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Transfer Factors For the Most Serious Immune Support
By Said Youdim, Ph. D.

Daily lifestyle factors, such as lack of sleep or a poor diet, can impact our immune system. This puts the generally healthy person at risk to catch a cold or minor infection, but such people quickly recover and are able to restore their health status. For some people, however, it isn't that simple. Those with severely compromised immune systems require serious immune support in order to avoid significant illness. This is when Transfer Factors (TF) are essential.

Transfer Factors are immune regulatory products derived from colostrum, to be used as therapy for a wide and divergent category of chronic and acute diseases. They are immune messengers (specifically low molecular weight peptides) that transfer the ability to express cell-mediated immunity or delayed type hypersensitivity. This transfer of immunity happens through a cellular extract of specific immune cells such as leukocytes, monocytes, macrophages, eosinophiles, and T lymphocytes from immune donors to non-immune recipients.

Transfer Factors are prepared from bovine colostrum, which is available from commercial sources. Over the past 14 years, Immune Therapy Research Laboratory has obtained colostrum exclusively from a closed herd of cows raised in pristine conditions. Historically, most clinical trials with TF were conducted using injections rather than by mouth. It would have been preferable that the studies used TF orally, however, it was originally thought that the acidic environment of the stomach would destroy the factors. It has now been proven through experimental and human trials that there is little, if any, loss of TF when taken by mouth.

In 1949, immunologist Dr. H. Sherwood Lawrence demonstrated through his studies the ability of Transfer Factors to passively transfer immunity. He collected white blood cells from immune donors who demonstrated positive immunity to a specific antigen (such as a toxin, virus, or bacteria). Then, he prepared a sterile extract from the donor white blood cells and injected it in non-immune or immune-compromised subjects. He discovered that the injected recipients converted to a state of positive immunity against the same antigen. These experiments thus provided direct and dramatic evidence that it is possible to transfer systemic and specific immunity between individuals. These experiments have been successfully repeated with other antigens. Many other investigators have conducted therapeutic trials that successfully transfer cellular immunity and have confirmed and extended Lawrence's original observations. The results of these studies appear in thousands of medical and research publications by many investigators, including this author.

It should be emphasized that TF do not act as drugs for specific disease conditions. What they do however, is endow the recipient who lacks immune capability, the ability to resist and repel infections.

Transfer Factor is an immunoregulatory, immunosupportive agent with normalizing effects on aberrant immune response. As such it does not act in the same way as an antibiotic or a chemotherapeutic agent but rather, it may up regulate or down regulate immune responsiveness through its helper/ suppressor activities to achieve normalcy. TF is an effective and safe product that acts as an adaptogen with broad-based immune activity.

Clinical trials have demonstrated that antigen specific TF therapy results in activating immunity and successfully responding to the corresponding hostile invaders (antigens). The immune system of the TF recipient is armed to recognize and repel viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan, and possibly even neoplastic invaders via activation of specific immune cells. Recent experiments with mice have shown that giving them Transfer Factors initiates an immune response to the corresponding antigen. A unique facet of TF is that it can be beneficial for balancing an underactive or overactive immune system because two opposing antigen specific activities can be detected within the same preparation. Transfer Factors can help maintain an immune regulatory network that keeps the immune system balanced and healthy, in various types of immune deficiencies or with an overactive system, as in allergy or autoimmunity.

Transfer Factor is a broad-based immune regulatory immune support product that has been used for the therapy of a wide and divergent category of chronic and acute infectious diseases such as hepatitis (C and B), herpes infections (HSV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein- Bar virus (EBV, mononucleosis) and human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS. Additionally, TF has been utilized in the therapy of various bacterial, fungal and viral infections, gastrointestinal infections, and recurrent urinary tract infections. A large amount of literature deals with the use of TF for the treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

In our own studies (Youdim, S. and Shima, G. unpublished data) we observed dramatic improvement in the clinical symptoms of patients with CMV, EBV, and/or HSV. These patients manifested symptoms similar to those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In another series of published studies (available upon request), we treated a group of patients with allergies, dermatitis, chemical sensitivities, and environmental illness with Oramune TF in addition to other therapeutic modalities. These measures greatly enhanced their quality of life and relief from their symptoms. Seventy-four published literature citations associated with this review are available upon request.

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