How does LDN work in the body?

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Dr Elizabeth Livengood
Dr Elizabeth Livengood

Hi this is Dr. Elizabeth Livengood, medical adviser at the LDN Research Trust.

The question comes to us today: how does LDN work in the body?

Well this is a fairly complicated question; it has many effects actually and we’re probably just beginning to learn about all the different effects of LDN.  There are some interesting perspectives on research in this, based on what we’re looking for.  So, one of the earliest elements of research was that on the anti inflammatory properties and we really should say inflammatory modulation properties.

LDN has been so helpful because it doesn’t directly push unilaterally in one direction the immune system, the inflammation markers or the opioid system that we talk about so frequently with LDN.  It’s more of a modulator so to that effect it balances our T-helper cell ratios, for example in a lot of diseases we have elevated TH2 and we want to bring them back into balance, of course we need our immune system, we don’t want to completely quell the response but we want balance, and that’s what LDN does, it brings our T-helper cells into appropriate balance so that our immune system can respond appropriately but not in an overactive way.  So if it’s hyper it calms it, if it’s suppressed it boosts it.  It’s really pretty fabulous.

It also works on the inflammation cascade which starts, actually, very high up in the brain, there are these toll-like receptors, we know the LDN operates on TLR4 and TLR9, this also has a vast downstream effect on the inflammation cycle in the whole body, and even in the brain, so a lot of medications cannot cross the blood brain barrier or affect the brain, but this is working on such small molecules that it has a systemic effect.  So it’s a wonderful for neuro degenerative disease such as multiple sclerosis and things like that, as well as anywhere else in the body; the limbs, digestive tract etc.  So modulating the inflammatory cascade, modulating the immune system, modulating our endogenous opioid system, LDN helps to regulate dopamine, serotonin and then of course the other byproducts of that; melatonin, so it can help with sleep, it increases in that way, think of your neurotransmitters, they modulate our mood, our experience of life, our awareness so modulating that in a healthy way can be very beneficial.

And then, finally, some of the other areas that we see LDN helpful for in working in the body is to help fight off cancer cells, and this is very cutting edge, interesting line of work so of course people who are researching this can have more information for you on how LDN can actually help to reduce the number of cancer cells while keeping the immune system, and other cells around it, healthy.

So we see LDN working in a lot of different capacities and I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg as we learn more and more about all the things that LDN can do.

For more information please visit the LDN Research Trust website