Th1 (cytokine) is a very important marker to monitor, especially if you haven’t been leading the best lifestyle or you have chronic health issues.
This post is part of a series that dissects what kinds of inflammation people get, the diseases and risks associated with such inflammation and how we could dial it down.
Hack Your Th1 System
How it Works
Most of the time, a substance that decreases Th1 will increase Th2 and vice versa (decrease Th1 will increase Th2), but this isn’t always the case.
The reason why an increase in one usually translates into a decrease of the other is because they differentiate from a progenitor or original cell and there’s a limited number of these cells.
When I write confirmed, it means my subjective experience supports the referenced studies, though both aren’t very reliable in this subject. It’s not always easy to tell if something stimulates the Th1/Th2 immune system or not.
Men vs Women
How to Decrease Th1 Dominance
Lectin Avoidance & Th1 Reducers
I can vouch for these supplements and methods below. I actually have found all of them have helped me and this makes sense because I’m Th1 dominant. My experiments agree with most of the studies.
I prefer Th1 increasing supplements at night rather than in the day. This is because Th1 cells produce cytokines such as TNF-alpha  and IL-1beta , which are important for inducing fatigue. Many herbs that increase Th1, however, also decrease IL-1beta and TNF-alpha so it isn’t so simple.
Be wary that some people who are Th1 dominant have an underlying and active infection and by inhibiting the Th1 system it will make their situation worse.
It’s easy to think that implementing some measure below to decrease your Th1 system will necessarily fix your problems. But if you have an underlying infection, the opposite may occur. In my opinion, most of the time people don’t have an active infection. Rather, an infection at some prior time period changed gene expression in some unfavorable way.
If you have an active infection, you should stick with Th1 reducers that also have antimicrobial activity. In any case, it’s useful to know if you have an active infection.
Going forward, I’m going to put some energy into how people can figure out what infection they have and the best ways to kill or deactivate that particular infection. I feel this is a missing link.
If we can easily identify a pathogen that’s causing trouble within us, it’s less difficult to figure out how to kill or deactivate it, given a number of supplements and drugs at our disposal in this day and age.
If all else fails, you can try helminth therapy, which will increase your Th2 system and thus decrease your Th1 system .
Keep in mind that sometimes the dose matters and different doses will have different effects on Th1/Th2 balance.
Lectins can exacerbate Th2-related inflammation, so if you are having issues stick with low lectin foods. I don’t really need the supplements if I stick with low lectin foods, but I still take them sometimes because although I don’t get acute bouts of inflammation, I feel my Th1 system is probably still elevated since it’s in my genes and it has room to be decreased.
What to Avoid
Also, sometimes I stray from what I should be eating and I don’t have the healthiest lifestyle (I don’t exercise enough, eat too many calories, break my circadian rhythm, don’t always stick to my diet, etc…).
I’ve experimented with all of the following supplements unless otherwise noted.
Any supplements listed here can be found in my toolkit.
Lifestyle, Foods, Supplements & Hormones to Inhibit Th1
- Fasting  (Decrease IFN, increases IL-4)
- Sun/UVB light . UVB decreases IFNy in Th1 dominance but increases it in Th2 dominance. It decreases both Th1 and Th2. It also decreases IgE responses. Decreases IFNy and IL-12 [10, 11, 12].
- Circadian Rhythm entrainment. Th1 responses are lowest at 6 am, in sync with cortisol peak [13, 14].
- Acupuncture 
- Classical conditioning , Overtraining , Severe injury , Mycotoxins, Mold , Diesel exhaust particles , Glutathione depletion , Oxidative stress/ROS [22, 23]
- Fish 
- Egg white/ovalbumin 
- Soy 
- Avocado 
- Rice 
- Watermelon 
- Apple polyphenols 
- Papain/Papaya 
- Bromelain/Pineapple 
- Extra virgin olive oil/Omega 6 PUFAs  – without increasing Th2 (IFNy). I recommend Black Cumin Seed Oil for spicy dishes.
- Hemp oil and evening primrose oil 
- Blueberry  (IL-12, IFNy)
- Sesame oil (IFNy) without increasing Th2
- Cinnamon/NaB [35, 36], (IL-12, IFNy)
- Carob/ D-pinitol  (IFNy, IL-12)
- Cardamom 
- Fennel 
- Mustard  – I do well with mustard.
- Areca nut 
- Pistachio nuts 
- Cantaloupe  – decreases damaging effects of IFN.
- Vitamin A sufficiency  and Higher than RDA levels 
- Vitamin A  ((IFN-γ, T-bet, and IL-12R)). Vitamin A and its derivatives also inhibit interferon action.
- Omega-3’s and Fish oil 
- Calcium 
- Chromium [47, 48, 49] – dose-dependent…it decreases TNF-alpha 
- Manganese 
- Lecithin/Choline sufficiency , also in eggs, meat, etc.
- Fish oil 
- CBD [52, 53, 54]
- Curcumin in the morning 
- Olive leaf extract [56, 57], (IFNy)
- Andrographis [58, 59] (IFNy, IL-2)
- Resveratrol 
- Pregnenolone (60)
- EGCG . Doesn’t increase Th2
- Boswellia , (“marked” IL-12, IFNy) 
- Theaflavins [63, 64] (found in black tea) (potently suppress IL-2, also IL-12, IFNy, AND IL-4, IL-5)
- Fisetin  (in strawberries) (IL-12)
- Black Cumin Seed Oil 
- Bile 
- THC [68, 69]
- Icariin 
- Probiotics… L. lactis  , B. fragilis , L. Plantarum , B. infantis , B. Bifidum , B. Breve , L. Helvetica , S. Boulardii  (contradictory), B. Subtilis  (all found in common Probiotics)
- Inosine/Uric Acid 
- Molecular hydrogen 
- Lithium  (IFNy)
- Silymarin /Silibinin, (IL-12)
- Ursolic acid , (IL-2, IFNy)
- Hydroxytyrosol  (IL-12)
- Emodin 
- Theanine  (IFNy)
- Honokiol 
- Berberine 
- Forskolin 
- Glucosamine , (IFNy)
- Aspirin  (IL-12)
- Ginkgo  (IFNy)
- American Ginseng [93, 94]. (IFNy)
- Nettle leaf  (IL-2, IFNy)
- Parthenolide  (IFNy)
- R-Lipoic Acid 
- Artemisinin  – Contradictory ,
- Red Yeast Rice/Lovastatin 
- Astaxanthin 
- Danshen  – maybe only inhibits IL-1b 
- Cat’s claw 
- St John’s Wort/Hyperforin 
- Hops (xanthohumol)  (IL-2, IFNy) potent.
- Trehalose  – maybe – if it has the same effect as di-O-acyl-trehalose – not to be used if you have Lupus
- Synephrine 
- Caffeine (Chronic) 
- Aloe  (IFNy)
- Plumbagin (black walnut hull) 
- Bilberry /Anthocyanins  (at higher doses)
- Apigenin [113, 114] (IFNy, IL-12)
- Luteolin [114, 115, 116] (IFNy)
- Myricetin (in veggies) [117+118] (IL-12)
- Citrus Bioflavonoids?: Naringin  (in grapefruit), Naringenin  – inhibits negative effects of IFNy.
- Rutin  (IFNy)
- Chrysin 
- Baicalin [123, 124] (IFNy, IL-12)
- Chlorogenic acid  (in coffee, plants)… Contradictory – increased IL-12 
- Rosmarinic acid  (in oregano and sage) (IFNy, IL-2)
- Oleanolic acid  and triterpenes  (found in olive products, garlic, medicinal plants)
Hormones (if Th1 dominant):
- Vitamin D3 
- Melatonin  (IFNy)
- Glucocorticoids (Dexamethasone)  i.e. cortisol or steroidal anti-inflammatories. Can get this by licorice root or adrenal glandular
- Pregnenolone (60) Also decreases Th2.
- Progesterone . Increases IL-10. Increases immune tolerance so that fetus isn’t rejected. Pregnancy improves the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, a disease driven primarily by Th1 immune responses, whereas systemic lupus erythematosus, a disease linked to excess Th2 cytokine production, tends to flare during pregnancy . I get this by taking pregnenolone, which converts to progesterone. You could also get the linked cream for a more targeted approach.
- Testosterone [134, 135]. Decreases IL-12 and increases IL-10, which decreases TNF and IL-b. Testosterone can be raised with DHEA or creams.
- Estrogen . Plant-based foods have phytoestrogens, especially soy.
- Estradiol  (high)… (IFN, IL-12)
- Ingesting insulin 
- ACTH 
- MSH 
- TRH 
- Somatostatin 
- Norepinephrine (140, 141)
- Serotonin  Inhibits TNF, IL-12 and increases IL-10, NO, and PGE2.
- Dopamine [143, 143]
- Histamine 
- GABA (A) 
- Low Dose Naltrexone? [146, 147] (conflicting),
- MDMA/Ecstasy  (Drug), but increases IL-2 .
- Ketamine (drug) 
- Valproic acid  (Drug)
- Metformin  (Drug)
- Methotrexate (Drug) 
- Inhibiting mTOR is a significant pathway to decrease Th1 Cells.
- Inhibiting NF-kB
- Inhibiting STAT3 (dose dependent) 
- Galectin-1 
- Inhibiting Ace 
- Inhibiting Proteasome (-) 
- STAT1 inhibition 
- GSK3 inhibition , HDAC (-) 
- PDE4 inhibition 
- PPAR delta activation 
- DPP-4 inhibition 
- IL-10 activation 
- MCP-1 
- Spermine 
Want More Targeted Ways to Combat Inflammation?
If you’re interested in natural and more targeted ways of lowering your inflammation, we at SelfHacked recommend checking out this inflammation wellness report by our sister company, SelfDecode. It gives genetic-based diet, lifestyle and supplement tips that can help reduce inflammation levels. The recommendations are personalized based on your genes.