Lipopolysaccharides or LPS are bacterial toxins that can health issues if they reach the bloodstream. Normally housed safely in the gut, lipopolysaccharides can enter the blood if you have an infection, “leaky gut”, or eat too many fatty foods.
Read on to learn about the potential health risks of lipopolysaccharides and which factors may help reduce them.
The conditions we discuss here are commonly associated with high LPS levels, but this single symptom is not enough for a diagnosis.
Because they have been studied in cohort studies, we cannot conclude for certain that high LPS levels caused these conditions.
Work with your doctor to discover what underlying condition might be causing your high LPS levels and to develop an appropriate plan to improve your health.
Fatigue is reliably caused in humans by the administration of LPS, as part of LPS-induced “sickness behavior” .
LPS increased fatigue and inflammation (TNF-a, IL-6) in a small trial with 11 healthy participants. Pre-treatment with citalopram (SSRI) prevented the increase in fatigue .
In studies of 168 patients, LPS levels were greater in those with chronic fatigue syndrome and were associated with symptom severity, including fatigue, concentration problems, and failing memory [3, 4].
In a small trial on 20 healthy men, intravenous LPS impaired verbal and nonverbal memory and increased anxiety and depression. Inflammatory cytokine secretion was associated with a decrease in memory performance .
Administration of LPS increased anxiety, depression, cortisol, and blood norepinephrine in another trial on 34 men. Low-dose LPS impaired long-term memory, while high-dose LPS increased reaction time. The authors stated that inflammation may increase short-term alertness, although this is speculative on their part .
In a clinical trial on 115 healthy people, LPS decreased participants’ ability to accurately understand the emotional state of a person by looking at their eyes .
In a small trial on 18 men, LPS administration worsened mood and increased anxiety. LPS also increased the activation of the right inferior orbitofrontal cortex in response to emotional visual stimuli. This brain region is associated with fear and anger recognition, so increased activity may have increased negative emotions towards the stimuli .
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