Inflammatory cytokines


Inflammatory cytokines are immune system mediators released in response to stressors, such as physical or mental strain and dietary factors. These cytokines include substances like tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin six (IL-6). While they serve beneficial short-term roles like signaling for cell repair and wound healing, prolonged elevation can lead to adverse health effects, such as increased inflammation associated with various diseases 1.

Interventions like gratitude practices or certain diets can reduce levels of inflammatory cytokines. A study cited by Andrew Huberman demonstrated that a regular gratitude practice significantly reduced TNF-alpha and IL-6 levels, aligning with reduced amygdala activity, which is involved in threat detection and fear 2. This connection suggests that practices inducing psychological well-being can physically influence inflammatory responses.

Moreover, Andrew Huberman discusses how TNF-alpha and IL-6 are provoked by the metabolism of alcohol in the liver, leading to widespread inflammation and further complications like leaky gut syndrome and impaired neural circuits controlling alcohol intake 3.

Inflammation and Healing

Andrew explains how the immune system secretes inflammatory cytokines in response to stressors, and how Lcarnitine impacts pain and wound healing. He also discusses the double-edged sword of scarring and inflammation, and how too much scarring can hinder the healing process.

Huberman Lab

How to Control Your Sense of Pain & Pleasure | Huberman Lab Podcast #32