“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 (R, R2).  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)

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics

Disclaimer and Caveats


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