Natural Ways To Modify Costimulatory Molecules

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
― Bruce Lee

Top 7 Recommendations

I realize many people just want the bottom line.  Here it is:

All of these can be combined, but start by taking one at a time for a few days before you start stacking.

Supplements/Methods To Decrease Both Th1 and Th2

Supplements that increase IL-10 will decrease both kind of T cells (R).

Decreasing Inflammation By Inhibiting CD26, CD40, CD80, CD86, MHC


CD26, CD40, CD80, CD86, and MHC are molecules on T helper cells, dendritic and other immune cells. These proteins are stimulatory and activate T helper cells (R).  Decreasing them should help inflammatory conditions regardless of Th1/Th2 dominance.

The more these costimulatory signals cause the division of T cells, the more likely they are then to become ‘dormant’. (R)

By inhibiting these molecules, you also inhibit the maturation of dendritic cells (R).  When these cells mature they become harmful.

Interleukin-10 has (1) immunosuppressive effect and (2) immunostimulatory effect. It down-regulates the expression of Th1 cytokines, MHC class II antigens and co-stimulatory molecules on macrophages.

There’s lots of contradictory information on zinc, but overall I am for supplementation unless you’re eating a lot of organ meat.   Zinc has been shown to be beneficial in animals with higher than RDA levels and is especially important for the elderly (R).  Zinc is also a good cancer preventative (R).  Too much isn’t good, though.

Supplements That May Balance Th1/Th2 Immune System


  • Grape seed extract (R)****Contradictory (R) -probably balancing
  • Pine bark (R) – likely has the same effect as GSE
  • Eleuthero/Siberian ginseng. A study shows it decreases cytokines that create Th1 and Th2 cells in healthy people (R), but a cellular study shows that it increase cytokines that are released by Th2 cells (R).  It’s probably immune balancing.
  • Baicalin/Chinese Skullcap (R)
  • Rooibos(R).  This has mixed effects and probably balances Th1/Th2
  • Tribulus (R1+R2)

Be Wary: Supplements/Methods That Increase Both Th1 and Th2

  • Thyroid hormones (R).  I can confirm this through  experimentation.  When my thyroid hormone levels are higher, the inflammation I get from a food I’m intolerant to goes up 2-3 fold.
  • Elevated IGF-1 (RR2).  IGF-1 is elevated by insulin secretion and amino acids like BCAA’s, leucine, methionine, lysine and tryptophan (R).  Contradictory (R)
  • Dairy (Bovine serum albumin, β-Lactoglobulin) (R)
  • Ozone (R)
  • Asian Ginseng (R) – Mostly stimulating, but also regulating.  Ginseng has many compounds in it and the effects are complex and depend on dosage and other factors, but it seems to increase both systems in response to many types of immune challenges, even innocuous ones.
  • Tulsi (R)
  • Tocotrienols (R)
  • Bacopa (R)
  • Rhodiola (R)
  • Echinacea (R)* -contradictory, probably only increases Th2.
  • Tart Cherry (R)
  • Aloe (R) – (increases IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α in cancer cells)
  • Almonds – specifically the skin (R)
  • Asparagus Racemous (R)
  • Licorice (R) – but eventually downregulates it because of glucocorticoids.
  • Goji Berries (R) (increases IL-12, TNF, IL-1b, Nf-kB, AP-1, CD40, CD80, CD86 and MHC II)
  • IFNy (R) (increases MHCII)
  • Lauric acid, (CD40, CD80, CD86). (R)

Disclaimer and Caveats


  1. What do you recommend to be the dosage for Black cumin seed oil in mg in capsule form? I’ve read a teaspoon equates to 4000mg, does this mean you are recommending 4000-8000mg per dose?

  2. Kathy

    Joe, what about reports that luteolin reduces progesterone levels? And do the drawbacks of tocotrienols outweigh the benefits, i.e. should they be taken as a taken or not as a supplement?

  3. Rooibos seems to have a paradoxical effect on me.

    If I feel balanced and non symptomatic in the morning and drink it I feel it sets off a little stress response. But, if I eat something and it sets the stress response off, drinking rooibos helps me feel balanced again and less symptomatic.

    Can you explain this phenomenon?

  4. Apple’s seem to be one of the only foods I can tolerate and feel balanced and non symptomatic after.

    I definitely have issues with histamine rich foods. I have most of the symptoms of TH2 but I also have alot of symptoms from TH1, a mixture of both.

    I just need to simplify all of this already simplified info, so i understand.

    If I was TH1 dominant and experiencing symptoms and I was to take/do something which reduces TH1 or raises TH2. In theory my symptoms and “reaction” to foods would be reduced, right?

    Will you be adding lifestyle factors, foods etc at a later date?

    • YimYam

      Do you recommend meat to be eaten on the day the packaging is opened because of the histamine load?

      I’m aware that if you buy to much you just whack it in the freezer.

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