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High Anti-CCP? Natural Ways to Reduce Inflammation

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:
Nicole Craven
Medically reviewed by
Nicole Craven, MD | Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:
Anti-CCP antibody Test

Some researchers have theorized that high anti-CCP antibody levels can be used to both identify and reduce inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Learn more here.

What is Anti-CCP?

Anti-CCP is a type of autoimmune antibodies against citrullinated proteins (CCP). Anti-CCP antibodies are abundant in rheumatoid arthritis, and tests measuring anti-CCP have a specificity of about 96% [1].

Natural Factors That May Decrease Inflammation in Joint Disease

It is important to remember that levels of the antibody are not directly linked to disease activity, but since anti-CCP antibodies are still believed to play a role in the destruction of the joints, some studies use them to try and understand or decipher substances that might affect disease progression [2].

That is to say: the following substances have been found to decrease both inflammation and, by proxy, anti-CCP levels. There is no indication of whether these strategies might directly reduce anti-CCP.

Possibly Effective

1) Address Gum Disease

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is often caused by an infection by the bacteria P. gingivalis [3].

Several studies have found that rheumatoid arthritis patients are more likely to have gum disease as well as more severe forms of the disease [4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

Some research suggests that oral bacteria such as P. gingivalis directly contribute to the development of rheumatoid arthritis [9].

Higher levels of antibodies to P. gingivalis are linked to higher levels of citrulline [3].

Dental treatment that removed P. gingivalis reduced the production of citrulline in 55 RA patients [3].

Underlying gum disease and poor dental hygiene are associated with rheumatoid arthritis and high anti-CCP levels.

2) Quit Smoking

Smoking increases the risk of testing positive for anti-CCP antibody levels and is also associated with higher levels and more severe disease status in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients [10, 11, 12, 13].

Smoking increases the citrullination of proteins that can trigger an autoimmune reaction [14].

Quitting smoking may help reduce inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis and high anti-CCP levels.

Insufficient Evidence

The following substances have shown promise against rheumatoid arthritis and high anti-CCP in limited, low-quality clinical studies; there is currently insufficient evidence to support their use in this context, and they should never replace what your doctor prescribes. Remember to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement or making significant changes to your diet.

3) Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to both a greater risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and more severe arthritis symptoms such as pain, swelling, and inflammation in existing patients [15, 16].

In a study of over 200 people, lower vitamin D levels were linked to higher anti-CCP antibody levels [17].

Vitamin D may help lower anti-CCP antibodies by suppressing overactive immune cells that attack the body’s own proteins and tissues [17].

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to both rheumatoid arthritis and higher anti-CCP antibodies.

4) Omega-3 Fatty Acids

In case studies, higher omega-3 fatty acid levels are associated with a lower risk of anti-CCP antibody production [18, 19].

Omega-3 fats help by reducing inflammation that can increase the citrullination of proteins leading to an immune system reaction and increased anti-CCP [20, 21].

Studies show that in anti-CCP positive patients, higher levels of omega-3s slowed the progression of inflammatory arthritis symptoms, but further study is needed [20, 22].

Omega-3’s reduced inflammation in people with high anti-CCP, but more studies are needed.

5) Wormwood

One study of 127 rheumatoid arthritis patients looked at the effect of taking sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua) or a placebo in addition to standard immunosuppressive drugs. Those given wormwood saw a nearly 10% greater reduction in anti-CCP antibodies and a greater reduction in painful and swollen joints after 48 weeks [23].

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen won the genetic lottery of bad genes. As a kid, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, anxiety, depression, and other issues that were poorly understood in both conventional and alternative medicine. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a journey of self-experimentation and self-learning to improve his health--something that has since become known as “biohacking”. With thousands of experiments and pubmed articles under his belt, Joe founded SelfHacked, the resource that was missing when he needed it. SelfHacked now gets millions of monthly readers. Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is the CEO of SelfHacked, SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer. His mission is to help people gain access to the most up-to-date, unbiased, and science-based ways to optimize their health.
Joe has been studying health sciences for 17 years and has read over 30,000 PubMed articles. He's given consultations to over 1000 people who have sought his health advice. After completing the pre-med requirements at university, he founded SelfHacked because he wanted to make a big impact in improving global health. He's written hundreds of science posts, multiple books on improving health, and speaks at various health conferences. He's keen on building a brain-trust of top scientists who will improve the level of accuracy of health content on the web. He's also founded SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer, popular genetic and lab software tools to improve health.

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