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Ishmael Fleishman

Psychodelics Beyond The Mind - Hypertension, Inflammation, Cardio Vascular Disease, Obesity and Diabetes

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The effects of psychedelics extend well beyond the brain and mind. Research is showing systemic effects and that psychedelics seem to posses immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties which could make them of interest in the prevention and treatment for hypertension, inflammation, cardio vascular disease, obesity and diabetes, and I would hypothesis possible in the renal disease and function.


Now it is known that acute use of psychedelics do cause a significant increase in blood pressure in healthy subjects, which can be concerning for those with preexisting health conditions however acute stress is not inherently negative. Acute exercise does increase blood pressure and for a short time can increase your risk of experience of death, however over the long term exercise induced hypertension seems to be hypotensive. It is possible this same mechanism is at work with psychedelics.


The mechanisms of these effects is not currently understood. There maybe a strong mind body connection or the classical psychedelics may have direct effects on non brain systems. However current research is preliminary and "that the association between lifetime psychedelic use and improved health might not be a case of the one causing the other but might involve a common factor that predisposes people to both use classic psychedelic and to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors associated with cardiometabolic health." and that "the direction of causality remains unknown," Otto Simonsson from the University of Oxford


Regardless of the mechanistic "cause" benefits seem to extend well beyond the mind.


I feel this is definitely an area of research that should be considered. Here are a few things I found.



The results showed that respondents who reported having tried a classic psychedelic at least once in their lifetime had significantly lower odds of hypertension.




only tryptamine use was significantly associated with reduced hypertension in the past year, with 20% lower odds of having this condition.



(Simonsson, Osika, et al., 2021) found that people who had ever used a classic psychedelic reported lower rates of having been diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes



“classic psychedelics have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of importance for both mental and cardiometabolic health” (Simonsson, Osika, et al., 2021),



found that higher openness to experience was associated with a reduced likelihood of obesity (Bagnjuk et al., 2019).




biological level ayahuasca may act against chronic low grade inflammation and oxidative stress via the Sig-1R which can explain its widespread therapeutic indications.



The above lead to Sigma-1 receptor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigma-1_receptor (The biochemistry is beyond my lay understanding)



“further research to investigate potential causal pathways of classic psychedelics on cardiometabolic health (i.e., lifestyle changes, mental health benefits, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory characteristics, and affinity to specific serotonin receptor subtypes).”



As a side note I see a strong vested interest when it comes to possible health effects of psychedelics - while their are many who have jumped on the band wagon and are keen to cash in on the strong profits these medicines promise there is an equal anti-psychedelics crowed who motives seems to be driven by moralistic opposition to these compounds. It is important for us not to succumb to either prejudices.



Edited by Ishmael Fleishman

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Nice summary, well done.

As another area that's been researched (and patented):

We also see immunological benefits, ultra-potent blockade of proinflammatory markers like TNF-α at pM levels (sub-psychoactive doses) with some 5-HT2AR agonists like (R)-DOI which is promising on many levels, it plays a key role in inflammation, its production and signaling contribute to many inflammation related diseases.

TNF-α and TNF-α receptor-mediated inflammatory pathways have been strongly implicated in a number of diseases including atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, type II diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, and septicemia (e.g., Reimold, 2002; Popa et al., 2007; Williams et al., 2007). Significantly, TNF-α and other cytokine induced inflammatory pathways also have been linked to psychiatric conditions such as depression and bipolar disorder (Dunn et al., 2005; Kim et al., 2007), as well as schizophrenia (Saetre et al., 2007), and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and stroke (Tweedie et al., 2007).


US9642819B2 - Low dosage serotonin 5-HT2A receptor agonist to suppress inflammation - Google Patents

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@Alchemica thanks


Not knowing what  (R)-DOI is I found this


Research[5] suggests that administration of (R)-DOI blocks pulmonary inflammation, mucus hyper-production, airway hyper-responsiveness and turns off key genes in in-lung immune response. These effects block the development of allergic asthma in a mouse model.

Several 5-HT2A agonist hallucinogens including (R)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine DOI, TCB-2, LSD and LA-SS-Az have unexpectedly also been found to act as potent inhibitors of TNF, with DOI being the most active, showing TNF inhibition in the picomolar range, an order of magnitude more potent than its action as a hallucinogen.[6][7][8]



Which lead to this




Interesting that very little is being spoken about this area of psychedelics. Inflammation from my limited understanding seems to be the causation and precursors to many disease process. And while we have steroids and NSAIDs this are symptomatic treatments. With serous health impacts like heart disease and stroke risk.


Maybe it is because psychiatric conditions are now the number one cause of diseases and disability in society. OR maybe we suffer from the the mind body divide in the believe that the mind has nothing to do with the body. Or something else maybe.


Everything is a big circle.



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Dr. Charles Nichols on the topic courtesy of DrugScience :wink:




Props to the OP for broaching this one. I have heard ridiculous anecdotal stories, around such conditions as MSA (Multiple Systems Atrophy) and how relatively low doses of psychedelics like mushrooms have transformed conditions and lives. I would wager that a raft of neurological issues could potentially benefit from some sort of dosing regime, with inflammation being one of the primary drivers leading to disfunction in the human organism. I'm not a doctor though, so what do I know? :blink:

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