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MMP-9 is an important marker for those suffering with CIRS from Biotoxin/Mold exposure. However, it is also a great for identifying inflammation associated with some of the most common chronic illnesses out there, including Autoimmune Diseases, Heart Disease, Cancer, and even chronic stress. But certain genes can make you more susceptible.


MMP9 Functions and Why it is Important

MMP-9 is one of a class of zinc-dependent enzymes called Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which are involved in the body’s natural process of tissue repair and replacement. MMP-9‘s protein breakdown properties help stimulate the immune response that initiates development and may exacerbate disease progression (R).

Physiologically, MMP-9 plays a role in normal tissue growth and repair processes such as neurite growth, embryonic development, blood vessel creation, ovulation, wound healing, and bone formation (R).

With this in mind, it is easy to see why one would want to encourage MMP9 when there is injury, and want to inhibit it when inflammation is out of control or when cancer development is underway.

MMP9 Destroys the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB)


Upon the induction of the neuroinflammatory pathway, MMP9 can break down the various components of the brain barrier: the Basal Lamina, Tight Junctions, and Extracellular Matrix (R, R2).

Inhibitors of MMPs have been shown to restore Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) integrity (R).

Conditions & Situations With Increased MMP9

All of the most common diseases have elevated MMP9, including a variety of autoimmune diseases, cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.  This is because inflammation increases MMP9.

Conditions & Situations With Decreased MMP9

  • Delayed healing (R)
  • Insufficient immune response to infection (R)

MMP9 Inhibitors:

Supplements to inhibit MMP9:

Hormones to inhibit MMP9:

Pathways to Inhibit MMP9:

Drugs to Inhibit MMP9:

  • Atorvastatin (R), Pravastatin (R), and statins in general.
  • Prednisolone (R)
  • Doxycycline (R)
  • Minocycline (R)

Activators of MMP9

MMP-9 is secreted by a wide number of cell types, including neutrophils, macrophages, and connective tissue cells (R). Macrophages (the scavenger type of white blood cells) are a potent source of MMP-9 (R).

Supplement/Equipment Activators of MMP9

  • IR/visible light spectrum of sunlight (in vivo) (R)
  • Manganese and boron (in test tube studies) (R)
  • Chitosan (enhanced activity of MMP-9 produced by macrophages with time) (R)
  • Fucoidan increases TNF-alpha induced MMP-9 (R)

No Impact:

  • Sun (R)
  • Collagen, but did decrease MMP2 (R), collagen? (R)


MMP-9 SNPs are strongly associated with obesity (R,R2).

SelfDecode has SNPs for MMP9:

  1. RS3787268 (MMP9) GG
  2. RS3918241 (MMP9) AT
  3. RS3918242 (MMP9)

FDA Compliance

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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  • Marie

    Great article. Thank you.

  • Katey G, EVOLVE Nutrition

    Thank you for your research. It is very helpful. My client has suffered progressive peripheral neuropathy in his feet and legs for 18 months. We have discovered lyme, heavy metals, mold, leaky gut, etc. for which he has been treated. The neuropathy, however, has not abated. We’ve measured his MMP-9, which continues slowly to rise despite our efforts to lower it via diet, supplements and removal of above. Based on references in this article, (specifically “MMP regulation of neuropathic pain” PMCID: PMC2706286), his MMP-9 may be rising in response to nerve compression or damage at L4/L5?

  • deejayvj

    I think delayed wound healing should actually be in the increased mmp9 section- the abstract from the linked paper-

    “in contrast to other MMPs expressed at the front of the advancing epithelial sheet in wounds of cornea, skin, or trachea, gelB acts to inhibit the rate of wound closure.”

    gelB =mmp9

  • deejayvj

    Wow! Thanks!

  • Mike Chandler

    Great article – thank you. Do the same pathways / processes also affect the gut-blood barriers? Might MMP-9 provide better understanding of “leaky gut” and related disorders?

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