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How to Inhibit Il-8 (Interleukin 8) Chemokine

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

This post is part of a series that dissects what kinds of inflammation people get, the diseases and risks associated with such inflammation, and how we could dial it down.

What is Interleukin-8?

Interleukin 8 (IL-8) is a ‘chemokine’ produced by various immune cells. Chemokines attract other immune cells to a specific area. IL-8 an important part of our immune response [1].

IL-8 attracts other cells that are the real muscle of the immune system: neutrophils (also attracts eosinophils and basophils). Neutrophils consume bacteria by engulfing them. IL-8 can release molecules like histamine to facilitate the attraction of neutrophils [1].

IL-8’s Role in Disease

IL-8 is also known to be a potent promoter of angiogenesis, which is the growth of blood vessels. This is what helps cancer grow. It also increases the proliferation and survival of cancer cells [1]. Indeed, increased IL-8 is associated with many cancers. Recently, IL-8 was shown to increase hormonal activity in prostate cancer cells (which helps them grow). IL-8 can also cause resistance to chemotherapy in cancer cells [2].

IL-8 contributes to forming plaques in our arteries [3]. TNF, IL-1b, and IL-8 enhance the binding of cholesterol (LDL) to blood vessels and increases the adhesion of immune cells in these vessels. Both of these events contribute to atherosclerosis [4].

Important Contributory Factors

Oxidative stress increases IL-8 and this also helps IL-8 recruit neutrophils [1].

IL-8 is released by fat cells and is elevated in obese people and correlated with fat mass [3].

IL-8 and the Brain

Higher IL-8 predicted smaller gray matter volumes in the hippocampus [5].

IL-8 also exerts neuroprotective properties [6]. IL-8 might be involved in the biological mechanisms mediating resilience to anxiety. In this way, it can reduce suicide among people with psychiatric conditions [6].

Diseases Associated With IL-8

  • Heart disease [7]
  • Cancer [2] – Prostate Cancer [2], Breast Cancer [8], Colorectal Cancer [9], Liver Cancer, Thyroid Cancer [10], Myeloma [11], among others.
  • Pain [12, 13]
  • CFS (post infection type) [14] and Fibromyalgia [15]
  • Depression [16], Bipolar (could be from lithium) [17], Schizophrenia [18] – Also, children had a higher risk for schizophrenia when pregnant mothers had elevated IL-8 [19]. High IL-8 reduced the likelihood of positive responses to antipsychotic medication [20].
  • Migraines [21]
  • Alzheimer’s [22]
  • IBS [23], Colitis [24], Crohn’s [25]
  • Thyroiditis [10]
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis [26, 27]
  • Multiple Sclerosis [28], Lyme [29], ALS [30]
  • Behcet’s [31]
  • Asthma and COPD [32], Allergic Rhinitis [33] (not the main cytokine)
  • Sleep apnea [34] – probably elevated because of hypoxia
  • Osteoporosis (post-menopausal) [35]
  • Psoriasis [36] and Eczema [37]
  • Gingivitis [1]
  • Vitiligo [38]

Top Ways to Inhibit IL-8

IL-8 production is caused by the transcription factor NF-κB, [1] and is induced by IL-1 [39] and TNF [40]. So anything that will inhibit these will also likely lessen IL-8.



IL-8 Increasers


No Effect

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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