LDN has a reputation for helping desperate patients, even when many other treatments have failed. So it can be especially disappointing when you’ve diligently taken your LDN, just as prescribed, and not seen significant improvement. Before you give up, consider 4 dietary factors that may influence your body’s response to LDN.
These come from observations of LDN prescribers and patients, as described in The LDN Book and in Linda Elsegood’s interviews on the LDN Radio Show. (I know, I know…we’d rather have peer-reviewed scientific evidence to guide us, but this is the best we have for now. The good news is that all the advice is healthy anyway).
- Vitamin D
This “vitamin” is actually a hormone that affects the expression of our genetics and appears to interact with essentially every tissue in the body.
Vitamin D status has been linked to Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, MS, sports injuries, fractures, and more. Vitamin D is clearly important for optimal health, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that several LDN prescribers report that their patients see better results from LDN when they correct deficiencies in vitamin D. While there is some debate about what serum levels of vitamin D are “normal” versus “optimal”, there is increasing evidence that levels between 40-60ng/mL are associated with more health benefits than the previous goal of >30ng/mL. If you are low on vitamin D, you can take a vitamin D3 supplement, but my preferred way to get it (when possible, and assuming no extra skin cancer risk) is the natural way: with 5-20 minutes of sunlight around solar noon most days, making sure not to burn.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Remember how LDN works: It nudges your brain to make extra endorphins and to become more sensitive to those endorphins. That means your brain needs to work! One of your brain’s essential nutrients—and one frequently missing in western diets—is Omega-3 fatty acids. You can get these from wild salmon, salmon roe, mackerel, herring, sardines, flax seeds, walnuts, or supplements made from fish oil, krill or algae. Just keep in mind that some people—especially in older age—lack the ability to efficiently use the omega-3’s from plant sources like flax or walnut. If you need help getting healthy sources, Vital Choice Seafood is a well-respected company that can ship frozen wild Alaskan salmon to your home (www.vitalchoice.com). Nordic Naturals is a widely respected company for Omega-3 supplements, although there are also many others (www.nordicnaturals.com).
- Other nutrient deficiencies
In theory, a number of nutrient deficiencies could prevent the brain from responding to LDN. Take a look at your diet and see if you are lacking any known macronutrients (carbs, fat, protein), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), food groups, or colors of the rainbow. Most of us fall into food ruts and could use a reminder to diversify. A dietician or online nutrient analysis tool can also help you determine if you are missing nutrients.
- Exogenous opioids
Several LDN prescribers report that consuming food sources of exogenous opioids can prevent LDN from working optimally. What foods are we talking about? The usual suspects: Processed sugar, wheat gluten, and dairy. It could be worth avoiding these for a trial period, to see if your LDN works better.
Hopefully, these steps will help you get better results. If you’ve had experience with a dietary change altering your response to LDN, please send us a message. We’d love to hear about it. Good luck!