Immune system and Anti inflammatory drugs/supplements


Recently I’ve seen a lot of buzz about supplements such as turmeric being beneficial for our immune system. Turmeric from my understanding acts by reducing inflammation in the body. My understanding of the immune system is that the immune system creates an inflammatory response when a pathogen enters the body, this inflammatory response “kills” the pathogen and keeps the body healthy. Somewhere in my thinking I must be wrong because by this logic anti inflammatory drugs would not help the immune system but rather hinder it by decreasing the inflammatory response of the immune system the immune system would have a harder time fighting off these pathogens. So where am I wrong?

Many thanks,


In: Biology

Sometimes people’s immune systems attack parts of their bodies. These are misdirected, overactive immune systems. They would take immunosuppressants or anti inflammatory drugs, depending on their specific condition, in order to relieve the symptoms caused by the overactive immune system.

Edit: to address your question, you are not wrong. The products you’re hearing about are marketed towards people as I mentioned above, they would not be beneficial or have much effect on people who have normally functioning immune systems.

Also adding in that turmeric is basically useless as an anti-inflammatory drug. There’ve been a few scattered publications on it, testing the stuff in *culture dishes*. This is a very different scenario compared to a live human. In the latter, it has severe bioavailability issues –> little to no effect.

tl;dr turmeric doesn’t work because it can’t effectively spread through the body and get to places where it can be helpful.