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Interleukin-8 (IL-8) is a cytokine, a molecule which is released by cells in order to transmit messages between cells and tissues, which plays an important role in control of immune system responses and is encoded for by the IL8 gene 1.

The major function of IL-8 is to recruit specialised immune cells called granulocytes to sites of infection. Granulocytes function by releasing toxic granules (which give rise to their name) which damage and destroy invading pathogens 2. However, it is not only invading pathogens which are damaged, surrounding tissue is also often damaged, and it is this damage which often gives rises to symptoms associated with infection such as a sore throat.

IL-8 release is highly sensitive and as such is often associated with allergic disorders where improper activation of the immune system occurs 3. IL-8 release often stimulates a subsequent release of histamine which causes dilation of the blood vessels, and contraction of smooth muscle, which together can lead to the low blood pressure and difficulty breathing often associated with allergic reactions.

See also, AOC1.

There is one SNP in the IL8 gene which is associated with poor health outcomes, rs4073 or A-352T.


Science Grade
Gastrointestinal Health
rsID Number Major Allele Minor Allele Minor Allele Frequency (%)
rs4073 a t 48

Risk Description

The risk ‘A’ allele of the SNP A-352T in the IL8 gene is associated with an increased risk of Helicobacter pylori infections in the gut 4. H. pylori infection is associated with numerous risks including an increased risk of stomach ulcers 5, cancers of the digestive system 6 and impaired nutrient absorption 7.

Indirect Nutrients:*

Ingredient Active Ingredient Effect
Saccharomyces Boulardii

Saccharomyces Boulardii is a probiotic yeast species with a beneficial impact on digestive health benefiting those who suffer from Crohn’s disease 8 or irritable bowel syndrome 9.

Strong antibiotics are often used to clear H. pylori infections which can result in antibiotic associated diarrhea (AAD). In those who suffer recurrent infections this can impart a large health burden and predisposes suffers to colonisation by other pathogenic organisms such as Clostridium difficile 10.

S. Boulardii supplementation significantly reduced the occurrence of AAD in patients receiving antibiotic therapy for H. pylori infection, maintaining a healthy gut and preventing colonisation by other pathogens 11.

Therefore, those carrying the risk ‘A’ allele of A-352T may benefit from S. Boulardii supplementation.

Discuss this information with your doctor before taking any course of action.


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