Low-dose Naltrexone (LDN)
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LDN can be used for:
- Autoimmune Disease Hayfever / Severe Allergies
- Lyme Disease Cancer
- Autism Fibromyalgia
- Multiple Sclerosis IBD (Crohn’s Disease and Colitis)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Parkinson’s
- Thyroid Disorders (Hashimoto’s and Graves’ Disease)
- Chronic Fatigue and other autoimmune and chronic conditions
LDN is normally used in treating addiction to opiate drugs such as heroin or morphine. The daily dose used for this purpose is usually between 50 and 300mg per day. Naltrexone is in a class of drug known as an opiate antagonist.
Low-dose Naltrexone (LDN) has been used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases in the United States since 1985 but is relatively new in the United Kingdom and Europe. Despite the fact that the drug is used at a very low dose, the occurrence of significant introductory or long term side effects cannot be excluded.
This method was devised and subsequently developed by the late Dr. Bernard Bihari, M.D., a physician from New York, USA who passed away May 16, 2010. Dr. Bihari was qualified in Internal Medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology – a true Pioneer.
How Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Works
The mechanism of action of naltrexone, in autoimmune diseases and cancer, is poorly understood. The benefits of the drug are possibly due to the temporary inhibition of endorphins. This results in a reactive increase in the production of endorphins, which should result in a reduction of painful symptoms and an increased sense of well-being.
Increased levels of endorphins should be expected to stimulate the immune system, promoting an increase in the number of T lymphocytes. This effect was observed in Dr. Bihari’s research. This increase in T-cell numbers apparently restores a more normal balance of the T-cells such that the effects of the disease progress are significantly reduced.
It may also act directly on these immune cells to stimulate or restore normal function. There is research currently underway, to prove the hypothesis that naltrexone improves or modulates the immune system – by acting on a receptor called TLR4. Several published papers have shown that naltrexone binds to the TLR4 receptor, and has a clinically measurable effect. This is evident in Chron’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
Recent research by Dr. Ian Zagon in Multiple Resistant Breast Cancer has shown that LDN can stop breast cancer cells growing by acting on a new pathway “p21 cyclin-dependent inhibitory kinase pathway”.
This is yet to be confirmed by a second study but is likely to research further in the future. This pathway is present in many solid tumors – as well as a large proportion of breast cancers. The article seems to offer some hope for people with Multiple Resistant Breast Cancer.
Multiple centers around the United Kingdom are quietly using LDN for all types of cancer.
Professor Angus George Dalgleish (Bsc, MD FRACPath FRACP FRCP FMedSci), Professor of Oncology at University College London is extremely experienced in using LDN for cancer. Recent examples where it has been beneficial in anecdotal cases include lung, bowel and Malignant Melanoma. Dr. Zagons study points to a mechanism of action in these, and other solid tumor types.
There is also a combination therapy called the Berkson Method – using Alpha-Lipoic Acid and LDN.