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LPS and Inflammation

Nov 2, 2022 | Inflammation & Autoimmune Disease

Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are pro-inflammatory agents. They have been studied extensively for their effect on the inflammatory response and other chronic health conditions including autoimmune diseases. These endotoxins live in a gram-negative bacteria and can flourish when dysbiosis is present in the gut. Today I’m discussing what these endotoxins are, how they trigger inflammation, and what you can do diet-wise to keep them from wreaking inflammatory havoc in your body.

What are Lipopolysaccharides

LPS’s are endotoxins that are found on the surface of gram-negative bacteria. The LPS give these types of bacteria a very strong cell wall making them resistant to some antibiotics when the bacteria cell membrane is breached these bacteria release LPS into your body’s circulation.

Toll-like receptor ( TLR4) and Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)

LPS is famous for its ability to initiate an inflammatory response when they are released from cells. LPS triggers the release of a number of different cytokines. This inflammatory response is further activated by a Toll-like receptor ( TLR4) recognizing and binding to LPS.   When this happens it triggers the nuclear factor kappa beta (NF kappa B)  inflammatory cascade which releases more pro inflammatory cytokines and cyclooxygenase (COX-2). COX-2 is an enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain. For instance, when you take an NSAID, it is a COX-2 inhibitor.


Cytokines are also what recruit white blood cells and other immune cells to the damaged area to clean it up and bring the body back to normal. However, they also trigger those unpleasant side effects of living with an autoimmune disease. Things like brain fog, fatigue, and joint and muscle pain are all due to cytokines floating around in your system.

Why are LPS so bad for us?

Lipopolysaccharides are endotoxins that basically caused the harmful reactions that certain bacteria do in our bodies. For instance, the paralysis caused by botulism is triggered by an endotoxin. Fever and septic shock are also caused by endotoxins. LPS has also been connected to the development of chronic diseases including autoimmune diseases. In fact, LPS has been linked to the development of lupus and autoimmune arthritis. The other issue with LPS is when intestinal inflammation is present if there are gram-negative bacteria present in the gut and inflammation occurs the gut lining can become more permeable. This is a problem because LPS can sneak through the gut lining get into your body circulation and trigger an additional immune response.

How can you reduce the inflammatory response from LPS?

Here are some ways that you can reduce the inflammation caused by LPS and even reduce LPS numbers in your body.

Prebiotics and probiotics

Several studies have looked at the effect of both prebiotics and probiotics and lipopolysaccharides levels and inflammation. The use of resistant starch or prebiotics helped lower inflammation and increased the bifidobacteria which is a good gut bacteria. For probiotics, a handful of studies looked at a probiotic supplementation with a number of different strains and found that LPS levels declined with probiotic supplementation of lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, and saccharomyces boulardii

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3’s are great for reducing inflammation, so it’s not a surprise that omega-3 supplementation helps reduce both inflammation and lipopolysaccharides levels. A study from 2015 found that omega-3 fatty acids reduced inflammation in mice that were injected with LPS. They also found that the Omega 3 fatty acids also suppressed TLR4 signaling which, as mentioned earlier, triggers an inflammatory reaction in the body.

Olive oil

Olive oil contains phenols that reduce inflammation. In a 2014 study participants with metabolic syndrome are fed breakfast, made with olive oil that was either a high, medium or low phenol-containing oil. The group that ate the high phenolic olive oil had a greater reduction in LPS and TLR4 proteins.

Parasympathetic nervous system activities

Using techniques to activate your parasympathetic nervous system can actually help lower LPS. In a 2014 study, the intervention group received training and meditation, hyperventilation, breathing techniques, and cold exposure. The control group received no training. Both groups were injected with LPS. The intervention group had lower pro-inflammatory mediators and fewer flu-like symptoms than the control group.

Healthy diet

Studies have also shown that eating a healthy diet containing fish fruits and vegetables and fiber helps reduce LPS levels.

LPS can be quite a nuisance in your body if they become uncontrolled and unmanaged. There are plenty of ways you can use diet to help reduce your lipopolysaccharides levels and improve inflammation. If you would like more help managing inflammation please reach out to me and book a free call. I would love to help you reach your goals.

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