Remember NF-kappa B is a protein that controls the expression of DNA and responds to stress in your environment. That stress can be almost anything… a fight, a virus, cigarette smoke, a head injury or even exposure to an allergic food. It is a good thing when we need to increase inflammation to fight a virus but it is a bad thing when it turns on and doesn’t turn off, even after the trigger is gone.
How Can I Test For It?
Currently, there is no test on the market that can adequately and safely evaluate NF-kB levels. So we look for C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, ferritin, homa-IR, ANA, rheumatoid factor, Thyroid peroxidase or other inflammatory or autoimmune markers to be high. We also look at symptoms.
You Look Healthy, Would You Like An Antidepressant?
The most telling sign of someone who is suffering from overstimulation of NF-kB is when they come into my office with a condition that they can’t seem to get rid of no matter what they do. They are eating an exemplary anti-inflammatory diet, living a clean life and feel basically stress-free except for this unrelenting condition that brings them in. These are the patients that get offered an antidepressant medication when their doctor can’t find anything wrong on the limited, but insurance-covered, lab work that they rely so heavily upon. (Did that sound too snarky?)
Killing A Fly With A Hammer
The most popular treatment for these people is immune-suppressing drugs. Prednisone, Imuran, CellCept, and Methotrexate are examples of these. These are medications that will suppress NF-kB but will also suppress the immune system so severely that it causes many other problems. Some common problems with taking immune suppressant drugs are osteoporosis, liver toxicity, thinning of the skin, diabetes, gut toxicity, and bone marrow suppression.
There is a Better Way
There is an abundance of research on two compounds that individually reduce NF-kB but together have superpowers.
The first is resveratrol. Best known by its source from grape skins and your excuse to drink red wine. It is a powerful antioxidant that has anti-cancer properties, can destroy bacteria and viruses, protects nerve and brain cells, and protects the cardiovascular system.
The second is curcumin. It is the active ingredient from turmeric, the little root that is bright orange on the inside and if you are not careful can stain your white shirt. It is commonly used in Indian cooking. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is used for everything from joint pain to high cholesterol.
Together it can break the vicious cycle of NF-kB
My favorite source is Resvero XL and Tumero XL both by Apex Energetics. They are great tasting liquids that you can take in larger doses in order to achieve gut tolerance (you may get loose stools if you hit your threshold) They are easy for kids to take and if you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, these may help with symptoms and healing the intestinal lining. You can find them on the supplement shelves at our clinic.