used by others without giving credit. The references will be a part of an instructional series I am currently writing. Dr. Dave

      • I had very bad experience with LDN. Started on it as a trial before giving it to autistic daughter. After a month since didn’t see any adverse effects I started it to my daughter as well.
        Within two months we both had such stimulated immune system, health just plummeted.
        This was in 2012. Still gastritis flares up with lots of substances. Asthma increased, caught every illness. Thyroid dysfunction. Still reeling from the effects in 2017.

      • Hi Kylie,
        I am sorry to learn of your LDN experience. They make it sound so wonderful. Your experience is not isolated.

        The immune system has a memory. Drugs like LDN or Methotrexate alter the control of the immune system memory. So instead of be Peaceful Warrior with a certain lifespan, immune cells become zombies that don’t die. Thus the constant immune over-stimulation. There is hope to get this reversed.

        It required rebalancing the NEI Supersystem. I would recommend specific lab tests depending on how your system is behaving. Then from the results, specific supplementation could be used to get your system reset. Give me a call 530-615-4083 or email me at

        Dr. Dave

      • Dr. Peterson,

        Hello. I have started LDN last week for my ankylosing spondilytis and my health improved in a week. After reading your article, I stopped using it and some of my pain and inflammation came back. Would you recommend to take it again? You recommend taking supplements to regulate the immune system. Can you tell which one? and Where to get them? Thank you very much. Regards. Bertrand

      • Hi Bertrand,
        It depends on if you have real ankylosing spondylitis or someone needed a name for your back pain. I recently had someone diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis because they had Klebsiella in a stool test. That is definitely NOT ankylosing spondylitis. I’ve recently been looking at epidural varices as a source of back pain. This would be congruent with Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome (MODS).

        As I’m writing this, I let the frying pan get too hot. It set off the annoying Smoke Alarm, so I took out the batteries. The annoying alarm (pain and inflammation) stopped. But the smoke hadn’t cleared when I put the batteries back in. Guess what, The annoying alarm (pain and inflammation) started back up. Do I take the chance and take the batteries back out?

        LDN works by suppressing the immune system. Eventually, to quote, Dr. Ian Malcolm of Jurassic Park: … the kind of control you’re attempting simply is… it’s not possible. If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life (the immune system) will not be contained. Life (the immune system) breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is.

        There is not a one size fits all regimen. I don’t know your unique circumstances, so I can not say which would be best for you. You can contact my office, where we can design a program specific to your needs.

  2. Pingback: What is the NEI Supersystem? | Living Wellness

  3. i found your article very confusing to read until i got to the end where you seemed to be saying that ‘the woman’ was hurt by taking ldn…but how could you have known it was the ldn that hurt her since she stopped her AIP diet just before starting ldn?

    if you have valid concerns about the safety of ldn, please write at least part of the piece in language that a lay person can understand. as for the scientific language, if you want that to be seen as credible, you HAVE to provide valid sources. saying that you have it as part of another post…or that it will be forthcoming with an instructional series you’re currently writing makes you look discreditable.

    since a year has passed since you originally wrote this, i wonder if you still stand by this. have you read the new ldn book that came out in february? published by chelsea green. the ldn book.

    • Of course this article was confusing because it was not the typical pro-LDN info posted on the internet.
      I wrote this with out any agenda or preconceived notion following the social media meme. I wrote this after looking at both sides of the LDN scientific literature plus Stimulated Cytokine and NEI Supersystem lab tests.
      I would have to ask if Chelsea Green has read my article. I would also have to ask if she has done any of the lab testing mentioned above. You can prove anything with science as long as you do not quote too much of it.

      • Dr. Peterson,
        Wanted to let you know that Chelsea Green is not a person — this is the name of the publishing co.
        You might find “The LDN Book” very interesting, as it is not (in my opinion) written as much for the layperson, more for scientists, and dr.s who are studying LDN for various ailments. (There are 30 pages of footnotes at the end of the book). The various sections are written by many doctors and/or researchers based on their own studies and experience in the use of low-dose naltrexone.
        As a layperson, I can only say that LDN is the only thing that has ended my long-term agonizing arthritic pain (e.g. inflammation). I don’t know why it works, only that it does in my case.

  4. I found your article very difficult to follow. I confess that it is partly because I lack your scientific training. However your title says it is about LDN and yet you often refer to Naltrexone which generally refers to the full dose of 50mg. This seems to be confirmed by your at times mentioning Naloxone side by side. 50mg and LDN have very different effects and it’s hard to see the point of switching back and forth in your article.

    I agree that without footnotes your article is basically a series of opinions with no backing and it would require the reader to research each point. References are standard practice in scientific writing and it’s odd that they produced a problem for you.

    I’m sorry that these issues have clouded for me what might have been an interesting article. It is certainly true based on my experience that LDN benefits some people a lot, some just enough to be worth taking and others do not benefit. We do need to understand why that is and I hope you will consider re-working the article and backing up your statements.

    • As you wrote, “LDN benefits some people a lot, some just enough to be worth taking and others do not benefit.” What defines ‘benefits’.
      I have to chuckle at the splitting of hairs in your comments. I refer to the effects of “Naloxone and Naltrexone” in the post because I have had patients doing both. The point is they induce an Iatrogenic Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (iAIDS). Suppress the immune system – Suppress the symptoms and woohoo! People claim they feel better. Really? If an acquired immune deficiency would make those with AIDS the healthiest people alive.
      It wouldn’t surprise me to see someone take this to the next level like those inoculating themselves with parasites or fecal transplants. Why not suppress the immune system naturally by swapping spit with someone with AIDS since suppressing the immune system is such a good thing.
      Why do some people feel worse? Because the Naltrexone suppresses the part of the immune system, leaving other parts unchecked.
      A lot of time was put into this. How would you propose I re-work this. Maybe by parroting all the proponents of LDN? It seems people want a Doctor that is an independent thinker as long as they think like everybody else. How dare I come up with my own opinion. You can buy my book when it is published for the references.

      • OK please just clarify what dosage or range of dosage of Naltrexone you were using. I have never heard of using Naloxone in a low dose like LDN which is why I wondered if you were using 50mg Naltrexone.

      • I’m not using or recommending Naltrexone or Naloxone. Unfortunately, many patients have drank the koolaid and are using these drugs. You can dance around this six ways from Sunday. But the bottom line is that these drugs work by inducing an iatrogenic Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (iAIDS). The same as cortisone shots. I drank the “progesterone koolaid” years ago screwing up my health. Read a book by Dr. Lee. Said it was good for men too. Fell into the Autoimmune Pitfalls listed in my autoimmune course.

  5. Thank you for your response and I apologize for saying you were using Naltrexone and Naloxone. My question should have been “please just clarify what dosage or range of dosage of Naltrexone you are talking about in your article. I have never heard of using Naloxone in a low dose like LDN which is why I wondered if you were talking about 50mg Naltrexone.”

    • Only aficionados of drugs would know the proper vernacular. When people say they are taking “armour” or “lipitor” there is no hidden meaning of dosage. Drugs work through certain mechanisms regardless of the dosages. These mechanisms cause an effect in the body. These effects are more pronounced in high dosages and less pronounced in low dosages. Regardless of the dosage, the mechanisms are the same. We have been taught to call adverse effects of drugs – “Side Effects”. However, there is no such thing as “Side Effects” There are only desired and undesired effects. Many drugs are misused by playing around with the dosages. My post was discussing the mechanisms of the Naltrexone. Not the dosages.

      • I thought it was somewhat common knowledge in medicine research circles that some drugs, like naltrexone, have different effects and different doses. That is the whole basis of ldn, that full dose 50mg naltrexone increases cancer, suppresses immune system, while ldn decreases cancer risk, balances or activates immune system. But your responses “drugs work through certain mechanisms regardless of doses” to me seems to simplify the benefits of ldn.

        I want to follow this article but without links to papers ans with only a laymens understanding of the issues, i cant help but be suspicious. For one thing, chiropractor, enough said, another, you are obviously biased towards pushing your treatment services and protocols. But i also am slightly intrigued, more annoyed, i have to research specifically every claim you have made, i have a feeling there will be some holes. I cant come to grips that a chiropractor may have uncovered something that dozens of studies and all of those doctors, resesrchers involved, have overlooked.

        Anyways ive been on ldn for almost a year as a more sustainable alternative to opiate pain meds. Within weeks of starting i felt a significant improvement in quality of life due to less pain, and thinking it would reduce cancer risk was nice. Your article tells me its giving me AIDS. Maybe you are a genius but your lack of sources and your style of responses makes me suspicious. Its been a few years, is the book out?

      • The post was written because so many patients are coming to me reporting that they have gotten worse after taking LDN. As long as you stay on the Big Pharma and Big Suppla sites promoting LDN, you will never find the full story behind LDN. I screwed up my health by blindly following Big Pharma and Big Suppla recommendations. Now, I always look for the dark side.
        I find it curious that you have been on LDN and claim to be doing well on it. Why would you be searching for the effects of LDN usage when you are seeing so-called improvement. I question if you are doing as well as you claim or you are starting to see the writing on my post occuring in you.

      • I owe you an apology for making an underhanded comment about your title like that, I was simply annoyed about something else. I appreciate the info here and will take my own time into researching it more. I admit I am somewhat used to being spoon fed references and full explanations.

      • Thank you for the apology. The stereotypical Chiropractor would never have written a post like this. They would have done a copy and paste post repeating the information on all the Professional and Social Media Influencers. They would never dare to say the emperor has no clothes.
        Dr. Dave

  6. Excuse my bluntness David Peterson, but it’s my observation that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about concerning the mechanism of LDN – Low Dose Naltrexone.
    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and so are articles like this one that are filled with misinformation!
    What a detriment this could be to many patients who need to know there is an alternative out there for them.
    If you asked me the question: “How would you propose I re-work this.” My reply would be: Don’t! Just deposit it in the trash where it belongs!
    I don’t see that happening with this comment from you: “You can buy my book when it is published for the references.” No thanks – I’ll pass!
    Information from Medical Experts WITH references – It’s a BOOK – not a person!

    • page from Pradeep Chopra, MD pdf One should read the pages used to support their position.
      “LDN blocks release of proinflammatory cytokines including Interleukins IL6 and IL12, TNFα, NF-ĸB.” Blocking release of pro-inflammatory cytokines would suppress the immune response. The kicker is that chronic use of “LDN” has the reverse effect. Most patients coming to my office are chronic users wondering why it isn’t working anymore. They exhausted from looking for something else to blame because it couldn’t be the LDN. Combine it with bone broth stimulating TH17 and they are a mess.
      “Shift of immune response from TH2 to TH1” Th1-type cytokines tend to produce the proinflammatory responses responsible for killing microbes, intracellular parasites and for perpetuating autoimmune responses.

      No mention what so ever of TH17 by Dr. Chopra. No mention of how bacterial toxins from bacteria like staph are impervious to the effects of LDN. Oh by the way Brian, Dr. Chopra does not use the preferred designation of LDN and mentions Naloxone. Yes, Phyllis a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. If you are reading articles on the immune system and they are not mentioning TH17 in the mix, look for another article.

  7. Hello,

    Interesting article, although very confusing and without supporting citations. And no, it’s not because it ia not a pro-LDN article. It’s just very poorly written.

    “Blocking release of pro-inflammatory cytokines would suppress the immune response. The kicker is that chronic use of “LDN” has the reverse effect.” Any reference to this statement?

    You seem quite confused. First you say it stimulates immune system, then you say it suppresses it. Then you say it first stimulates, then suppresses. There’s no basis for any of those claims.

    There’s some evidence that it enhances immune system in HIV patients

    In the end, i think it’s way more complicated than you think.
    Blocking release of proinflammatory cytokines does not necessarily mean it suppresses immune system, and it certainly is not the case with LDN since we see lower infection rates in HIV patients.

    I would be really interested to read your ideas in a new, well referenced and backed up article, without statements out of nowhere.

  8. Thank you – I found this a really interesting article. Am I right then that people with auto-immune illnesses should not supplement with either LDN or DHEA? I have celiac disease but also late stage Lyme, so it is very difficult to know how best to try to balance things. I find a very small dose of DHEA tremendously helpful and develop joint pains quite severely if I stop taking it. I had been considering LDN but am now not entirely clear whether it is likely to help or hinder an over-active Th17 response. Best wishes, Carolyn

    • If you are feeling better with DHEA, I have to ask why. To understand this, it requires understanding the complete hormone picture. Unlike the current memes in healthcare where hormones and the immune system are compartmentalized and individualized. DHEA stands alone in their view. The immune system is viewed in terms of Th1 and Th2. When I view hormones, the immune system and neurotransmitter, I do so through the lens of the Neuro-Endo-Immune Supersystem. Knowing no part of the body can be understood separate from the whole. I started off in the low DHEA meme. Then I looked at a hormone chart. What are these other hormones? We don’t look at them because the author of the course doesn’t. It’s not advised to stray from the cliche, because if it was important the author would have covered it.
      DHEA converts into either a pro-inflammatory hormone or androgens which are immunosuppressive. The pro-inflammatory hormone stimulates Th1/Th17 pathways. Since you feel better with this, I would suspect a Th2 dominance. The only way to know your immune status is to do a Stimulated Cytokine panel. Test don’t guess.
      The Lyme Disease diagnosis has become a catchall diagnosis. I would say you are suffering from Cytokine-Induced Sickness Disease. Read this article for more information. Please contact my office for more information. Dr. Dave

      • Thank you very much for your response, which is really interesting. I am in the UK. Is it possible to do the Stimulated Cytokine Panel test from the UK please? Best wishes, Carolyn

      • Lyme Disease is a real disease with proofs (PCR blood tests actually find the DNA of the spirochetes, “Doctor” Dave). Telling people who have demonstrable, provable blood work that they don’t have it is IRRESPONSIBLE. It won’t sell books or supplements. Just wow.

      • Dear Liza,
        You are absolutely correct. Lyme Disease is real. However, too many Doctors are diagnosing everything as “Lyme Disease”. I see that every week in my office. New patients coming in diagnosed with so called Lyme Disease. Never had a tick bite or bulls eye rash. Of course it is excused away as – well you may have never known you were bitten.

        At no time did I say they are not experiencing symptoms. Taking a few symptoms that are common in all conditions and extrapolating them to ALL be “Lyme Disease” is gross negligence. Most Doctors follow the Personality, NOT the information. They blindly follow the crowd like lemmings. I follow the information. For example: authority figures claim the vagus nerve controls organ function. I asked how can a nerve that is ninety (90%) sensory control all organ function. I get stammering and yammering for answers. Same response for when I ask why the woman with the positive Measles, Mumps and Rubella tests does not have active Measles, Mumps and Rubella simultaneously. But someone with a negative or equivocal Lyme test has Lyme Disease.

        I think it is IRRESPONSIBLE to Diagnose everyone in desperate need of help with Lyme Disease. I follow the information and do not make it what every the popular social media diagnosis du jour is.

        Antibodies test indicate previous exposure. Not an active attack. Please review the Measles, Mumps and Rubella graphics and apply the same standards as the Lyme antibody test. In doing so you would have to diagnose the woman’s positive test for Measles, Mumps and Rubella as having active Measles, Mumps and Rubella.

        There are millions of bacteria in the body. PCR testing is going to find them. Pathogenic bacteria that cause deadly diseases can also be found, i.e. Clostridia botulinum. That does not mean they have the deadly disease.

        You are blinded by the Lyme iluninati. Wow!

  9. hello, is it possible that naltrexone at 50mg doses, can cause permanent receptor blockage? or permanent brain damage? im very worried at what it may have done to me, thanks for any help

    • I’ve always question about the receptor blockage whether it is permanent or temporary. Temporary is not the usual, it’ll go away in a couple of weeks. It’s more a matter years because of the immune memory cells. They have a minimum of a two year lifespan. Certain bacteria have the ability to make them immortal.
      Think how sensitive the immune system is. Those with peanut allergies have only to touch a peanut to have a reaction. We don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to immune system modulation as is the case with LDN. Yes, most do feel better initially on LDN. It usually take about three to six months for the persons immune system to adjust to the modulation. Then because it was artificially chemically altered; all the feedback controls are obliterated. The only way to know what your immune system is doing is to do a Stimulated Cytokine Profile and Neurotransmitter lab test.

      • this scares me, let me explain my issue. i used naltrexone 50mg’s for a few weeks because of my pain pill addiction. during this time i was having ongoing steroid (prednisone) treatment for Autoimmune hepatitis – liver desease. once i stopped the naltrexone i noticed prednisone stopped working! im worried naltrexone has permanently damaged me or boosted my immune system and no treatment will work and ill need a liver transplant? what if i do, and no pain meds work? i will be in agony!

      • thank you,i understand you cant recommend anything, however i have seen doctors who have told me it cannot permanently blockade. even so, if i had to have pain relief are there alternatives to opiates in hospital? many thanks

  10. I have no actual diagnosis..had the “usual suspects” ruled out by numerous GP’s so was left to self diagnose main symptom being mostly morning exhaustion and exercise intolerance. Used LDN for six months with great results, then slowly started sliding back to almost pre LDN currently. Stopped LDN altogether about 4 weeks ago. No worse or better. How does one know what condition one has if GP’s just say “exercise more “etc?..I now am again pre diabetic and hypertensive because I cannot exercise enough.

    • Rhonda, The first thins is to stop chasing for the Savior Diagnosis. Secondly, “pre-diabetic” is insulin resistance and is very reversible. The “pre-diabetic” meme is conditioning your mind to accept their cash cow diagnosis, making you a life-long source of revenue. Plus, they get to up-sell you to addition conditions, which you have already been conditioned to accept. The same goes for the hypertensive, which just happens to occur with the “insulin resistance”.
      The reason you cannot exercise is because your red blood cells get sticky with “insulin resistance” making them unable to deliver oxygen to your muscles. Watch this video:

    • Rhonda, Unfortunately the LDN is a Milgram’s Law treatment.
      Milligram’s Law * The Market place will blindly believe the words of an expert even if it is detrimental to themselves. I have personal experience with this as you can see on my website.
      As stated in the blog post. You felt better because it suppressed your immune system. To paraphrase Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jurassic Park): Rhonda, the kind of control LDN proponents are attempting simply is… it’s not possible. If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that the immune system will not be contained. The immune system breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is.
      LDN crashed your immune system. The only way to know how is through a Stimulated Cytokine and Neurotransmitter test.
      Call my office for more information. Dr. Dave

  11. Dr. Peterson, I actually appreciate your dissenting opinion. My question is… if LDN is in fact immune suppression, then why do a lot of people report increased resistance to infection? For instance, a common anecdotal report is that people don’t get the common cold as much.

    My impression of the anecdotal reporting is that people have bad reactions to LDN when it triggers an up-regulated attack against latent pathogens, like EBV or parasitic infections.

    What makes me consider what you’re proposing is that almost all people with auto-immune have relapses as soon as they stop the LDN protocol. If it were truly up-regulatory and modulatory, you’d think that it would create a lasting benefit, rather than a drug dependency. For this reason I am not overly worried about permanently altering the immune system with LDN. Its effects seem transitory. Even a period of increased emotional stress can impede its usefulness.

    • I recommend calming and quieting the immune system so it can respond appropriately when needed. When that occurs they don’t feel the pain and discomfort with their immune system under control. It’s a win / win situation. It is possible to get the immune system back under control. It is not a quick process but steady progress is experienced giving you the faith and confidence you need to know you did the right thing.

      It’s worth mentioning LDN “stimulates” suppression. Proponents will parse it to “LDN works by stimulating an immune response.” Conveniently leaving off the end of the statement. “LDN works by stimulating an immune response to calm down or stop (AKA – suppression).” Technically they are correct. By convention today, there is an agreement to only look at one aspect when publishing medical studies. They publish a study showing LDN works by stimulating a immune response. End of story. They assume those in the know reading this study would understand the consequences of this “stimulation.” However, the average person or Doctor (Don’t assume Doctors know much about the immune system) on the street doesn’t know or care how it works. They only want to know will it give relief. Consequences be damned.

      Fact: Inflammation is an immune response.

      In answer to “a common anecdotal report is that people don’t get the common cold as much.” You are equating not getting sick to a normal healthy immune system. After seeing the results from the Stimulated Cytokine lab test. I realized the reason they not getting sick is because their immune system is so fatigued or suppressed that no symptoms are generated. They come to my office reporting they feel like crap but they “never get sick”. “How can I be so healthy but feel so bad.”

      Those using LDN usually report a blissful period where their inflammation (see fact above) subsides. Usually for a four to six month period; then other components of the immune system become overstimulated without the feedback control from the components the LDN suppressed. They have had half a year for smoldering inflammation to further damage their body. The good news is they will not feel it. The bad news is they will now seek help from a Doctor that will recommend immune stimulating supplements. Exacerbating the condition and the damage being done.

      Naltrexone Stimulates Suppression of Cytokines

      Naltrexone and naloxone stimulates suppression of microglia activation, reduces the production of re- active oxygen species and other potentially neuroexcitatory and neurotoxic chemicals.

      Naltrexone causes a significant decrease of IL-12 and IL-10 production by macrophages. With chronic dosages, IL-12 remaines significantly suppressed. As for IL-10, naltrexone seems to partially prevent the IL-10 reduction. Naltrexone significantly inhibited the production of TNF-alpha induced by LPS.

      Naltrexone Stimulates Suppression of Chemokines

      The anti-inflammatory effect of opioid antagonists naltrexone and naloxone also extend to the periphery, as evidenced by stimulates suppression of TNF-alpha, MCP-1, and other inflammatory agents in peripheral macrophages.

      • Dr Peterson,
        I’m taking LDN for pain. I was given Cipro for a bacteria infection a year ago. The Ciproflaxon caused me to have severe Neroplacey in the feet, so bad I couldn’t walk without severe stabbing pain to the bottoms and tops of my feet, imbalance when Id get up many times falling. Since being put on LDN the pain went away after the first 6 weeks of use, cleared my brain fog and I can walk and work in my massive garden. I have what I call flare ups. The flare ups can last anywhere from a day to two weeks, I realise they happen when I eat glutin or to much sugar.

      • Hi Barbara,
        Was it ever considered that you experienced Oxygen Deprivation Neuropathy?
        The antibiotic damaged the blood cells and vascular system so much so that by the time the Red Blood Cells get the distant parts of the body there is no oxygen available for delivery.

        Of course, you noticed a difference in the pain after the LDN. Just like the other night, I let a pan get too hot and it started smoking, setting off the smoke detector. What did I do? Took the battery out of the smoke detector. No more annoying painful sound. Unfortunately, it didn’t clear the smoke out. Which is how LDN works.

        Flare ups are your immune system trying to compensate for the suppression. Like when I put the battery back in the smoke detector, it was chirping. There is a way to reset and restore the immune system without suppressing it. We do need a properly functioning immune system for health. Contact my office for more information.

  12. Hi Dr. Peterson,
    I have had Hashimotos for 20 years. My TPO antibodies have never been higher than 79 thruout this auto-immune journey. Thru diet and awareness I was able to bring my antibodies down to 16…. And then, 14 months ago, I started seeing a naturopathic doctor who thought I would benefit from LDN. Over the course of the past 13 months, my antibodies have climbed up to 250. My naturopath doesn’t think the LDN has anything to do with the increased antibodies, but LDN is the only thing I’ve done differently at this point…. Oh — and she has me taking Progesterone as well. Any thoughts? (I need to add that I have felt absolutely no different on LDN… no improvement in symptoms. She tested my Killer Cell activity 13 months ago and then again two weeks ago. The numbers are the same!)
    I also have Rosacea… and before I completely write off LDN as being potentially problematic, I have noticed that my skin is improved…
    Thank you for your article…. it’s the first I’ve read that maybe LDN is hurting rather than helping…
    Best, Sharon

    • Hi Sharon,
      As you read in my LDN article; LDN work by “stimulating a part of the immune system” to suppress other parts of the immune system. The part it stimulates is the part associated with antibody production. Thus the increase in antibody production. Rosacea may be improved but underlying that one has to ask what is the state of your immune system. A low grade smoldering response throughout your body.
      As to the progesterone. This is how I screwed my health. I assumed like your Naturopath that progesterone stays as progesterone. Assuming the body would get rid of whatever it does not need. It doesn’t. It converts to some downstream hormone further upsetting the feed-back control of entire hormone system.

  13. hi Dr Peterson, Your article is AMAZING!, and way beyond my ability to fully comprehend. I have an immune deficiency, so by default I am th2 low. I also have been taking ldn for years, but just recently began to wonder if I am benefiting from it or not. What I don’t want to do is stimulate th1 since I’m already high due to the immune deficiency. I know in some cases, ldn works wonders. I give it to my 20 year old cat for irritable bowel and he has no symptoms when I have him on it. In my case, I wonder if it is what has kicked me into lupus with lots of difficult symptoms. Many health care people don’t understand fully how ldn works. Hopefully one day that will change, but until then lay people/patients have to figure things out for themselves. Am I correct in interpreting your article that ldn does cause a shift from th2 to th1? If that’s the case, I am making things worse by taking it.
    I really need to boost my th2 instead. Thanks for the depth of your article. I appreciate it so much.

    • Hi Anna, Thanks for commenting. However, it is a gross error to focus only on Th1 and Th2 as well as assuming you have an immune deficiency. You should read my post: Am I Th1, Th2 or Th17?
      Your immune system can be fatigued but still respond inappropriately when exposed to lectins or bacterial LPS. By doing LDN you are inadvertently stimulating Th17 and that is bad. Bad because Th17 takes no prisoners.
      Naming diseases is like the old game show, “Name that Tune”. If the only answers one has is Elvis, Elton John or Foghat. Eventually, you will hit on a correct answer.
      My answer is Cytokine-Induced Sickness. Never, ever, ever stimulate the immune system. You really should read the “Am I Th1, Th2 or Th17” post.
      Dr. Dave

      • So nice of you to reply! After I posted my question, I saw your other articles. Some of them go beyond my comprehension, but what I did understand is never stimulate the immune system but focus on ‘calming it’, and supporting my t cells and inhibitory cytokines and neurotransmitters. I have not eaten sugars, simple carbs and lectins for several years. Not sure about the bacterial LPS. I will read up on that. It’s my desire and goal to have a consultation with you one of these days, but until then I will study your posts and do my best to take of myself. Thanks so much.

      • BTW, I don’t assume that I have an immune deficiency, I was diagnosed with CVID using the titer response to a vaccination. Unless the doctors are all wrong on this, which is a possibility, then I most likely do have an immune deficiency. I get sub q infusions weekly of immunoglobulin.

      • I was one of five Doctors across the country that was given carte’ blanc lab testing. I ran a lot of stimulated cytokine tests. It gave me a totally different perspective on the immune system.

        Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is a disorder that involves the following:
        – Low levels of most or all of the immunoglobulin (Ig) classes. (There entirely too much focus on immunoglobulins. Th17 does not need immunoglobulins to provoke an immune response.)
        – Lack of B lymphocytes or plasma cells that are capable of producing antibodies. (The Question should be “Why is there a lack of B lymphocytes producing antibodies?” Bacteria are known to hijack immune cells altering their behavior and ability to produce immunoglobulins. So, will IV immunoglobulins know how to respond appropriately?)
        – Frequent bacterial infections. (See note above. Bacterial LPS provoke inflammatory responses.)
        – A diagnosis of CVID is reserved for persons with an “undefined” B-cell dysfunction.

        Variable is the key word with immunodeficiency. It is “deficiency” as in – an inability to respond appropriately. Not a deficiency as in – lack thereof. Variable means the immune system can respond aggressively or collapse when exposed to different stimuli. If it was a immunodeficiency without variability, there would be no need for “variable” in the name.

  14. I saw you mention in the comments that bone broth stimulates Th17. Does this mean bone broth is harmful for Hashimoto’s?

    I am in the AIP diet and am now further removing remaining lectins, after reading your research. Will that help to calm and quiet the immune system?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Jen,

      If you have an Autoimmune condition, for example Hashimoto’s, it is an uncontrolled immune response. Stimulatory immune messengers concentrated in bone broth provokes an immune response, which in Autoimmunity is uncontrolled. Th17 is responsible for organ rejection, miscarriages and massive tissue damage. Does that sound like something that should be stimulated? Did you know Immune cells produce TSH? Read More

      Avoiding the lectins will help stop the provocation of an immune response. Did you know Th17 does not need antibodies for food or otherwise to be stimulated. Lectins provoke a direct inflammatory response from Th17.

      The next thing to do is to stop treating the thyroid like it is the only organ in the body. More often than not. “Thyroid” symptoms are due to dysfunction somewhere else in the body. But thyroid gets all the blame, making it impossible to reverse. Because the wrong thing is being treated. Read More

      Contact my office if you want more information.
      Dr. Dave

  15. Interesting read. Unfortunately credibility is diminished due to lack of sources.
    Would you please post your sources. You make a lot of claims that go against a body of peer reviewed literature on LDN. It would be much more credible to see the science upon which your claims are founded.

    • Hi Robin,
      Previously, I posted the references in my posts. The articles with references were plagiarized by some self-professed experts that focus more time on getting more likes to their social media than doing the actual research. For some, there could never be enough references. Because of this I made the decision to not include the references. They will be available in the book I am writing.
      Dr. Dave

      • Not publishing references because you hink other people will plagiarize the referenced articles is not a valid reason. It’s not logical, actually. You can’t control whether people plagiarize your ideas presented here! So why would you care more about other people’s work than yours? In fact, I assert, you care less about other people’s work. Because if the ideas that went into this blog came from other people’s published work, referencing their work here would be RESPECTFUL. Leaving it off insinuates one of two circumstances: either the references don’t exist (aka, the ideas presented are yours, based on opinion alone and without any scientific basis) or you are using other people’s material without properly cutting them (also known as — wait for it — plagiarism!).

      • Dear Liza,

        The information is readily available if one looks for it. But it is time consuming. It is so much easier for those that have time to write multiple comments to demand the information, than to do it themselves. But wait for it! They can’t. It would destroy their sickness based persona they have worked too hard to develop.

        Instead they demand the references so they – themselves can plagiarize the information. I find this too frequently, especially with the graphics I produce.

  16. The best explanation in a simplified
    version of the workings of the immune
    system that I have read, and a great explanation of LDN and how it
    works! Thanks so much for sharing.
    I’m going to give my doctor a copy of your article.
    Sincerely, Anna Burns

  17. So Full dose Naltrexone – 50mg’s has somehow permanently blocked my receptors for life! how has this happened? everyone, doctors, addiction specialists are all telling me its not possible. i have searched the internet and no one has reported this?! how am i the only person in possibly existence that this has happened to? thank you in advance for your thoughts

    • Hi Blaine, I doubt it is permanent but it will not be a quick fix. It will take a good amount of time for your system to reset. Providing you do not do anything else to upset the feedback controls. The body will always seek to repair itself. It is our interventions such as LDN that change the course of healing.
      Dr. Dave

  18. My Dr put me in this for chronic inflammation
    I have MS and Hashimotos
    My thyroid went from 0.6 to 3.4 in a 2 month leriod my reverse T3 is usually on the high end 23-28

    At this point inflammation and weight loss/ gain are driving me crazy – could LDN make it worse ?

  19. so its been 2 years since i took full dose naltrexone and it seems my receptors are still blocked which i was told was ‘impossible’. i havent taken an opiate pain pill for over a year, would it be ok to try a pain pill to see if my receptors are actually blocked? thanks for your answer in advance

    • Hello Blaine,
      People tell me frequently how the impossible happens when taking LDN. It is the magic drug, where only good side effects occursThe answer they get is, “Well it wasn’t supposed to happen.” As far as taking an opiate pain pill. That would be like checking for a gas leak with a match. Just assume your receptors are blocked. You have to calm and quiet your immune system. It is going to take a long time.
      Dr. Dave

      • apparently if i take an opiate pain pill i will get diarrhoea if my receptors are blocked. also i am on immune supressive treatment, so if my immune system calms should the blockage go?

      • Hi Blaine,
        Again you are dealing with hypotheticals. If then? You don’t use a match to check for a gas leak. I screwed my body up with hypotheticals about hormone creams. You screwed your body up using LDN. This is not a quick fix for you. I would not recommend doing the opiate pain pill. It is not some little benign pill. They have real effects on a body. You will have to deal with the consequences on your own.
        Dr. Dave

  20. I will take your advice and won’t touch pain pills. Tne good news is my immune system is slowly being suppressed by prednisone, the medication that i am taking. I am just wondering that once my immune system is shut off/calmed down, will the blockade go away?

    • No Blaine, Suppressing the immune system is a BAD thing. Another name for it is AIDS – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome but without the virus. The immune system can reset with calming and quieting and lots of time. Prednisone suppresses the Th2 response which leaves Th1 and Th17 uncontrolled. It will come back to bite you in time.
      Dr. Dave

  21. Can similar immune suppressions occur when using ULDN at 1-20mcg doses? Primarily used to lower opioid tolerance and make withdrawals milder.

      • I appreciate your response. I suspect I may have Fibromyalgia / Trapezius Myalgia and or ME/CFS. All my symptoms don’t match properly with ME/CFS though as of course if I strain myself I will be slightly more fatigues and lazy the next day, but nothing more really, not really bedridden. Never swollen lymph nodes or blood tests outside of normal ranges.

        My primary symptoms are pain primarily in trapezius region but also occasionally in arms, hands, legs, feet and can rarely appear other places. Along with fatigue that never goes away and never refreshened sleep. Where I live in Sweden they do not give ME/CFS as a diagnosis in my area and they do not agree that it is a neurological disorder, they in fact even call the whole disorder a myth.

        The neurologist wants me to do sleep tests to see if I might have narcolepsy type 2 or idiopathic hypersomnia and said he could give me modafinil if I have either.

        In desperation of all my symptoms I pretended to my doctor last week that I was an alcoholic to get naltrexone, and he gave it as simple as that.It is a very cheap medication here too hoping to use it to alleviate my fatigue and pain. I was just now dropping down on my daily kratom use (It’s not an opioid but similar) so I could use LDN instead. After reading this post and all your comments here I can’t say that I would even dare use LDN. I do not want to get any iAIDS, even if it be temporary. So thank you very much for your information. I saw plenty suggesting that you don’t know what you’re talking about but you seem to clearly present proper facts.

        The reason I asked about Ultra Low Dose Naltrexone was because since I do still use kratom it’s apparently been used to give better results and more pain relieving results at lower doses, as well as somehow make withdrawals very mild or unnoticeable. I realise there’s not much info on this but apparently the mechanism may be very different t doses form the 1-20mcg range. But if you say there’s any change it can alter the immune system then there’s no way I’d ever do that. But if you have any further input you can provide on that then I’d appreciate it.

        Thank you very much for providing such good information!

      • OH My Brenna,
        I see you have been self-diagnosing with all the latest social media memes. Fibromyalgia is a crap diagnosis. You do realize ME is the meme Fibromyalgia evolved from. CFS is the predecessor to Fibromyalgia. I have tracked the evolution of names all the way back to the 1880’s. It seems about the time people get frustrated with the previous diagnosis, the medical profession miraculously comes up with a new one. You left out Metabolic Syndrome and Syndrome X but those are out of vogue currently. Please don’t burn up your keyboard searching them. They are both alternate evolutionary names for what follows.
        This is a video on the Trapezius Myalgia, (another crap diagnosis):
        The Trap Fibers are a response to organ distress. I was wondering when someone would show up with a narcolepsy diagnosis.

        Symptoms of Insulin Resistance
        -Brain Fogginess and Inability to focus
        – Headaches
        – Intestinal Bloating
        – Fatigue after meals
        – Sleepiness
        – Weight Gain, difficulty loosing weight
        – High cholesterol

        Red Blood Cells clump together with Insulin Resistance.When Red Blood Cells clump together, oxygen is dumped from the Red Blood Cells . Free oxygen becomes Reactive Oxygen Species (free radicals) damaging blood vessels. These traffic jams of Red Blood Cells must be cleared by immune cells.

        Symptoms of Red Blood Cell Aggregation
        – Fatigue
        – Sleepiness
        – Brain Fogginess and inability to focus
        – Nerve Pain
        – Cold Hands and Feet
        – Numbness and tingling in arms and legs
        – Muscle cramps

        This result in Oxygen Deprivation Neuropathy.

        You can chase ever evolving memes on the internet. Or keep it simple. You have insulin resistance caused by pancreas exocrine insufficiency resulting in poor oxygen and blood sugar delivery to cells. Easy fix. That was until you fell prey to the kratum meme. No, you are in a pickle.

        Opioids shut of the production of digestive chemistry and damage the intestinal lining. That is why heroin junkies don’t eat. It hurts. Insulin resistance caused by pancreas exocrine insufficiency is preceded by a failure to produce stomach acid in sufficient quantities to stimulate the release of pancreatic enzymes. This is not a quick fix and NO taking Betaine HCl is not the answer. That will speed up the damage to the intestinal lining.

        Here are some Doctors that may be of assistance:
        Mr Hans Andersson
        Hoppets gränd 18
        Umeå Sweden 90334
        Telephone: 070-3462822

        Dr Madeleine Brus
        Lundagatan 44a
        Stockholm 11727 Sweden
        Telephone: +46704153055

  22. Hello! Thank you for your great reply! It would make sense that I could have such conditions since after I eat I can often feel fatigued but also often feel a bit ill after eating, not sure if the latter is common or not.

    Unfortunately the doctors you provided are very far up in the country and would take a very long time and complicated problems to travel to. But I have an appointment with my personal doctor in 2 weeks and had plenty of tests I wanted him to take to outrule anything. Are there any tests that can be taken for insulin resistance and red blood cell aggregation? Are there also any other tests you could suggest? I just want to take the opportunity to be sure.

    I would like to point out that I am overweight and do have a hard time losing weight. I never ever eat any processed foods or any type of snack, soda or sugar in any form. Very advanced knowledge on healthy foods and only consume such.

    All of my symptoms did start after having a flu like virus and getting repeatedly sick for the following two months, that is why I so easily associated it with ME/CFS, but what you say makes more sense.

    Thanks for the help and I look forward to your response!

    • Hi Brenna,
      It is a CBC / Metabolic panel for insulin resistance. Analyzed from a functional perspective. Insulin resistance is called “Pre-Diabetes” in the medical community. Pre-paring you for a lifetime of diabetes medicine if you follow their recommendations. It’s not hard to find and easy to correct. That is, unless a person has screwed up their NEI Supersystem with things like LDN or Kratum. Then it get more difficult.
      I do work with patients using Skype for consultations.

      Dr. Dave

  23. You did not mention Treg cells.
    Treg/T17 balance is so necessary.
    This is achieved with a Anti-inflammatory diet
    which lowers IL 6 and Th17.
    Take both Probiotics and Vitamin D 3 can
    maintain Treg/T17 balance.

    • If one is have immune related issues, i.e. autoimmunity; the Treg cells are not working. Once the condition is established, it will be very difficult to eat your way back to health. Especially, if one is eating high lectin fruit and produce, which just happens to be the main recommendations of the Anti-Inflammatory diet.

    • I have a question for you Greg. If probiotics do half of what they claim. Why are people still sick? I don’t want the BS answer of well they’d be sicker without them.

      I find it ironic that the same people that go ape shit over prescription drugs do not view supplements with the same skepticism. It natural, so it will cure us. That meme is so wrong. Have you ever heard of the Probiotic Paradox? Once a disease condition is established, probiotics maintain the disease condition. But that is not what Big Suppla wants you to hear. In the end, Big Suppla is not much different from Big Pharma.

  24. Hello Dr Peeterson!

    I have progressive MS and have been trying different medicine and practices with little result and more progression. I decided to give LDN a try three weeks ago. From Day 2 more energy and less spasticity, I can think more clearly. Week 3 fever but energy and spasticity OK. According to you I need to give it up and do what? I would much appreciate more info thant.

    • Hi Lisa,
      Too many think being symptom free is the same as being healthy. You experienced exactly what one would expect with LDN. You will be symptoms free for three to four months. At that point your immune system will be scrambled and forbidden cytokines activated. Then there be a lengthy recovery period, if at all.
      What should you do? I don’t know. I do not accept diagnosis made by others until I confirm it myself. I can not give recommendations online. If you decide to become a patient and work with me. Then I could tell you more.
      Dr. Dave

      • Thank you for your answer. I will still try LDN for another two months or so since I feel still better and can functiom better and no medicine has had this effect on me so far.
        Unfortunately I live in Russia and cant come to USA and here we have no doctors who know more than just how to prescribe medicine like copaxone tysabri etc and test that you use in your practice. Bad luck.
        Thank you for raising this issue.

  25. How does someone know if they have the correct stimulated cytokines and NEI? I live in Australia and wanted to try LDN.

  26. Hello doctor, just wanting your opinion. is it possible that i used a bunk package of naltrexone, that contained chemicals that damaged my brain? may seem like i’m clutching at straws but i still have no answers as to why it is still blocking my receptors. many thanks

    • Hi Blaine,
      I doubt you “used a bunk package of Naltrexone”. It was good and did exactly what is does. It blocks receptors while stimulating and promoting forbidden cytokines. As you may have read in my recent post: Chronic Inflammation Uncouples the Adrenals. Previous Prednisone use continues to uncouple the HPA axis even after time has passed. Drugs have unwanted effects that proponents refuse to look at. Unfortunately, too many people are exchange short term gain for long term suffering.
      Dr. Dave

  27. I have been taking LDN for over five years. I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis and wanted to find an alternative to the usual steroids and immune suppressants. Once I reached the ‘full’ dose of 4.5mg my liver enzymes returned to normal where they have remained ever since. I am very well and have no liver disease symptoms. How does this fit in with your theories?
    I was not looking for information when I read your article but rather was pointed to it by an interested party.

    • Hi Julia,
      Congratulations, LDN did what is was supposed to do. Suppress your immune system. No Immune Response = No Inflammation. No Inflammation = No Pain. Elevated liver enzymes indicate inflammation or damage to cells. Liver enzymes are highly concentrated in descending order in the heart, liver, skeletal muscle, brain and kidneys. Elevated liver enzymes is due to excess oxidation damaging the cells of these organs. A lack of symptoms “Does Not” indicate “wellness” anymore than taking the batteries out of the smoke detector indicates there is no fire. The alarm will continue to screech until you remove the batteries from every smoke detector in the house. Looks like a full dose got all the batteries removed.
      Hepatic Portal Hypertension (HPH) is a precursor to Hepatitis. HPH results in Hepatic Encephalopathy. Are you out living life like you want or are you still unable to live as well as you would like?

      • Living life to the full! We sail, swim and are planning to build a house. My liver enzymes are still fine. I am 65.

  28. No worries then, The article doesn’t apply to you.
    o No single part can be understood except in relation to the whole.
    o No part of the body can be isolated from its relationship to the other parts of the body.
    o No part can exist only in and of itself.

  29. But the article does apply to me because I am still taking LDN.
    I know of another lady of similar age and diagnosis who stopped LDN and became ill again.
    If it continues to work for me after all this time then surely it would for others?

  30. Julia,
    Really??? Did you read what you just wrote. You just summarized the article. LDN is not making you “WELL.” It is suppressing your symptoms. The “other lady of similar age” that stopped the LDN became ill again. While she was taking LDN, her symptoms were suppressed. If you stop suppressing the symptoms – the symptoms return. That is not wellness.
    It will only continue to “work” as long as you are taking LDN. Same as taking the batteries out of the smoke detector does not stop the fire. Removing the batteries stops the smoke detector from alerting you to the fire. LDN stops your immune system from alerting to the damage being done to your body.

  31. Well yes I understand that LDN is not a cure but Autoimmune Hepatitis is incurable. The ‘usual meds’ for AIH have very unpleasant (to say the least) side effects but they are not a cure either. My normal ALT is an indication that liver damage is at least limited while I continue to take LDN. I understood from your article that your patients initially had good results from LDN but then, with continued use, suffered from exacerbated symptoms.

  32. No I appreciate that but if I were to read your article before starting LDN for AIH then I guess I would steer clear yet here I am feeling great with great blood results. Would you want sufferers to go down the conventional route with all the horrible side effects or do you have any other, better suggestions?

  33. I develop a treatment plan based on the individual’s functional lab work. Everyone is different. After five years on LDN. Your immune system is so dysregulated, it would be very difficult. Not so much so in getting things reversed but in convincing you the symptoms are clues to what is going on.

      • Also please, can you explain a dysregulated immune system? I do not suffer unduly from infections such as colds and have no evidence of cancer. Many doctors take LDN as a cancer preventative.

  34. You would not know if you suffered unduly from infections, colds and or cancer with a suppressed immune system. You could have a raging infection and the LDN would suppress any inflammatory symptoms. I screwed my health up when I believed what some Professional Influencer (Dr. Lee) wrote about progesterone. The Doctors are doing the same with LDN. They are reading a parsed description: “Low Dose Naltrexone works by Stimulating the Immune system.” The complete description is: “Low Dose Naltrexone works by Stimulating Suppression of the Immune system.” They do not understand or recognize the concept of stimulating suppression or inhibition. They think stimulation is stimulating. That is not the way the body works. They also believe stimulating the immune system is a good thing, as in chicken soup for the common cold. Autoimmune conditions occur with an out-of-control unregulated immune system. How is stimulating something that is out of control to go faster, work harder a good thing? That is like checking for a gas leak with a match.

  35. Well…..I do sometimes get colds and have had the occasional UTI, no more or less than before LDN, and I am certainly aware of the infections. I have never read that LDN stimulates the immune system. Have you had the opportunity to read the latest research?
    I appreciate the conversation.

    • The latest research is group-think oriented. Have you heard of “Red Teaming?” Red Teaming is the “Cure for Group Think.” It is the cure for Institutional complacency. When all involved are united in believing that something is true. Red Teaming argues that the opposite is true and puts together a compelling argument that the opposite is true.

  36. Is there possibly some positive role for using LDN to promote th1 and th17 to reduce candida infection? Or for helping people clear other stubborn non viral infections, which chronically could suppress th1?

    Im told in candida sufferers, th2 is overactive and th1 is suppressed, allowing it to flourish. I have not seen any tangible proof of this claim but its an assumption that seems to make sense.

    More plainly, when is LDN appropriate, if ever? There is a study combining aged garlic and ldn which claims it supports th1 function. I feel unsure about this, enough not to reccomend it or try it myself.

    • Re reading recent comments I can take a guess at your thoughts on taking th1 th17 stimulating drugs. I guess all of it is guessing unless you get tested. Anyways, I will try to learn more before I make any health, supplement, drug, therapy focussed decisions. Still have a lot of learning to do.

      Also, I notice many non professionals are relying on their interpretations of available studies to guide their self directed drug, supplement taking, therapy decisions. I see you made a related point in which one needs to be able to read between the lines to do that safely.

    • Ravi,
      Current medical microbiology lab tests using DNA (Polymer Chain Reaction) is reporting Candida present in LESS THAN THREE PERCENT (<3%) of lab tests from the same samples that Culture/MALDI-TOF tests show approximately SEVENTY Percent (~70%) Candida. So your question is based on the false assumption the symptoms are caused by Candida when if it is a microbial problem. It may be caused by Mollicutes (bacteria that feed on sugar), which are easily identified by DNA tests.
      The next inaccurate meme it that google and social media algorithms prevent you from ever finding any information about the dark side of LDN. There are other ways to calm and quiet the immune system. You are still focused on "Stimulation" of the immune system.

  37. Fwiw i dropped my own ldn use after reading this and thinking about my results with it. Basically, i lacked the knowledge and was sold on it as a wonder drug i should take for life for cancer prevention, and endorphins = good. I have all signs of candida, not sure if using LDN made me more succeptible in combination with my poor lifestyle habits, or if it is a coincidence. I admit my ego was a bit perturbed the first time I read this a month or so ago. Coming to grips with the fact I was not in a position to understand all of the ramifications of using LDN before I was talked into hopping on it by all the glowing website and forum talk.

    It is a little complicated why I started it, but I am sure I have a pretty signifcant Candida, and possible SIBO d issue. If these areas are something you have working knowledge in, perhaps I could arrange for an appt this summer if I cannot succesfully self treat. There is only so much you can learn and apply by researching yourself without any real clinical experience. My doctor does not do much other than rx nystatin and tell me to take it easy.

    • Ravi,
      Skullcap used to be the cure for Rabies. However, too many charlatans started making claims that were false and inappropriate that Skullcap was shunned and discredited. The same is happening for LDN. You are trapped in the whirlpool of google algorithms, grasping onto erroneous memes to keep you afloat.
      SIBO is a failed meme from the 1990s that started the whole probiotic movement. It failed miserably, as the only stool tests available at that time were Culture/MALDI-TOF, which report Candida ~70% of the time, began shifting away from SIBO and onto Candida. SIBO was resurrected by a Professional Influencer (Dr. K). It was amazing to watch forums turn midstream in conversations from Candida to SIBO.
      I do online consultations so you do not have to be present or do any traveling.

  38. Hello Doctor, well it has been 2 and a half years since i took 50mg tablets of naltrexone and believe it or not my receptors are STILL blocked. I am lost for words, I cannot understand how this has caused some form of damage to my brain

    • Hi Blaine,
      The immune system has a memory. Some short-term. Others life-long. The is what happens when people blindly follow the Professional and Social Media Influencers. There are things you can do to get it corrected. There is no “one-size fits all” program. I am unable to give advice on the internet.
      Dr. Dave

      • Thank you Doctor, but how and where should i receive this help? I live in the UK. Of course all the doctors i’ve asked are telling me im wrong, I feel lost and scared

      • Hi Blaine,
        I do online consultations. There is a company that you can get the products I recommend in the UK. If you are interested in working with me; give me a call: 1-530-615-4083, skype: stlwadrdave or email me:
        You may not be as bad off as you think. If the diagnosis is in error. Then all treatment is in error.
        Dr. Dave

  39. Pingback: What is the Neuro-Endo-Immune Supersystem? – Wellness Alternatives

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s