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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. With Lab Test Analyzer you can track Th1 levels and make sure they are always in the optimal range. Why wait until issues get out of hand and interfere with your work and daily life? Lab Test Analyzer has got you covered – it tracks your health and gives you actionable advice on how to improve it.

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.

How to Hack Your Th1 System

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.

Sometimes, however, both systems are decreased or increased by some factor.  T regulatory cells decrease both Th1 and Th2  (RR2).

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.

Supplements/Methods to Decrease Th1

The most important mechanism to decreasing Th1 dominance for me was the lectin avoidance diet.

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 (R) and IL-1beta (R), 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 (R).

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.

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…).

You can take a peek at this post to see what you want to stay away from.  Not all the things are bad for Th1 dominance, but they are more likely to be bad.

I’ve experimented with all of the following supplements unless otherwise noted.

Any supplements listed here can be found in my toolkit.

You can request that your doctor test your Th1 levels. Conventional doctors will look at high or low Th1 levels and not mention anything. Sometimes, a lab result may be in the reference range, but not actually be in the optimal range. Reference ranges are not the same as optimal ranges. This is why even Th1 in the ‘normal’ range can be unhealthy and indicate that certain processes in the body aren’t optimal. Lab Test Analyzer will let you know if your Th1 levels are optimal and what you can do to get them there if they aren’t.

Males vs Females

Males are more prone to Th17 and Th2 dominance, while females are more prone to Th1 dominance (R, R).

This is because Androgens increase PPAR alpha, which cause inhibition of Th1 dominance.  At the same time, men have lower PPAR gamma, which leads to Th17 dominance (R).

To some extent, Th1 and Th17 ‘compete’ with each other.  IL-2 produced by Th1 cells activates STAT5, which competes with STAT3 (which produces Th17 dominance) (R).

Lifestyle, Hormones, Pathways to Inhibit Th1:

Environment/Lifestyle (do these if Th1 dominant):

  • Fasting (R) (Decrease IFN, increases IL-4)
  • Sun/UVB light (R).  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 (RR2R3).
  • Circadian Rhythm entrainment.  Th1 responses are lowest at 6am, in sync with cortisol peak (RR2)
  • Acupuncture (R)
  • Classical conditioning (R), Overtraining (R), Severe injury (R), Mycotoxins, Mold (R), Diesel exhaust particles (R), Glutathione depletion (R), Oxidative stress/ROS (R, R2, R3)

Foods (eat these if Th1 dominant):

  • Fish (R)
  • Egg white/ovalbumin (R)
  • Soy (R)
  • Avocado (R)
  • Rice (R)
  • Watermelon (R)
  • Apple polyphenols (R)
  • Papain/Papaya (R)
  • Bromelain/Pineapple (R)
  • Extra virgin olive oil/Omega 6 PUFAs (R, R2) – without increasing Th2 (IFNy)…  I recommend Black Cumin Seed Oil for spicy dishes.
  • Hemp oil and evening primrose oil (R)
  • Blueberry  (R) (IL-12, IFNy)
  • Sesame oil (R) (IFNy) without increasing Th2…
  • Cinnamon/NaB (RR2), (IL-12, IFNy)
  • Carob/ D-pinitol (R) (IFNy, IL-12)
  • Cardamom (R)
  • Fennel (R)
  • Mustard (R) – I do well with mustard.
  • Alcohol (R)
  • Areca nut (R)
  • Pistachio nuts (R)
  • Cantaloupe (R) – decreases damaging effects of IFN.

Nutrition (Use these if Th1 dominant):

  • Vitamin A sufficiency (R) and Higher than RDA levels (R)
  • Vitamin A (R, R2) ((IFN-γ, T-bet, and IL-12R)).  Vitamin A and its derivatives also inhibit interferon action. (R)
  • Omega-3’s and Fish oil (R)
  • Calcium (R)
  • Chromium (RR2, R3) – dose dependent…it decreases TNF-alpha (R)
  • Manganese (R)
  • Lecithin/Choline sufficiency (R), Also in eggs, meat, etc…

Supplements (Use these if Th1 dominant):


  • Apigenin (RR2) (IFNy, IL-12)
  • Luteolin (R1R2R3R4) (IFNy)
  • Myricetin (in veggies) (R+R2) (IL-12)
  • Citrus Bioflavonoids?: Naringin (R) (in grapefruit), Naringenin (R) – inhibits negative effects of IFNy.
  • Rutin  (R) (IFNy)
  • Chrysin (R)
  • Baicalin (R, R2)  (IFNy, IL-12)
  • Chlorogenic acid (R) (in coffee, plants)…Contradictory – increased IL-12 (R)
  • Rosmarinic acid (R) (in oregano and sage) (IFNy, IL-2)
  • Oleanolic acid (R) and triterpenes (R) (found in olive products, garlic, medicinal plants)

Hormones (Consider these if Th1 dominant):

  • Vitamin D3 (R)
  • Melatonin (R) (IFNy)
  • Glucocorticoids (Dexamethasone) (R) i.e. cortisol or steroidal anti-inflammatories.  Can get this by licorice root or adrenal glandular
  • Pregnenolone (R)  Also decreases Th2.
  • Progesterone (R).  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 (R). I get this by taking pregnenolone, which converts to progesterone.  You could also get the linked cream for a more targeted approach.
  • Testosterone (R, R2).  Decreases IL-12 and increases IL-10, which decreases TNF and IL-b. Testosterone can be raised with DHEA or creams.
  • Estrogen (R).  Plant-based foods have phytoestrogens, especially soy.
  • Estradiol (R) (high)…(IFN, IL-12
  • Ingesting insulin (R)
  • ACTH (R)
  • MSH (R)
  • TRH (R)
  • Somatostatin (R)

Neurotransmitters (Consider these if Th1 dominant):


  • Low Dose Naltrexone? (R, R2) (conflicting),
  • MDMA/Ecstasy (R) (Drug), but increases IL-2 (R).
  • Ketamine (drug) (R)
  • Valproic acid (R) (Drug)
  • Metformin  (R) (Drug)
  • Methotrexate (Drug) (R)


  • Potassium sorbate (sorbic acid) – food preservative
  • Helenalin (R) – found in arnica.  Never tried this.  This stuff is toxic, but it potently inhibits the Th1 response and selectively inhibits Nf-kB and telomerase…Lonicera japonica (R), Apicidin (R)..Never tried these.

Pathways (Consider these if Th1 dominant):

Be Wary of Supplements/Methods that Increase Th1 (avoid these if Th1 dominant)

Part of rebalancing a high Th1 dominance is to stay away from the things that increase Th1 dominance.  Not all of these are necessarily bad, but it’s important to see what has the potential to be bad.

This means that if you are Th1 dominant, these factors can make your condition worse.   They won’t necessarily (like laughter), but just pay attention.

Note: that the list above is referring to things that will make your condition better and the things below are a list of things that may make your condition worse.

Lifestyle and hormones (avoid if Th1 dominant):

  • Acute stress (R),
  • Cold exposure (antarctic winter) (R)
  • Prolactin (R) – increases 10-20 fold during pregnancy. Levels can rise after exercise, meals or sex (R).
  • Estradiol (R)
  • Homocysteine (R)
  • High blood glucose? (R)
  • Excess Nitric Oxide (R)
  • Moderate intensity exercise (RR2)
  • UVA (R) – when you get sun through a window it filters the UVB and only lets in the UVA.  Be careful if you’re Th1 dominant.  Both UVA and UVB, which are emitted by the sun, acutely increase TNF-alpha (RR2R3), which is probably what causes fatigue after you’re in the sun.  Those with already high TNF-alpha levels will feel it most noticeably.   The same effect happens with exercise,  but both are healthy because TNF is probably down-regulated and is overall reduced.
  • Elevated thyroid hormones/Hyperthyroid (R)
  • Other: LPS (R) (can result from ‘leaky gut’ or ingestion of chlorella), Nrf2 activation (R) in aged…..Epigenetic modifications: mir-17, mir-19b, mir-27b, mir-128, mir-155, mir-340, Let-7e (R)

Foods or ingredients in common foods (avoid if Th1 dominant):

  • Phytic acid (R)- found in all whole grains and legumes.  This indicates the people who are Th1 dominant shouldn’t overdo whole grains.
  • Legumes/Lectins: Concanavalin A, Phytohemagglutinin (R).  Both of these lectins are extracted from legumes and they are used in studies to induce interferon-gamma or the Th1 system.  PHA is in red kidney beans, white kidney beans,  pinto, navy, green beans, broad beans, fava beans, black beans, etc ……It’s likely that lectins in other legumes function similarly, which is probably why I don’t do well with them.
  • Gluten (R)
  • Dairy (casein) (R1, R2) – not recommended
  • Coffee (R)
  • Phytosterols and stanols (R)
  • Histamine (R) – contradictory
  • Vitamin E mega dose (R)
  • Corn (R)
  • Oats (RR2) – don’t know if it increases Th1, but many people with Th1 dominance have oat sensitivities.
  • Potatoes (RR2)
  • Purple sweet potatoes (R)
  • Yams (R)
  • Bananas and plantains (R)
  • Flax (R)
  • Cashews (R)
  • Walnuts (R)
  • Almonds -specifically the skin(R)
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (RR2)
  • Figs (R)
  • Mango/Mangiferin (R)
  • Basil (R)
  • Capsicum family and capsaicin (R) – Peppers, cayenne
  • Tomatoes (R)
  • Goji berries (R)
  • Fenugreek (R)
  • Tamarind (R)
  • Black Currant (R)
  • Cranberry (R)
  • Kiwi (R)
  • Coriander? (R)
  • Bitter Melon -increases interferon gamma (R)
  • Royal jelly (R)
  • Propolis (R)
  • Mango/Mangiferin (R)
  • Wheat grass (R) and probably other cereal grass like barley grass.
  • Bamboo extract (R)
  • Mushrooms like cremini and others (R)
  • Maitake (R) mushroom
  • Reishi Mushroom (R1R2R3R4)
  • Shiitake mushroom (R)
  • Rice Bran Oil (R)
  • Japanese plum (R)
  • Dates (RR2).   Dates are loaded with nutrition, including potassium.
  • Cocoa (maintains) (R),
  • Garlic (R)-(at low doses),
  • Black pepper (R)
  • Acai/Syringic acid (R)

Other supplements…less recommended for this purpose, though these aren’t bad:

  • Chaga (R) – although betulinic acid, which is in chaga decreases it (R)
  • Amla (R) (IFNy)
  • Tulsi (R) (IFNy)
  • Noni (R)
  • Cordyceps (RR2) – probably balances the Th1/Th2 system (R), since it also has adenosine, but probably has more of a Th1 shift.  In some cases, it can increase inflammatory cytokines (R).
  • Lactoferrin (in whey) (R). Contradictory (RR2), but I’m placing it here for now.
  • DIM (R) – in cruciferous veggies
  • I3C (R) – in cruciferous veggies
  • Calcium D glucarate* (R) – in cruciferous veggies.  Increases for a few weeks then decreases.
  • Glutamine (R) (amino acid),
  • Leucine (R) (amino acid, which is in high amounts in whey, soy, and animal foods),
  • Selenium (R),
  • Zinc supplementation (R) Increases Th1 without decreasing Th2. According to one study, it increased Th2 responses (R)
  • LDN (R),
  • Suma
  • Deer Antler Velvet (R) – hard to get, expensive
  • Fucoidan (R)
  • Arginine (R) – Seems to increase Th1 in response to infection, but increase Th2 in response to injury (R, R2).  Overall, I’d guess it’s an immune stimulant (R)
  • Nucleotides (uridine) (R)/Nucleic acids (R),
  • Niagen Nicotinamide NAD+ (R) – Increases Th1, Th2, and Th17..
  • Germanium (R)
  • Melatonin (RR2) – contradictory (R).  Melatonin is an inhibitor of TNF (R)
  • Vitamin A Deficiency (R),
  • Rhodiola (R) – increases both Th1 and Th2
  • Alginate (R),
  • Iodine excess (R),
  • Chlorella (R),
  • Neem leaf (R) (IFNy), Evodia Longan (R), Japanese plum extract (R), Moringa Oleifera (R), Low dose methylene blue – based on theory
  • Chitosan (R)*
  • Mercury toxicity (R) -doesn’t increase, but needs its cytokine, interferon gamma, to cause autoimmune disease. So people with Th1 elevations may be more susceptible to autoimmune issues from mercury.  Also, low-level exposure to in the absence of inflammation increases Th2, but Th1 responses elicited by Salmonella antigens that can be promoted instead increase if there’s an underlying pathogen (R).

Further Reading

Disclaimer and Caveats

Irregular Th1 Levels?

If you have not yet tested your Th1 levels, I recommend that you ask your doctor to do it. If you already have your blood test results and you’re not sure what to make of them, you need to check out Lab Test Analyzer. It does all the heavy lifting for you. No need to do thousands of hours of research on what to make of your various blood tests.

People don’t realize that their blood test results contain a gold mine of information that’s waiting to be unearthed. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or the inclination to sift through dozens of research papers.

It’s super-simple, so that even if you don’t have any background in science, you will understand what your results mean and what you can do to get them in the optimal range.

Lab Test Analyzer gives you up-to-date scientific information about your lab results. In addition, you will get both lifestyle tips and natural solutions to help you optimize your health. You can also rely on our science-based Optimal Ranges to prevent potential health issues and maximize your overall well-being.

All of the content is backed by science and researched by a team of PhDs, professors, and scientists.

We’re all unique, so we deserve solutions that treat us that way.

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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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  • Angie

    What does it mean “do these if Th1 dominant” :

    Classical conditioning (R), Overtraining (R), Severe injury (R), Mycotoxins, Mold (R), Diesel exhaust particles (R), Glutathione depletion (R), Oxidative stress/ROS (R, R2, R3)?

    1. Caroline Lam
  • Irina Gillard

    What about Transfer Factor from Colostrum, will it decrease TH1 dominance?

  • Luke

    Hey how do I tell if I am TH1 or TH2 dominant?

  • Luke

    How do you tell if you are th1 or th2 dominant?

  • Natasha

    Hi,that’s interesting . Would love to know how you take Brocomax . I’m having an infection yet can’t take anti oxidants because of an autoimmune issue

  • Leo

    I think an update to the post on autoimmune and viral activation would be useful. Including the role of GcMaF and nagalase. How to lower nagalse? Increase GcMaf with dietary, lifestyle, supplement factors.

  • Karen

    I had exactly the same experience. Thanks for sharing. But this is so confounding. LDN is held up everywhere as the perfect treatment for autoimmunity. I don’t get it

  • Bea

    I had the same experiences – when I took antioxidants, my autoimmune conditions got worse. I finally figured out that I have a problem with the detoxification system– phase I and phase II didn’t work coherently. When you boost phase I with antioxidants and your body is not able to transport all the oxidiezed compentents out of the body – you get poisend by the toxines from phase I. I take now sulforaphane/Broccomax (I am so glad to be able to buy it in Germany!) and immediately my phase II system seems to work. I feel almost symptoms free and have no autoantibodies in the lab tests anymore. I hope this will continue… I take vitamins and other antioxidants and now I don’t get problems from this anymore and I hope to get the benefits from that now.

  • James

    from my experiences LDN made my sjogrens much worse afyer about a week, seen this twice. But increased energy levels. Not doing it again

  • John Macgregor

    Really interesting, thanks. I’ve got 3/4 of the Th1 dom symptoms. (And virtually every lectin sensitivity symptom.)

    I’m on the lectin avoidance diet, and am already taking several supplements on your list – fish oil, curcumin, olive leaf extract, EGCG, lithium, the probiotics, gingko, nettle, aloe.

    I’ve just ordered reservatrol & forskolin.

    Re the rest of the list, how far do I need to go? The more the better? Or should the above be enough?

    1. Harry

      Hi, I have a neuro disorder, it seems to be autoimmune but hasn’t been diagnosed as ms. I have tried various supplements, I found that vitamin c, zinc, b6, most anti oxidants aggravate my condition. Lipoic acid which is supposed to help ms and other auto immune conditions, made me feel the worst I ever felt at any time. So I wonder what might help when all of this aggravates?

      1. John Macgregor

        Can’t answer your questions overall, but I know several people who have cured serious cases of MS with paleo. (Symptoms gone, scans normal.) If I were helping them today, rather than paleo I’d point them at Joe Cohen’s lectin avoidance diet – which is more refined, with better science.

        Lipoic acid is the most potent mobiliser of mercury, which many of us have lodged in our organs & tissue from vaccines, fillings, etc. A bad reaction to it commonly indicates that you have have a decent body burden of it. In which case chelation (which is what you were unintentionally doing) needs to be done by Cutler rules – constant dose, not episodic.

        1. Harry

          Thanks for the reply. It’s not Mercury, had that tested hair analysis. It’s all antioxidants that do this to me cause they make the white blood cells even more vigilant. I found out vitamin c did it when I tool it for a cold, tried it three different times and all three I felt worse.nit has to do with over stimulation, but I dont know what to take to do the opposite of that

  • Kay

    Why would you recommend soy, alcohol and caffeine? Are those not going to do the exact opposite and exacerbate the symptoms? Also, most of what you say not to eat, some of those foods relieve inflammation so I’m pretty confused.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      We are not recommending anything. Just saying that it does what it does.

    2. Tasha

      I actually felt better after having a cup of coffee every day

  • Kim

    Joe.. did you figure whether LDN is bad for Th1? I am Th1 dom and am suffering.
    My system is over active after a concussion (and sibo, candida). 2 yrs later and it will even over react to coloring my hair. My autoimmune is out of control.
    Thinking about trying this….

  • Henry Hotchkiss

    Recommending alcohol? That is just insane for Hashimoto’s patients.

  • Mr. Sick

    I think Vitamin E slipped in the wrong column. It’s listed as bad for Th1 dominance but the study you cite says that Vitamin E decreased interferon gamma but increased IL-4.

    If it is of interest: Magnesium seems to perform a Th1 to Th2 dominance shift as well.

    Anyway, thanks a ton for the information! Feels like I can catch up on some stuff with this.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      Thank you. I’ll look into this and see if we should add this to the post.

  • Tricia

    Hello, thanks for your thorough analysis. From your description, I’m The dominant for sure, but am also in treatment for chronic Lyme&Co. My latest test showed antibodies for those all negative, but my viral titers are high and mycoplasma has increased. Also my IgG levels are low. So I’m taking numerous things to kill the bugs and was about to add reishi extract to boost my immune system, but you have contain dictated it. My question is, obviously my immune system is overworking and I’m still not feeling well at all, so what is your recommendation here? Modulate my Th1 response or let it go until more killing gets these germs in a range my system can handle. I’m so confused, and my Dr is out for the holidays.

    1. Alicja Jarosz

      In Lyme disease, cytotoxic production of a TH2 phenotype is correlated to resistance, while that of a TH1 phenotype is correlated to susceptibility. (Matyniak JE, Reiner SL: T helper phenotype and genetic susceptibility in experimental Lyme disease. Journal Exp Med 181(3):1251-1254, March 1, 1995.) But there are websites recommending medicinal mushrooms for Lyme which is a questionable because mushrooms increase TH1 cytokine production ??? Curcumin would be good supplement for Lyme and some antiborrelial herbs are Samento (cat’s claw) and Banderol (Otoba bark extract), both proven effective against the Lyme spirochete in the lab. – and Cat’s Claw also triggers an immunomodulation toward a Th2 cytokine profile.

      1. Tricia

        Thanks for responding Alicja. I am taking samento and Banderol (just switched from cumanda), also prescription drugs for babesia (4 months) and one month of doxy. The Lyme and confections have been beaten down to undetectable levels at my last blood test. Now I’ve got high levels of EBV, HSV, Parvovirus, and mycoplasma pneumonia. Obviously untouched by all the drugs and herbs. So I’m wondering, to continue fighting the viruses and mycoplasma, would Th1 dominance be beneficial in this case? Like a natural immune response to a real viral threat?

  • Thalassa

    Hi Joe,

    I’m confused about why rice and soy are on the promote list, since they are high in lectins. Same for whey, which you have as good for lowering both th1 and th2 in your other post. Thanks for your time.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      They should be avoided if you get reactions from food.

  • Bernadette

    What do you think of GcMAF ??? Does it modulate the immune sytem? I would like to use it to “rebuild” my immune sytem. However,I am concerned that it will lower interferon gamma and EBV will come out ??

  • Jenny

    I am VERY interested in hearing more about your recommended supplements. I am Th1 dominant and have read lots about immune modulators and absolutely feel that some of these would help me also. I am just wondering which I should start with and how much. I am guessing that you didn’t start off with all of these but added one at a time? And were/are you taking all at once?

  • vasra

    This is a brilliant list, thank you.

    Might I suggest you reword the headings and intros.

    Now it can be somewhat unclear (esp. for somebody on brain fog or non-native English speaker) whether “Foods or ingredients in common foods:” heading means “recommended” or “avoid these” foods.

    BTW, brought here by your Silicon Valley Health Institute presentation video, thank you for that as well!

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Thanks, I hope it’s clear now, I made some changes.

  • Reha

    Hi, Melatonin Th1 or Th2 stimulator? Thanks.

    1. Alicja Jarosz

      Melatonin activates Th1 lymphocytes by increasing IL-12 production so it should not be used if Th1 dominant and should not be included in the list. See

  • Chivaland08

    Everyone needs to take immune modulators like Vitamin D3, Magnesium, and probiotics. Most people who have allergies/ rashes , IBS, Chronic fatigue, etc.. have a leaky gutl/ leaky gut syndrome. Another major problem is that most Americans consume more omega 6 and 9’s than omega 3’s. Cutting down/ eliminating all sugars is also vital to overall health. One last thing have a doctor test you for metals.. Most doctors tend to not look into this very important area.

  • Mya

    Hi! Can you tell me if Manuka Honey is good or bad for Th1? I suppose is bad but I think you know better. Thank you!

  • Dianna

    This is so confusing. Are you saying that all the supplements listed here decrease TH1 activity? I am TH2 dominant and am taking a number of those, which if I am understanding this correctly would be contraindicated. Please explain. Thank you.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      If you are Th2 dominant you need to take supps that decrease Th2.

      How to decrease Th2

      1. Dianna

        Right, but wouldn’t I also want to avoid supplements and foods that decrease TH1?

        1. Joseph M. Cohen

          As a loose rule

  • c

    This is the concern I was asking about…”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.”
    I saw article on Epstein Barr, any other research yet? Thanks.

  • c

    Wonderful article. Do you have any more on specific infections and remedies? THANK YOU.

  • Linda

    My sister is diagnosed with Dermatomyositis which based on the information you provided seems to fall under TH2 dominance. But after reading the symptoms of both, it seems like she may actually be TH1 dominant… we don’t have cancer in our family, however we have autoimmune disorder. My mother had Graves disease at the age of 20. Going back to my sister, she has always been very thin and she also had severe hair loss prior to being diagnosed with DM. Am I correct to assume that she is TH1 dominant?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Dermatomyositis is Th2 dominant. In active dermatomyositis there was a decreased percentage of T (CD3+) lymphocytes and Tc (CD8+) lymphocytes, decreased IFNγ expression of CD4+ and CD8+ cells, but an increase in B and IL4 producing CD4+ lymphocyte frequencies. These prominent changes disappeared in the inactive stage of the disease…..The frequency of IL4+/IFNγ+ Th cells was calculated and a significantly increased Th2/Th1 frequency was found in active dermatomyositis, and a decreased frequency in inactive dermatomyositis, compared with the control population.

      1. Linda

        Thank you for clarifying that…

  • mak (@praveenmak)

    I am not sure how you can decrease TH1 dominance by eating SOY (In your list of supplements Estrogen).
    The SOY is biggest endocrine disruptor and its the worst for Thyroid hormone.
    Increased levels of estrogen causes fatigue, erectile dysfunction and other dangers.

    1. mak (@praveenmak)

      Noticed another one Caffiene you have added in the list that decreases TH1, but you have also added coffee as the one that increases Th1!

      1. Anton

        I don’t think caffeine is the causative factor in coffee. Coffee contains a whole spectrum of alkaloids, not just caffeine. Green tea contains caffeine as well but it helps to boost Th2, not Th1.

        1. anna burns

          unfortunately, most green teas are high in heavy metals now a days…

  • Steph

    This is an amazing article. I’m curious though: I had/have colitis and had a total colectomy. No more Colon. Which also means I have lost 90% of my immune cells (according to some articles I’ve read), and was recently informed that most of th-2 cells are in the colon. Now I have a cold, and everything I normally do with herbs that works for me seems to be nearly ineffective and slow going. I was told I needed to use herbs that would support Th-1 cells to fight this cold virus.. half of the things you’ve listed I’m unfamiliar with, sadly. I’ve used Ecchinacea, Goldenseal, clove, cinnamon, cayenne, GARLIC, raw honey and ginger. Ester C, orange juice…. more along the lines of traditional herbal medicine. I’ve started on some homeopathic treatments, and they seem to be making headway. And your article is super helpful, but is that a complete list of Th-1 supports? Are there any more… common ones?
    I do take probiotics and kombucha, fish oil, eat apples…

    Also, just wanted to say your story is super inspiring! I’ve been sick for over a year and in pain and miserable and nearly hopeless (which isn’t me, I’m very driven and curious normally), and have sought help on both the allopathic, naturalpathic and homeopathic sides. Thank you for your article, and your story! It gives me hope:)

    1. Joseph M. Cohen


  • Bianca

    I’d like to know more about the TNF alpha receptors and the effect that UVB sun has? I started breaking out in a rash when I am in the sun a few years ago and am trying to work out why it happens! I believe I am TH1 dominant but haven’t been tested. Some of my blood markers indicate low histamine- low chloride, low neutrophils and a history of candida. Can anyone shed some light on this?

    1. lacey

      I know it’s been a while, but wanted to see if you made any progress. I started getting a rash in the sun two years ago as well and believe I am TH1 dominant.

  • BiotoxinJourney

    Regarding not recommending manganese supplementation, Round-Up (glyphosate) impairs the uptake of nutrients especially manganese (Mn). Nowadays, traces of glyphosate are even showing up in rainwater. Mn deficiency is becoming more and more prevalent and at a minimum is linked with poor animal health. Here’s a quote from one of many studies:

    “Manganese (Mn) is an often overlooked but important nutrient, required in small amounts for multiple essential functions in the body. A recent study on cows fed genetically modified Roundup®-Ready feed revealed a severe depletion of serum Mn.”

    Glyphosate, Pathways To Modern Diseases III: Manganese, Neurological Diseases, And Associated Pathologies

  • AnthonyFromSwiss

    Epicor is a optent option for the TH1 by stimulating IL-10
    ” The difference in changes in IL-10 levels between the two groups was
    indicative of a possible trend towards induction of IL-10 by

    The link to the scientific stuff :–the-open-nutrition-journal-may-2008.pdf

    Keep up the good work you really helped my out man.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen


  • Shax

    T1 dominent can not have calcium d glucarate? How else can i lower my bad estrogen?

    1. Jason

      ever figure this out? curious

  • Fritz.Harber

    One question – I still have some matcha powder from two years ago (When you just opened the blog, you recommended it). Do you think I could replace EGCG pills with 1g matcha or would you recommend against int?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen


  • Jean

    Chaga is powerful stuff. I am Th2 dominant, so I had brain fog for 4 hours after my Finnish grandma poured me some of her home made made chaga tea. I was like “Hell, this is some healthy sh¤#, it can’t be bad for me.” I perform better those rare days after I’ve been drinking heavily (this happens maybe once a year). Not kidding.

    1. Jean

      Seems like I can’t even spell correctly even if it was about 13 hours ago. And I drank only one medium sized cup of it.

    2. Joseph M. Cohen

      Interesting, it didn’t work for me either. Book will explain why.

      1. Jean

        Waiting for the book release like a little child waits for his or hers presents the day before Christmas Eve.

        1. Joseph M. Cohen


  • Lucy

    Hi Joe and everyone,
    Just recently found out that strong th1 dominance caused all sorts of havoc in my system as part of an immune responsiveness regarding reproductive immunology. I am prepared to get things right. Can you tell me if eliminating gluten is helpful, but rice is luckily listed among good food, is other gluten-free options, like buckwheat, millet, quinoa are also ok? And what is your opinion on using salt, especially Himalaya salt in th1 dominant diet? Also, you listed cremini mushrooms to avoid, what about champignon and oyster mushrooms? I also add to the group with oat and mercury sensitivity as well.
    With thanks.

  • Michael

    This article makes a big presentation about TH1 versus TH2, and then further in the article presents a long list of supplements, without stating whether that list of supplements boosts TH1 or TH2. I hate to criticise a valiant effort here, but the article doesn’t do me any good. I even clicked on one of the reference footnote numbers next to one of the supplement names, and only got a study name that still didn’t tell me whether that supplement boosts TH1 or TH2.

  • Terhi

    Sorry, I didn’t understand is zinc supplement good or bad for TH1 people?

  • runkel

    Should be two points?: LPS (R) (can result from ‘leaky gut’ or ingestion of chlorella) -, Nrf2 (R) in aged, mir-17, mir-19b, mir-27b, mir-128, mir-155, mir-340, Let-7e (R)

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Yup, fixed it

  • Kelly

    You mentioned that fulvic and humic acids increase Th2. I’m wondering what your opinion is of ‘soil-based organisms’. Many of these products contain fulvic/humic acids which they say are beneficial.

    1. Joe

      I recommend one in my toolkit.

  • dermatoligist

    omega-3’s fish oil is bad for th1 people.

    Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA/EPA) are found in all cold water fish improve cell mediated immunity (CMI) and increase Delayed Type Hypersensitivity and reduce IL-6 and TNF. Salmon, sardines, mackerel halibut and trout have the highest concentrations of DHA/EPA as these types of cold water fish have a high fat content. Lesser amounts of DHA/EPA are found in all varieties of cold water fish. Small amounts of DHA/EPA are found in tropical fish and in dark-green leafy vegetables and sea vegetables (blue green algae, chlorella etc.). Fresh ground flaxseed contains a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids, but it must be metabolized further into DHA/EPA.

    Caution with tuna fish, although high in DHA/EPA, tuna is often also contaminated with the toxic heavy metal, mercury. For this reason it is suggested that tuna be consumed once a week or less than other types of fish. Of course fried fish are not preferable to raw, fresh, canned, boiled or broiled fish. The vegetable oils used in frying fish will promote a TH2 cytokine response that negates the benefits of the good oils. Udo Erasmus also advises avoiding fish that contain cetoleic acid as it is a difficult fatty acid for the body to break down. Cetoleic acid is found in herring, capelin, menhaden and anchovetta.

    One aspect of essential fats of relevance is the metabolism of fatty acids following trauma, injury or invasion of the body by pathogens. Pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-1, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) are rapidly produced in response to the injury as part of the body’s normal initial response. However, if this pro-inflammatory response fails to shut down, damaging effects result (pathology).

    Swiss researchers Grimble and Tappia report (Modulation of pro-inflammatory cytokine biology by unsaturated fatty acids. by Grimble RF, Tappia; Z Ernahrungswiss 1998;37 suppl 1:57-65) “excessive production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, or production of cytokines in the wrong biological context, are associated with mortality and pathology in a wide range of diseases, such as malaria, sepsis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer and AIDS…..Among the nutrients, fats have a large potential for modulating cytokine biology. A number of trials have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oils, which are rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, in rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis and asthma..”

    French researchers Khalfoun et al found that the addition of n-3 type fish oils (DHA/EPA) reduced IL-6 production in endothelial cell lines. They report that the n-3 fatty acids from fish oils suppress inflammation. (DHA and EPA acids inhibit in vitro human endothelial production of interleukin -6. Adv Exp Med Biol 1997; 400B:589-97)

    In addition to the effects of omega-3 oils on the immune system and inflammation, Udo Erasmus in his book, Fats that Heal – Fats that Kill reports that DHA and EPA (from fish oil) reduced triglycerides by 65% in one study. Erasmus also reports that EPA and DHA keep platelets from sticking, lowers fibrinogen levels in the blood and prevents hardening of the arteries, prevents strokes and inhibits the growth of cancer and tumors. Mostly good things happen with omega-3 fatty acid intake.

    Oleic acids are called monounsaturated and are found in cold pressed olive oil, hazelnut or filbert oil, green and ripe olives, filberts and hazelnuts, and less so in almonds and almond oil. Monounsaturated oils are best used raw, but may be used in moderation for cooking. For salad dressing, use Extra Virgin Olive oil or hazelnut oil.

    Coconut oil seems to be neutral – it neither suppresses nor enhances cell mediated immunity. In another article by Grimble, he states: “Monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 …fatty acids suppress TNF and IL-1 production and actions, while n-6 (polyunsaturated vegetable oils) exert the opposite effect.” (Nutritional modulation of cytokine biology, Grimble RF; Nutrition 1998 Jul-Aug;14(7-8):634-40). For baking purposes, best choices are coconut oil, butter or hazelnut oil. Almond oil is worth a try as well.

    Conclusion: Most vegetable oils should be avoided as they suppress cell-mediated immunity (CMI), the exception are those vegetable oils high in monounsaturated fatty acids like extra virgin olive oil, hazelnut oil, etc. Almond, avocado or peanut oil are also high in monounsaturated oils and might safely be used in moderation.

    Do Not take omega3 if you have psoriasis or PR

  • Ahmad

    The moring supps for TH1 people. Can we take these all at once? Or separate?

    1. Joe

      yes, but add them in one at time every couple of days

  • Joshua Brown

    Very interesting article. I believe that I am Th1 dominant, would I need to take a mix of the top 6 supplements or would one or two suffice? seeing as some of these are relatively expensive

    1. Joe


  • Heather

    So, these top six recommendations are for who? T1 or T2 dominant?

    1. Joe


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