The Science Behind Our Products
What Are Cytokines?
Cytokines are small, secreted proteins released by cells that have a specific effect on the interactions and communications between cells. Cytokine is a general name; other names include lymphokine (cytokines made by lymphocytes), monokine (cytokines made by monocytes), chemokine (cytokines with chemotactic activities), and interleukin (cytokines made by one leukocyte and acting on other leukocytes). Cytokines may act on the cells that secrete them (autocrine action), on nearby cells (paracrine action), or in some instances on distant cells (endocrine action). There are both pro-inflammatory cytokines and anti-inflammatory cytokines.
There is significant evidence showing that certain cytokines/chemokines are involved in not only the initiation but also the persistence of inflammation and pathologic pain by directly activating nociceptive sensory neurons. Certain pro-inflammatory cytokines are also involved in nerve injury/inflammation-induced central sensitization, and are related to the development of contralateral hyperalgesia/allodynia.
A pro-inflammatory cytokine is a signaling molecule that is secreted from immune cells and certain other cell types that promotes inflammation. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are predominantly produced by T helper cells (Th) and macrophages and are involved in the upregulation of inflammatory reactions. There is abundant evidence that certain pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18 and TNF-α are involved in the process of pathological pain and paracrine dysregulation.
Many researchers believe that chronic inflammation is the cause of 80% of all chronic illnesses, especially autoimmune diseases. An autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s natural inflammatory process gets out of control. Inflammation is a natural response to acute illness and injury. However, when the inflammatory response fails to turn off, the body’s immune system starts attacking healthy cells. This results in chronic inflammation that results in injury to the body.
The reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines indicates a decrease in chronic inflammation and corresponding persistent pain and dysfunction. When the pro-inflammatory cytokines are kept in check, then the body is able to heal and healthy cells are no longer under attack. The immune system is able to return to a healthy, balanced state resulting in better overall health.