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.
Introduction to Interleukin-8
Interleukin 8 (IL-8) is a ‘chemokine’ produced by various immune cells. Chemokines attract other immune cells to a specific area. IL-8 an important part of our immune response (R).
IL-8 attracts other cells that are the real muscle of the immune system: neutrophils (also attracts eosinophils and basophils). Neutrophils consume bacteria by engulfing them. IL-8 can release molecules like histamine to facilitate the attraction of neutrophils. (R)
IL-8’s Role in Disease
IL-8 is also known to be a potent promoter of angiogenesis, which is the growth of blood vessels. This is what helps cancer grow. It also increases proliferation and survival of cancer cells. (R) Indeed, increased IL-8 is associated with many cancers. Recently, IL-8 was shown to increase hormonal activity in prostate cancer cells (which helps them grow). IL-8 can also cause resistance to chemotherapy in cancer cells. (R)
IL-8 contributes to forming plaques in our arteries (R). TNF, IL-1b, and IL-8 enhance the binding of cholesterol (LDL) to blood vessels and increases the adhesion of immune cells in these vessels. Both of these events contribute to atherosclerosis (R).
Important Contributory Factors
IL-8 is released by fat cells and is elevated in obese people and correlated with fat mass (R).
IL-8 and the Brain
Higher IL-8 predicted smaller gray matter volumes in the hippocampus (R).
IL-8 also exerts neuroprotective properties (R). IL-8 might be involved in the biological mechanisms mediating resilience to anxiety. In this way, it can reduce suicide among people with psychiatric conditions (R).
Diseases Associated With IL-8
- Heart disease (R)
- Cancer (R) – Prostate Cancer (R), Breast Cancer (R), Colorectal Cancer (R), Liver Cancer (R), Thyroid Cancer (R), Myeloma (R), among others.
- Pain (R, R2)
- CFS (post infection type) (R) and Fibromyalgia (R)
- Depression (R), Bipolar (could be from lithium) (R), Schizophrenia (R) – Also, children had a higher risk for schizophrenia when pregnant mothers had elevated IL-8 (R). High IL-8 reduced the likelihood of positive responses to antipsychotic medication (R).
- Migraines (R)
- Alzheimer’s (R)
- IBS (R), Colitis (R), Crohn‘s (R)
- Thyroiditis (R)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (R, R2)
- Multiple Sclerosis (R), Lyme (R), ALS (R)
- Behcet’s (R)
- Asthma and COPD (R), Allergic Rhinitis (R) (not the main cytokine)
- Sleep apnea (R) – probably elevated because of hypoxia
- Osteoporosis (post-menopausal) (R)
- Psoriasis (R) and Eczema (R)
- Gingivitis (R)
- Vitiligo (R)
Top Ways to Inhibit IL-8
- Calorie Restriction (R)
- Fasting (R)
- Wim Hof Breathing/Meditation (R)
- Quercetin (R, R2, R3, R4, R5)
- Bromelain (R) (promising, removes receptors -CD128a+b from neutrophils- unique mechanism?)
- Probiotics: B. infantis, L. casei and L. lactis (R), B. Longum, L. Bulgaricus (R), S. Boulardii(R), B. Subtilis (R)
- Resveratrol (500mg, with 5g leucine) (R)
- Luteolin (R, R2)
- Apigenin (R)
- Aspirin (R)
- Cinnamon (R)/Sodium Benzoate
- Fisetin (R), not activated basophils (R)
- Cod liver/fish oil (R)
- Licorice (R)
- Curcumin (R)
- Black Cumin Seed Oil/Thymoquinone (R)
- Andrographolide (R) (by inhibiting nf-kb)
- Vitamin D3 (R)
- Jasmine Tea/EGCG (R)
- Zinc (R)
- Red Yeast Rice/Statins (R)
- Theaflavins (R) (“Potent”)
- Artemisinin (R)
- Vitamin E (R) (alpha-tocopherol prevents UVA-induced IL-8 increase)
- Cortisol/Glucocorticoids/Dexamethasone (R)
- alpha-msh (R)
- ACTH (R)
- DHEA (R)
- Progesterone (R)
- Estradiol (R) – in cystic fibrosis
- LLLT (R, R2, R3)
- ACE inhibitors (R) – blood pressure lowering drugs. Many natural products are also ACE inhibitors.
- Theanine (R) (via NF-kB)
- Rutin (R)
- Milk thistle/Silymarin (R, R2)
- Phytic acid (R) – in plant-based foods
- Oat (R)/Oat polyphenols (R)
- Ginkgo (R)
- Grape Seed Extract (R)
- Parthenolide/Feverfew (R) – (via inhibiting nf-kb, TNF and IL-1b)
- Echinacea (R), Danshen (R), Kaempferol (R), Chrysin (R), Caffeic acid (R), Sumac (R),
- Doxycycline (R)
- Oxidative stress (R) (specifically, H2O2) – but H2O2 inhibits IL-8 production in neutrophils (R)
- Sun/UVB (R) + UVA (R)
- Exercise (R) – small and only locally in muscle.
- Obesity (R) – IL-8 is released by fat cells.
- Smoking (R)
- Estradiol (R) – in breast tissue
- Salmonella (R)
- Angiotensin II (R)
- Homocysteine (R)
- Lithium (R) (in intestinal cells)
- Resistant starch/Butyrate (R) (intestinal cells)
- Asian Ginseng (some parts) (R)
Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.
That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:
- Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
- SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
- SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
- SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
- Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
- Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
- Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
- BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
- SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics
Disclaimer and Caveats
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
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