fbpx Interleukin-6 (IL-6) Test is a better marker for inflammation than CRP

Interleukin-6 Test

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Interleukin-6 Test

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a better marker for inflammation than CRP. This inflammatory cytokine has a strong association with heart disease and asthma.

Interleukin-6 Test

Interleukin-6 is the precursor of C-reactive protein. Thus, IL-6 is a better marker for inflammation than CRP.

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) stimulates the liver to produce a C-reactive protein (CRP). IL-6 is a better marker for inflammation than CRP; because it is the precursor. This inflammatory cytokine has a strong association with heart disease and asthma. Asthma characterized by the airway swelling and constriction; inflammation is behind this.

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a cytokine with pro- and anti-inflammatory properties.

After exercise (especially aerobic exercise) IL-6 elevated. If exercise increases IL-6 inflammatory markers; then, how can you say exercise is healthy. Well, when you exercise, your muscles release anti-inflammatory (not inflammatory) IL-6; it is beneficial. 

IL-6 levels increased in nearly all sickness and diseases. Your immune cells (macrophages) release pro-inflammatory IL-6. Il-6 is undetectable in the blood or is present in low quantities. Any serum level of ≥ 4.30 pg/mL defined as elevated.

  • Optimal: 0 to 14 pg/mL
  • High risk: more than 14 pg/mL

Increased levels of IL-6 associated with obesity, type II diabetes, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Different health conditions may elevate IL-6. These conditions are chronic infections, autoimmune disorders, certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Elevated levels of IL-6 associated with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

7 Common causes of high IL-6

The most common causes for elevated IL-6 are

  1. Obesity/overweight,
  2. Chronic stress,
  3. Sleep deprivation - too little sleep,
  4. Eating too much - sugar or refined foods,
  5. Smoking,
  6. Excess alcohol drinking,
  7. Too much of exercise - more than 2 hours of intense exercise per day.

Danger of high IL-6

  • ​IL-6 may cause feelings of “hopelessness”.
  • IL-6 may elevate blood sugar levels.
  • Studies found IL-6 aggravates the stress hormones (CRH) effects on gut mucosa. This chronic effect leads to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
  • IL-6 may cause leaky gut.
  • People with the major depressive disorder have elevated IL-6. And it raised IL-6, this likely contributes to a worse mood.
  • IL-6 is the most potent inducer of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker.
  • It creates and worsens food sensitivities and autoimmune issues.

Fasting is not a needed for this test. Can take all prescribed medications, but do not take supplements on the morning of the test.

How do you lower Interleukin-6?

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), omega-3, turmeric, and black pepper help lower your Interleukin-6.

In a trial published on February 16, 2012, in the journal Nutrition. The researchers compared the effects of CoQ10 supplementation. The dosage is 60 or 150 mg/day for 12 weeks; given to men and women with coronary artery disease. "150 mg CoQ10 supplementation appears to decrease the IL-6 in coronary artery disease patients."

Studies show Omega-3 fatty acids inversely related to IL-6. It is useful to lower inflammation and reduce your heart attack risk.

Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis found omega-3 intake as un-fried fish was inversely related to IL-6. A study in Norway gives salmon (omega-3 fatty acids) to heart disease patients. The results showed people who ate the high omega-3 containing salmon had a reduction in IL-6. “Omega-3 fatty acids may be both protective; stop inflammation as well as reduce inflammation.”

Omega-3 fatty acids rich foods are

  • Oily fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines and tuna),
  • Flaxseed, and
  • Walnuts.

 Antioxidant & anti-inflammatory combination of turmeric & black pepper help lower inflammation. And thus, it lowers IL-6.

"Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcuminoid-piperine combination in subjects with metabolic syndrome. A randomized controlled trial and an updated meta-analysis." Published in Clinical Nutrition, December 2015Volume 34, Issue 6, Pages 1101–1108. Short-term curcuminoid-piperine supplementation significantly betterment oxidative and inflammatory status in patients with metabolic syndrome. Curcuminoids could regard as natural, safe and effective CRP-lowering agents.

9 Simple Lifestyle changes to lower IL-6

IL-6 is an inflammatory marker. You can lower IL-6 by avoiding inflammatory and including antioxidant & anti-inflammatory.

The lifestyle modification may have an anti-inflammation effect:

  1. Reduce or stop eating sugar and refined carbohydrates.
  2. Eat more antioxidant foods such as berries, cherries, apples, artichokes, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, nuts, beans, whole grains and dark chocolates.
  3. Manage stress with the help of mind-body practices likes yoga, meditation, and Tai Chi. According to a 2010 study, people who do yoga have dropped in interleukin-6 (41%) compared to others. Meditation boosts feel good alpha brain wave activity. Listening relaxation music might be helpful.
  4. Avoid smoking
  5. Limit alcohol intake
  6. Regular moderate exercise.
  7. Getting optimal sound sleep
  8. Eating anti-inflammatory foods; pumpkin, sunflower or sesame, nuts such as macadamia and walnuts.
  9. Plan to take herbs turmeric, ginger, basil, oregano, sage, and thyme.

IL-6 appears to play a role in depression. It suggests that the state of mind plays a role in inflammatory conditions. On this basis, herbs with an antidepressant action may help; you may take St John's wort. Additionally, take anti-inflammatory foods and supplements.

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