A client of mine told me about a podcast of two naturopathic doctors talking about an old medication that’s been making a come back as an anti-aging anti-inflammatory.
These two docs talk about how they are taking it themselves and how they are considering recommending it to every patient as an anti-inflammatory.
Knowing this medication well and having used it for years, for specific types of inflammation I figured it was time to share what I’ve seen.
Recent research has determined aging to be an inflammatory process, coined “inflam-aging”.
“Inflam-aging” is a combination of processes that involve the immune system and it’s overproduction of inflammatory chemical messengers called cytokines.
The immune system appears to be controlled by an internal endorphin system (or internal opioid system) that responds to manipulation of it’s receptors.
The medication I’m talking about has the potential to regulate the immune system using your internal endorphin system.
Likely you’ve heard of how CBD reduces inflammation, Low Dose Naltrexone works in a similar fashion.
Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is an opioid that has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and reduce autoimmune antibodies in thyroid conditions.
Up until the pandemic I was using LDN specifically for helping Hashimoto’s patients lower their elevated antibodies.
Then it was determined that it could help with the inflammation cascade and long haul C-19 symptoms.
Which, it is amazing for this as well.
I’ve also seen it to help in chronic pain and neuropathy conditions when stronger high dose opioid medications are not working or the side effects are overwhelming.
The conundrum I’ve run into is that much of the conventional medical space hasn’t kept up on the last 20 years of research or even the most recent post pandemic research on LDN.
I recently had a patient ask their primary care office about this medication and the head nurse, not the doctor, called me flipping out that I had the “audacity to recommend something like this to their patient.”
Once research was faxed to the doctor, I received an apology.
Not from the nurse, however…
…they are the gate keepers in the medical offices so, if you’re interested in something like this it is wise to go directly to your doctor with research to back your interest in using this medication.
LDN Research Trust is the most comprehensive website with research online, supporting many conditions, click HERE to check it out.
The other caveat is that it is prescribed commonly in 4.5 – 15 mg doses for anti-inflammatory or anti-aging effect.
These doses have to be compounded from a specialty pharmacy, otherwise the conventional dose comes in a 50 mg tablet using a regular pharmacy.
While there are ways to liquify the 50 mg tablets or cut them into quarters to get a dose that’s lower and suits you, I recommend talking with a qualified provider if you’re thinking to go that route.
I do find LDN to be incredible for reducing inflammation and regulating an overactive immune response, however it’s not my first go-to when it comes to reducing inflammation in the body.
What if one’s root cause of inflammation is a low grade infection that can be addressed?
Or what if diet or an environmental exposure are the main inflammation causes.
I want to be sure I’ve turned over every stone to assess root cause before recommending LDN, especially in the cases of prevention or management of “inflam-aging”.
Contrary to my colleagues on the podcast, I’m not ready to offer it as a cure-all to “inflam-aging”.
What if a high quality tumeric could be of benefit, like Fusionary Formulas Tumeric Gold or Inflammation Relief?
And with shortages of medications that have blown up in popularity like the peptide for weight loss, Semaglutide, you never know.
There are also some side effects from LDN, such as vivid dreams and stomach aches.
I do find that they subside over time as the body adjusts to the medication however, they are something to think about.
What’s my final answer on LDN?
If you have had long term increased antibodies with Hashimoto’s, Graves or other autoimmune conditions then it’s worth a try.
Chronic aches, pains, or neuropathy that other anti-inflammatories or herbals are not helping makes LDN a good option.
Long term reactivated EBV (mono), long haul C-19, celiac, or other chronic inflammatory conditions respond well to LDN.
You can come off this medication, you are not stuck with it for life.
I’ve often used it on a temporary basis as one is working on reducing all other contributors of inflammation in their life.
In terms of LDN being the panacea for “inflam-aging”, I’m on the fence.
I’d go back to evaluating everything that could be creating inflammation in your body from infections, to toxic overload and a bogged down liver, gut or lymphatic system.
If you’ve countered all of those and you still don’t feel amazing, then it’s worth a try.
I’m happy to talk with anyone who’s hearing about LDN and wondering if it’s for them.