The latest research in Experimental Biology and Medicine just confirmed that LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone) does in fact target the opioid growth factor / opioid growth factor receptors to inhibit cell proliferation. OGF regulates the growth of cancer cells, and all cancer cells use the OGF-OGFr pathway in growth regulation. It is through this mechanism that LDN is thought to exert its profound inhibitory effect on cancer growth.
LDN also works with your body’s immune system through its interactions with your body’s endorphins. Though most commonly referenced in relation to you mood, endorphins also play a role in pain relief, immune system regulation, growth of cells and angiogenesis (the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor).
Typically, LDN is taken at bedtime, which blocks your opioid receptors, as well as the reception of endorphins, for a few hours in the middle of the night. This is believed to up-regulate vital elements of your immune system by increasing your body’s production of metenkephalin and endorphins (your natural opioids), hence improving your immune function.
In addition to cancer, LDN has shown promise for the treatment of the following diseases:
“The disorders listed above all share a particular feature: in all of them, the immune system plays a central role. Low blood levels of endorphins are generally present, contributing to the disease-associated immune deficiencies.”
So how does LDN help pain
LDN has been tested experimentally in a small number of chronic pain conditions. One such condition is fibromyalgia (FM). FM is a chronic pain disorder that is characterized by diffuse musculoskeletal pain and sensitivity to mechanical stimulation as well as profound fatigue, cognitive disruption, and sleep difficulty. Although FM does not respond to common anti-inflammatories and does not seem to be inflammatory disorder in the classic sense, inflammatory processes may still be involved.
Glial cells are not neurons, but cells that maintain balance, form myelin (insulation), and provide support and protection for neurons in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Glia continue to undergo cell division (replication) in adulthood, whereas most neurons cannot. They also express a variety of receptors that allow for a range of interactions with neuroactive chemicals. Many of these receptors have recently been implicated in health issues including chronic pain, and even herpes simplex.
LDN is not unique in receiving FDA approval for one purpose, and then subsequently being discovered to also act as a glial cell modulator, and an immune system enhancer.