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Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) is a proinflammatory cytokine that is used as a marker of inflammation. Its reduction is thought to reflect a lesser state of inflammation in the body.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Jul 5, 2013
Last Updated:

Things To Know & Note

Also Known As

TNF-α, TNF, Tumor necrosis factor alpha

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect tnf-alpha
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-b Minor High See all 6 studies
May decrease TNF-a
grade-b - High See all 4 studies
Insufficient evidence to support changes in TNFa, a biomarker of inflammmation.
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
A reduction in TNF-alpha levels have been noted in persons with elevated baseline TNF-alpha levels
- See 2 studies
Decreases have been noted in inflammatory states (indicative of antiinflammatory effects) and increases seen in healthy persons; suggesting an immunomodulatory effect
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in TNF-a has been noted following oral consumption of japanese knotweed
grade-c Minor - See study
A significant decrease in circulating TNFα levels have been detected with resveratrol supplementation; linked to antiinflammatory effects of resveratrol
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
A decrease in serum levels of TNF-a has been noted with supplemental TTA
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease has been noted over time relative to placebo, of relatively minor magnitude
grade-c Minor - See 2 studies
A zinc deficiency is associated with reduced circulatin TNF-a concentrations, which are normalized upon zinc sufficiency.
grade-c - - See study
No significant changes in TNF-alpha concentrations
grade-c - Very High See all 3 studies
The circulating biomarker of inflammation TNF-alpha does not appear to be altered in response to supplementation from cocoa flavanols.
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
TNF-a is not affected by supplementation of colostrum.
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on TNF-a
grade-c - - See 2 studies
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on serum TNF-a levels
grade-c - - See study
At this point in time, there is no evidence to suggest modifications in the circulating levels of TNF-α relative to control.
grade-c - - See study
No apparent effect on circulating TNF-a at baseline (may reduce TNF-a secretion from proinflammatory signals, see inflammation)
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on TNF-α concentrations following supplementation of betaine to persons with fatty liver.
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence of niacin supplementation on circulating TNF-a concentrations.
grade-c - - See study
TNF-α does not appear to be influenced with supplementation of vitamin E relative to placebo.
grade-d Minor High See all 3 studies
A small reduction is possible, but much more evidence is needed.
grade-d - - See study
grade-d - - See study