Low-dose naltrexone -- panacea or powerful placebo?

Oct 2010
A rather spacey though intelligent friend introduced me to naltrexone yesterday. I listened but knew I'd have to examine this for myself. I was expecting a bunch of fringy websites would be featuring it.

Low-dose naltrexone has been examined since 1985. However, a warning for the terminally skeptical. Don't look for any "official" trials. Naltrexone has been a generic drug for a long, long time, i.e., it's cheap. There's no funding for large-scale trials.

But many smaller trials have been done. My friend and his wife say they feel 30 years younger.

Read the deep version: The use of low-dose naltrexone (LDN) as a novel anti-inflammatory treatment for chronic pain

A more personal explanation: My experience with Low Dose Naltrexone By David Gluck, MD

From Science Daily: Low-dose naltrexone (LDN): Tricking the body to heal itself
Likes: Hollywood
Apr 2013
La La Land North
I read some of the problems in your first post. They say that you can only buy 50 mg pills and the low dose recommended is 4.5 mg/d.

Any word on how your friends dose themselves?
Oct 2010
It looks good to me according to my non standard judgement. It makes sense.

Think of it more of a vehicle than a cure for anything.
The cure for most autoimmune disease is emotional, because, emotions are the primary cause. The more I read about naltrexone, the more I'm finding that idea expressed.

"Modern" medicine has resisted the idea of holistic health stubbornly. Four components comprise holistic health: the physical, emotional, mental, and the real stickler for scientific mindsets, the spiritual.

Modern medicine has focused almost exclusively on the physical, and primarily on altering cellular and body chemistry. Many successes have followed, but with side effects requiring additional chemicals, with side effects, ad nauseam. We've all seen if not experienced "chain medication."

Naltrexone works in a unique way, by "resetting" our immune system.

Endorphins are opiate-like molecules produced naturally in the body. The term ‘endorphin’ comes from ‘endogenous morphine’, meaning that it is created within the body, and differentiating it from opioids that are administered from external sources.

Endorphins are produced in most cells in the body, and are important regulators of cell growth, and therefore the immune system. Disorders of the immune system can occur with unusually low levels of these endorphins. The particular endorphin that has been found to influence cell growth as well as immunity is called Opioid Growth Factor (OGF) or Met-Enkephalin.

So, how does low-dose naltrexone figure in?

Naltrexone is an externally administered drug that binds to opioid receptors. In doing so, it displaces the endorphins which were previously bound to the receptors. Specifically, by binding to the OGF receptors, it displaces the body’s naturally produced OGF.

As a consequence of this displacement, the affected cells become deficient in OGF and three things happen:

  1. Receptor production is increased, in order to try to capture more OGF.
  2. Receptor sensitivity is increased, also to try to capture more OGF.
  3. Production of OGF is increased, in order to compensate for the perceived shortage of OGF.
Since LDN blocks the OGF receptors only for a few hours before it is naturally excreted, what results is a rebound effect; in which both the production and utilization of OGF is greatly increased. Once the LDN has been metabolized, the elevated endorphins produced as a result of the rebound effect can now interact with the more-sensitive and more-plentiful receptors and assist in regulating cell growth and immunity.

How Does Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Work? | LDNscience

That's pretty much it. As we age, the body produces less endorphins. Low-dose naltrexone "fools" the body into producing more, and each cell in our body produces it.

The side effects are minimal based on 34 years of use. And it's inexpensive.
Likes: DeadEyeDick
Oct 2010
I left out this: negative emotional states, such as depression and anxiety, depress endorphin production. Literally, when we are feeling good, part of the feeling is due to increased endorphin production.

So yes One Eye, low-dose naltrexone isn't a cure. However, if a depressed or anxious person's emotions are lifted, feeling good tends to promote feeling good. And, as someone who's experienced autoimmune disease, I can attest that it mirrors my emotional life. When I'm having a bout of asthma for instance, I have observed beyond doubt the linkage.

I haven't tried this yet, but I'm going to. Autoimmune disease is characterized by low endorphin levels. It's fair to say that it's caused by low levels, with the caveat that negative emotions have caused the low levels.

I'll let everyone know how it goes. Step one will be convincing my doc to prescribe naltrexone for an off-label use. That may happen tomorrow.
Likes: DeadEyeDick
Oct 2010
Ketamine May Have Dual Role In Depression Relief : Shots - Health ...

23 hours ago - Scientists are learning how the party drug ketamine relieves depression so quickly — and why its effects fade over time.

Very interesting findings on how ketamine can jupm start neurons and such.
Freaking amazing.

You know that ol' ya can't grow new brain cells/neurons mantra has been solidly shot down.

The Adult Brain Does Grow New Neurons After All, Study Says
Study points toward lifelong neuron formation in the human brain’s hippocampus, with implications for memory and disease

The power of emotional and mental energy to heal the body has barely been tapped. Ketamine and low-dose naltrexone are chemicals that have beneficial effects on emotional and mental health.

It's time to destroy the "common knowledge" that somehow taking a chemical, a drug, to "feel good" is wrong. It's wrong if the drug destroys the body, but it's good medicine when it doesn't.

And we haven't even touched on the spirit. :)
Likes: DeadEyeDick