Transfer Factor Immune System Support Research

Transfer Factor Immune System Support Research

Why is transfer factors effect on (NK) cells so important?

This is for informational purposes only.

It is not intended as medical advice, business advice, or to be used for treatment of disease.

Transfer Factors are not a drug, they are a dietary supplement that supports and educates the immune system. Although there are definite benefits from supporting immune system activity with transfer factor, there is insufficient research to consider the immune system a drug.

The FDA considers Transfer Factors a transferceutical in a classification of its own.

The intent of this article and information is to give you a better understanding of the roles that transfer factors play in the immune system and how the immune system operates to protect the body against threats to health only.

Independent study results show an increase of 248% NK Cell activity over baseline! The NK Cells are our first line of defense against viruses, tumor cells, etc.

Natural Killer (NK) Cells are a type of lethal lymphocyte

Scientists estimate that NK cells make up five to 16 percent of the total number of white blood cells that the body uses to fight infections. Those with defective or absent NK cell activity can contract a wide spectrum of diseases, particularly cancers. In fact, results from a number of clinical trials indicate that NK cells can be used to control tumor metastases. The therapeutic uses of NK cell activity will likely increase as their relationships to healthy and diseased cells becomes better known.

Natural Killer (NK) cells - NK cells were discovered in the 1970's and are a subset of large granular lymphocytes that are cytotoxic cells. They are called "natural" killers because they, unlike cytotoxic T cells, do not need to recognize a specific antigen before swinging into action. They are capable of spontaneously killing tumor or virus-infected cells. In several immuno-deficiency diseases, including AIDS, natural killer cell function is abnormal. Natural killer cells may also contribute to immuno-regulation by secreting high levels of influential lymphokines.

Natural Killer (NK) cells have no immunological memory and are independent of the adaptive immune system, NK cells make up approximately 15% of the human white blood cells. Their specific function is to kill infected and cancerous cells.

Recent research reveals that NK cells are involved in multiple effector, regulatory and developmental activities of the immune system. Research has confirmed that low NK cell activity causes one to be more susceptible to autoimmune diseases such as CFS, viral infections and the development of cancer cells.

Any statement that natural killer (NK) cells play an "important role" in human health is as casual as saying that the brain is important for bodily function. If our brain is not present and active we cannot continue "living". If our immune system is not armed and working well we will also not continue "living" for very long. NK cell activity is to the immune system, what brain activity is to the body.

Activated NK cells produce a variety of cytokines, including interferons, interlukins, TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor, hematopietic cell growth factors and other growth factors. There is substantial evidence that indicates the involvement of NK cells in the interactions of the immune system with the neuroendocrine axis. They also appear to be responsible for activities at the interface between the immune system and the reproductive and neurological systems.

NK cell activity and NK cell count are not the same. NK cells may be present in sufficient numbers, but unless they are activated they are ineffective in doing their job. Decreased NK cell activity is linked to the development and progression of many diseases. According to the Center of Disease Control, low NK cell activity is present in all illness. NK cell function appears to be a biologic marker for disease and is an important indicator for declining or improving health.

The following assertion can be made; if one is suffering from an illness, be it chronic, recurring or acute, the NK cell activity would be below normal. The restoration of NK cell activity to a high normal would be desirable, if not necessary, for recovery.

Low NK cell activity begins with stress of some type. When the body is unable to adequately adapt to the environment there is a resulting compromise of body function. Stress comes through loss of sleep, overwork, emotional encounters, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, exposure to toxins, exposure to germs etc.

Excessive stress causes many detrimental changes in the body physiology and particularly the immune system. There is research evidence that there is a relationship between Natural Killer (NK) cell activity and reaction to emotional stress. There is low NK cell activity in individuals who have difficulty in handing stress and those suffering from behavioral disorders.


Acute low NK cell activity resulting from temporary stress can be eliminated with the elimination of the stress factor. For example, if we are over-tired and under-nourished we can simply rest and eat properly for a few days and recover. However when we become continually immune compromised we start developing recurring problems which may lead into serious or chronic conditions.

NK cell activity level is lowered in times of stress and can become chronically low with chronic stress. Research shows that normal NK cell activity is essential to the recovery and maintenance of good health. One way to offset the effects of stress is to support normal NK cell function.

When the immune system is overwhelmed the communication pathways are compromised and remain compromised until re-established. If the communication networks are not restored there is little opportunity for the immune system to regain full defensive capability.

Communication in the immune system, is accomplished through the cytokine mechanism. These messenger molecules must be activated to energize the communication capability that is necessary for immune system reliability.

Conversely, immune modulation that harnesses the body's ability to regulate will have an all-encompassing immune response that is not limited to one specific area of immune response. Regulation, upward or downward, in accordance with the needs of the body will be achieved.


Transfer Factor Plus: An In Vitro Study - Hosted by the Institute of Longevity Medicine 11/5/99

PRELIMINARY REPORT (additional test results to follow) Transfer Factor Immune System Support Testing

Background and rationale '.) Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US. The rate of nearly every type of cancer is on the rise. Despite billions of dollars in research, the mortality rate has remained nearly unchanged and morbidity has increased slightly since the 1960's using conventional treatments such as radiation, surgery and chemotherapy. Thus, there is considerable interest in using immune modulation support as a non drug for adjuvant cancer therapy. Natural Killer cells are particularly important in destroying cancer cells.

Purpose of study : 1) To determine the in vitro anti-cancer effects of the immune system activity supported by Transfer Factor and Transfer Factor Plus using PBMC isolated from human volunteers and assaying the increased ability of the NK cell population to kill K562 erythroleukemic cells.

Methods: 1) PBMC killing of K562 (erythroleukemic) cells

Results: 1) Transfer Factor increased NK-cell killing by 103% and Transfer Factor Plus by 248%

Conclusions : Transfer Factor and Transfer Factor Plus supported an immune-based lysis of K562 cells at a level unprecedented in the director's experience or in the known medical literature. Since NK cell function is so crucial in killing cancer cells, these non drug products are ideal candidates to support immune system activity during cancer adjuvant therapy. In addition, NK cells form a first line of defense against infections from viruses and certain microorganisms. Killing assays against K562 cells have also been correlated with increased activity against chronic and acute infections as well.

Director, Bioassay Laboratory
Institute of Longevity Medicine


Immune System Study with 20 Cancer Patients
Darryl See, M.D. conducted the following studies.

Twenty patients, 12 men and 8 women, were selected for this in vivo study. The average age was 49.3. The twenty individuals were each level 3 or level 4 cancer patients. Each patient was basically sent home by his or her oncologist to die. The average life expectancy was 3.7 months. The protocol was to place each patient on 9 capsules per day of Transfer Factor Plus™. The patients were given a number of other general nutrients (Antioxidants, Digestive Enzymes, Probiotics, and multi-vitamins). After eight months, 16 of these 20 individuals were still living and were either in remission, improving or stabilized.

The baseline for natural killer cell function was 6.4. Within 4 weeks the average NK Cell function was increased to 25.7 and in 6 months it increased to 27.6. This represented a 400% increase in NK Cell function. This is an ongoing study. This study has been submitted to a peer reviewed publication.

The following study was conducted at the Institute of Longevity. The purpose of the study was to examine the synergistic effects of the components of Transfer Factor Plus. Each component was tested separately and then tested as a whole unit. Together the proprietary blend increased NK Cell functions more than the sum total of all of the ingredients tested separately. This study indicates that the intelligence contained in Transfer Factormolecules has an enhancing effect on other nutrients.

In vitro study:...

Ingredient 10 GM /ml NK Function
PBMC (Control) 25.6%
Zinc 26.8% NS
Proprietary Blend 59.9% <0.02 (Mushrooms etc)
Zinc +Prop. Blend 95.4 <0.01
Transfer Factor
alone 128.5% <0.01
Complete Prod. (Transfer Factor Plus
) 273.6% <0.01
The sum of the individual product is less than the Complete Product (Transfer Factor Plus
There is synergy in having a combination of Transfer Factor Plus

Transfer Factor and Clinical Applications

by Steven J. Bock, MD

Reprinted with Permission from the International Journal of Integrative Medicine

The immune system is amazingly complex. Fortunately, nature gives neonates a little help. We are realizing the importance of breast-feeding and immune competency. In this increasingly dangerous world, we are being assaulted by pathogen after pathogen. Our immune systems are faltering. Transfer factor (TF), the premier immune factor in colostrum, can be a vital part of our armamentarium. Transfer factor trains and continually educates the immune system. H.S. Lawrence discovered transfer factor in 1949, when he demonstrated that an immune fraction of a person’s white blood cells was able to transfer immunity in a nonsensitized individual. Transfer factors are small molecules of 3,500-6,000 kDa molecular weight, consisting of oligoribonucleotides attached to a peptide molecule. In the past, they were derived from dialyzed white blood cells (WBC), but now they can be purified from bovine colostrum or egg yolks. Transfer factors are produced by T-lymphocytes and can transfer the ability to recognize a pathogen to cells that have not been in contact with the pathogen (memory function). They also heighten the immune system’s ability to react (increased reactivity or inducer function) to pathogens. Transfer factor probably produces a trigger for T-cell recognition of antigens. On the other hand, it may act as a gene product that assists in antigen presentation to other T-cells.(1) This inducer fraction of transfer factor links the immune cells with an antigen-binding site, thereby increasing their reactivity to an antigenic stimulus. The suppressor fraction, known as nano factors, blocks the response of the T-cells,(2) and signals a down regulation of the immune response. This is useful in allergic or autoimmune conditions.

Role of TH1, TH2

Before one can understand the usefulness of transfer factor, it is helpful to have an understanding of the TH1 helper/TH2 helper paradigm. T helper lymphocytes develop along two lines of cell populations. TH1 cells, which modulate cell-mediated immunity, produce the cytokines: IL-2, IFN-gamma, and TNF-alpha. TH2 cells, which modulate humoral immunity, or antibody production, produce IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, and IL-13. Once you’re familiar with the particular TH1/TH2 predominant phenotypes in a patient, you can more easily identify certain constellations of health, and tailor your support. Cell-mediated or TH1 helper responses are important in the body’s ability to defend itself against viruses, fungi, parasites, cancer, and intracellular organisms. Cell-mediated immunity can be tested by:

1. Skin tests–delayed hypersensitivity skin testing;

2. Response to non-specific mitogens, such as phytohemagglutinin (PHA), concavalina, or pokeweed mitogens;

3. Response to specific mitogens, such as diptheria, tetanus, or candida;

4. Response to alloantigens—mixed lymphocyte reaction;

5. T-cell subsets;

6. IL-2R;

7. NK cell level;

8. NK cell activity;

9. IL1 assay; and

10. IL2 and interferon gamma, and other cytokines. If one has a TH2-dominated condition, with decreased cellular immunity and heightened humoral immunity, the conditions that tend to prevail are:

1. Allergies

2. Chronic sinusitis

3. Atopic eczema

4. Asthma

5. Systemic autoimmune conditions such as lupus erythematosus and mercury-induced autoimmunity

6. Vaccination-induced state

7. Certain cases of autism

8. Hyperinsulinism

9. Pertussis vaccination

10. Malaria

11. Helminth infection

12. Hepatitis C

13. Chronic giardiasis

14. Hypercortisolism

15. Chronic candidiasis

16. Cancer

17. Viral infections

18. Ulcerative colitis

A TH1-dominated picture would include the following medical states:

1. Diabetes type 1

2. Multiple sclerosis

3. Rheumatoid arthritis

4. Uveitis

5. Crohn’s

6. Hashimoto’s

7. Sjögren’s syndrome

8. Psoriasis

9. Sarcoidosis

10. Chronic Lyme

11. H. pylori infections

12. E. histolytica

Pregnancy is a TH2-dominant state. This is an advantage during pregnancy, since a TH1- dominant state, or cell-mediated immune response, would induce rejection of the fetus and placenta.(3) Because it stimulates a TH1 response in most cases, transfer factor should not be used in pregnancy. Certain autoimmune responses, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, which are TH1-dominant states, are ameliorated during pregnancy.(4)

Transfer Factor immune system support in Gynecological Conditions

HPV infections

• Chronic vaginitis

• Chronic candidiasis

• Gynecologic cancer

• Genital herpes

TH1-dominant states are generally not helped by transfer factor, and could be exacerbated. Many of them, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s, are thought to be possibly caused by an infection or reaction to a pathogen. If the TH1 response is an inadequate attempt of the immune system to fight off a microbe, then transfer factor would augment that process and be effective in certain cases. Clinically, this is seen in certain events, e.g., Crohn’s, mutiple sclerosis, and chronic Lyme response, where transfer factor helps a TH1-dominant condition. Transfer factor augments cell-mediated immunity or pushes a TH2 to a TH1 state. This is useful in TH2-dominated conditions. Normally, on exposure to gut-related microbes and childhood infections, a child’s TH2-dominated immune system is subject to TH1 stimulation and TH1/TH2 balance ensues.(5) If TH2 dominance remains, this can lead to atopic, or allergic states. We see this in the increased incidence of allergic symptoms, postnasal drip, asthma, etc., in clinical practice. The other side of this TH2 state is a decreased TH1 or cell-mediated immunity. With this, we see an increased incidence of viral infection, fungal infection, and cancer. Vaccinations tend to push the immune system toward a TH2-dominant state. To help overcome this tendency, we can use transfer factor pre- and post-immunization.

*We would inject that the advent of transfer factor nano-factor may change this scenario as nano-factor wisely decreases immune system activity. We still do not recommend transfer factor or tri-factor during pregnancy as sufficient testing is not completed (WH. 2009).

Cancer, Cell-mediated Immunity and Transfer Factor Immune System Support

Since cancer can be associated with a TH1-deficient state, use of transfer factor should be considered as part of your support for immune augmentation in cancer. Factors that decrease cell-mediated immunity and TH2 dominance are age, cytotoxic cancer treatments, post-surgery stress, metastatic response, etc.(6) Cell-mediated immunity (CMI) can be a predictor of morbidity and mortality over the age of 60. In patients with liver metastases or colon rectal carcinoma, CMI is predictive of survival.(7) Decrease in cell-mediated immunity, along with an increase in circulating immune complexes, indicates unfavorable prognosis in cancer patients.(8) Studies show that patients who have multiple skin cancers had impaired CMI.(9) In a study of gynecological cancer patients compared to control groups, those on chemotherapy had a decrease in immune perimeters (i.e., refractory decreased cell-mediated immunity), whereas the group getting immunotherapy (in this case, thymopeptin) maintained their immune perimeters at normal levels.(10,11)

Immunologically deficient cancer patients are susceptible to infection by viral pathogens, such as herpes zoster and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Infection occurs as a result of cytotoxic therapy and deficiency of cell-mediated immunity.(12) TH1-dominant states, characterized by increased amounts of IL-2 and IFN-gamma, are immuno-stimulatory and limit tumor growth. In contrast, TH2-predominant patterns, characterized by IL-4 and IL-10 cytokines, are immuno-inhibiting and stimulate tumor growth. HIV progression to HHV8 infection with Kaposi sarcoma, ulcerative colitis, progression to colon cancer, and obesity with increased incidence of carcinoma, are all associated with the increased TH2 state (and decreased cell-mediated immunity). Studies suggest that this shift to TH2 dominance precedes the cancerous transformation. As the cancer grows, it becomes increasingly hypoxic. This leads to further suppression of cell-mediated immunity, allowing decreased immune surveillance. Studies show that a TH2 immune response is associated with a proangiogenesis state, which facilitates cancer growth.(13)

Transfer factor immune system support has been shown to improve cellular immunity in patients with immune defects.(14) Since it augments TH1 or cell-mediated immunity, transfer factor immune system support is helpful in these situations. For example, by conveying cell-mediated immunity against bladder and prostate tissue-specific antigen, transfer factor immune system support was efficacious in stage D3 hormone-unresponsive metastatic prostate cancer. Follow up showed increased survival rates in 50 patients, with complete remission in two, possible remission in six, and no progression of metastatic responses in (14,15) Transfer factor immune system support was shown to improve survival as an adjunct to resection in non-small cell lung carcinoma.(16)

Before transfer factor was derived from colostrum, it was obtained from dialyzed leukocyte extract (DLE). The literature has many citations of DLE of an antigen-specific nature being used for various viral conditions, autoimmune conditions, and certain cancers. It has been found that DLE facilitated immunity to tumor-associated antigen. Fudenburg showed that transfer factor could, from selected donors, increase the immune system cell-mediated responses to tumor-associated antigens in human osteogenic sarcoma patients.

One of the compromises on our cell-mediated immunity is environmental stress (e.g., chemical or heavy metal pollution). It has been shown that long-term exposure to polychlorinated hydrocarbons suppresses phagocytosis, decreases NK cell activity, and reduces lymphocyte response to mitogens in mice.(17) Alterations in immune dysregulation, with a predominantly TH2 response, occurs with lead and mercury exposure. This leads to impaired cell-mediated immunity, increased incidence of infectious activity or cancer, and can end with an autoimmune response.(18)

Transfer Factor immune support in Allergy and ENT Patients

• Chronic sinusitis

• Chronic allergies

• Postnasal drip

• Atopic

• Asthma

• ENT cancer

Transfer Factor immune support in GI Practice

• Ulcerative colitis

• Viral hepatitis

• Chronic candidiasis

• Gastroenteritis

• GI cancer


Viral Infections

Currently in medicine, we are seeing increased problems with viral infections, such as otitis media, measles, chronic fatigue, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), CMV, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis, and West Nile virus. We utilize regimens that range from interferon to azidothymidine (AZT), ribavirin, and relenza. However, even with all the high-tech immune weapons available, we are still losing the battle.

With Immune support in viral infections, transfer factor immune support provides an advantage at a fundamental level. The immune system has been shown to induce interferon in patients with viral infections.(19)

Viruses tend to increase TH2 and decreased TH1. This is also seen with fungi, parasites, and cancer. Bacteria are associated with decreased TH2-dominant states.

By stimulating TH1, transfer factor immune system support may be advantageous in hepatitis. In hepatitis C, the activation of the TH2 dominance plays a role in the development of chronic hepatitis changes. TH1 stimulation may result in clearance of viral particles and improvement in the hepatitis.(20,21) Studies show that severe complicated measles has been helped successfully with non-specific transfer factor immune system support. Symptoms were ameliorated within 24 hours, without side effects.(22)

One theory claims that one of the mechanisms involved in the autistic spectrum is an immune imbalance toward a dominant TH2 pattern, resulting from measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination. Currently, a study is ongoing to test the efficacy of transfer factor immune system support to act as an immune modulator.

It is well-known that viruses play an important role in the etiology of acute otitis media (AOM) in children. In a study of AOM, 75% of the children were positive for viruses such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), para influenza, and influenza, and 48% had the causal viruses in the middle ear effusion.(23) These viruses probably act as antecedents to the bacterial infections typical of AOM.(24) This could account for the excellent results seen in otitis media using transfer factor to support the immune system.

A certain percentage of asthmatics have their symptoms precipitated by respiratory infection, most of these secondary to viral infections. A study conducted with transfer factor immune system support and asthmatic patients showed that approximately 50% discontinued their steroid medication and the other half decreased their steroid use. Overall, there was a decrease in hospital admissions. Administration of transfer factor immune system support improved cellular immunity. No adverse effects or allergic reactions were observed.(25)

In Annals of Allergy, Kahn reported the increased incidence of infection, such as para influenza virus, syncytial virus, adenovirus, etc., as precipitating factors in children who have asthma. It was also found that children with asthma have a propensity toward frequent infection.(26) Twelve of 15 children exhibited defects in T-cell immunity, many of which were not drastic.(27) This should emphasize that functional, suboptimal defects in cell-mediated immune function can be a factor in viral illnesses, as measured with sensitive immunological testing. Once again, we see that transfer factor immune system support can help with increased susceptibility to viruses, a dominant TH2 (decreased cell-mediated) profile.

It was found that women with extended human papilloma virus (HPV) infections have defective protective mechanisms of cell-mediated immunity.(28) A pronounced shift from TH1 to TH2 cytokine pattern is associated with more extensive HPV infection. Increased gynecological problems are found secondary to HPV. The potential of transfer factor immune system support in HPV infections needs to be further explored.

Chronic Infection

The addition of transfer factor can help an impaired immune system that is subject to chronic infections. How many practitioners see this scenario: A child comes down with recurrent bronchitis or tonsillitis, starting shortly after birth, necessitating frequent courses of antibiotics. This can then lead to symptoms of chronic candidiasis. A history of chronic eczema or allergic diathesis can also be found. Immunological or skin testing shows a mild defect in cell-mediated immunity, but no abnormalities. Grohn reported on several similar cases and obtained successful treatment with administration of transfer factor.(29) Here we see that transfer factor is helpful for elevated TH2 states, allergy, chronic candidiasis, and eczema.

Transfer factor immune system support has ameliorated cases of recurrent, non-bacterial cystitis (NBRC) when treatment with antibiotics and non-steroidal drugs was unsuccessful, and cell-mediated immunity to herpes simplex and candida was decreased.(30) Various studies show positive results with transfer factor in chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis.(31)

With Lyme, cytotoxic production of a TH2 phenotype is correlated to resistance, while that of a TH1 phenotype is correlated to susceptibility.(32) This suggests that certain people have an immune glitch that makes their immune system prone to either the TH1 or TH2 pattern, and therefore more susceptible to different diseases. This may be precisely where transfer factor immune system support, having immune-modulating effects, can be helpful. For instance, in Lyme patients we usually see a TH1-dominated pattern, but transfer factor immune system support works very well for certain subsets of Lyme patients.

Chronic Fatigue

Transfer factor immune system support has been used in chronic fatigue, especially if a viral etiology can be found. It has had varied success, although one may need to use increased dosages. If polyvalent transfer factor immune system support is not successful, the use of antigen specific transfer factor immune system support may need to be explored.(33)

In elderly patients with cellular immunodeficiency and chronic fatigue syndrome, age-related decrease in recovery occurred after treatment with transfer factor.34 Success with transfer factor in chronic fatigue syndrome secondary to human herpes virus 6 (HHV6), genital or labial herpes, and recurrent ocular herpes has been well-documented.35-37 A study on the effect of transfer factor immune system support on the course of multiple sclerosis showed that it retarded the progression in mild to moderate situations.(38)

The Treatment

Treatment with transfer factor is dose dependent. In viral infections, one usually starts with three capsules three times a day. The dose is then tapered down to one capsule three times a day. That dose is maintained in cases of chronic viruses, chronic herpes infection, chronic fatigue secondary to CMV or EBV, chronic colds, and impaired resistance. If there is any flare-up in viral infections, the dose can be increased to three capsules three times a day. Usually, patients report decreased susceptibility to colds, decreased nasal symptoms (for instance, postnasal drip and chronic sinus symptoms). In allergic conditions, an adult starts with two capsules three times a day, increasing to three capsules three times a day if symptoms get worse. Again, the dose is tapered to a maintenance level with amelioration of allergic symptoms.

In cases of chronic fatigue syndrome, patients start on three capsules three times a day. One may need to increase the dose patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, with a resulting decrease in cellular immune function.

Immune System Modulators For Immune Imbalances

• Fibromyalgia

• Lyme (certain subsets)

• EBV, CMV, HHV6, and other viral infections


Various immune function tests, especially those measuring CMI, can be done to gauge maintenance dosage. One can also perform a cytokine panel, measuring IL-2, IL-4, IFN-U, IL-10, etc. An elevated IL-2 and interferon gamma would indicate a TH1-predominant state, while an elevated IL-4 and IL-10 would point to a TH2-dominated state. NK cell activity, which is usually decreased in cases of cancer, is increased secondary to transfer factor administration, and can be periodically measured.

In pediatric cases with increased susceptibility to viruses, asthma, allergic chronic sinus symptoms, and chronic candida symptoms, initial dosage is:

Under 1 Year: 1/2 capsule a day (200mg of transfer factor per capsule).

1-5 Years: 1/2 capsule a day.

6-12 Years: 1 capsule 2 times a day.

Over 12 Years 1 capsule 3 times a day

These are starting doses; the doses can be gradually increased depending on the severity of the case.

Occasionally, when a person starts transfer factor immune system support, he or she may experience flu-like symptoms, nausea, or gastrointestinal symptoms. Since transfer factor is a small peptide and does not contain milk protein, allergic reactions are rare. These symptoms are usually classified as Jared Herxheimer mechanisms, and they probably signify a direct reaction of transfer factor on gut or systemic pathogens. If people are informed of these possible mild reactions, they are more likely to continue using the the transfer factor supplements.


Factor in Pediatric Practice

• Chronic pharyngitis

• Eczema

• Allergies

• Asthma

• Food allergies

• Autism (certain subsets)

• Prevention of vaccination-induced TH2 states

• Chronic infection

• Thrush and candidiasis

• Otitis media

• Cancer

• Autoimmune states: lupus and ulcerative colitis

• Chronic fatigue

• Fibromyalgia

• Lyme (certain subsets)

• EBV, CMV, HHV6, and other viral infections


Transfer Factor Immune System Support vs. Alternative Therapies

In complicated immune cases or in adjunct cancer treatment, it is advantageous to add complementary classes of herbs and nutrients to augment the immune system-support effects. These auxiliary factors boost natural killer cell activity, increase phagocytosis, increase maturation of T- cells, enhance general immunity, and trigger the complement cascade, helping cytotoxicity. Compounds that act synergistically with transfer factor include thymic protein factors, Chinese herbs (such as astragalus, cordyceps, shiitake, maitake, and reishi), inositol hexaphosphate, melatonin 1-3 beta glucan glutathione and associated antioxidants Vitamins A D and B6 promote the TH2 pattern, while vitamins E, C, and folate support the production of a TH1 response.(39) Vitamin B12 suppresses the TH1 response.(40) In addition, acupuncture has been found to increase the immune perimeters of CMI. Levels of CD 3+, CD 4+, CD 4+/CD8+, and beta-endorphins were found to be increased in patients with malignant tumors after a course of acupuncture treatment.(41)

Thymic factors cause maturation of naVve T-cells and increase cell-mediated immunity. It is known that transfer factor is more effective in post-thymic cells. Therefore, both thymic factors and transfer factors are recommended for mild thymic primary immunodeficiency.(42,43) A recent study by Dr. D. See showed that transfer factor immune system support enhanced natural killer cell cytotoxic activity. The effect of transfer factor immune system support was greater than that observed with other well-known NK cell activity enhancers, such as echinacea, acemannan, 1-3 beta glucan, IP-6, and certain Chinese mushrooms. Colostrum had 1/4 the potency. Other immune parameters, such as T-cell function and test of cellular immunity, were not done in this particular study.(44)


Immune system functioning is at the heart of the increasing infectious and immunologic health seen in clinical practices. Through its unique properties and activities, transfer factor immune system support is an extremely useful, relatively risk-free alternative to adjunctive therapy for treatment of cell- mediated or TH1-deficient conditions. Think of immune system potential with cancer, fatigue, viruses, allergies, fungus, chronic infections, and autoimmune responses.

Steven J. Bock has been practicing alternative and integrative medicine for over 20 years. He has extensive experience in the integrative treatment of Lyme disease. Dr. Bock is a certified acupuncturist. He is medical director of The Rhinebeck Health Center, The Center for Progressive Medicine and www.PatientsAmerica.com. He is the author of Natural Relief for Your Child and Staying Young the Melatonin Way.

(New York: Plume Books, 1996).

Reprinted with Permission from the International Journal of Integrative Medicine


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2. Ibid.

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20. Milich DR, Chen MK, Hughes JL, Jones JE: The secreted hepatitis precove antigen can modulate the immune response to the nucleocapsid: a mechanism for persistence. J Immunol 160:2013-2021, 1998.

21. Tsai SL, Liaw TF, Chen MH, Huang LY, Kuo GC: Detection of type-2 like T helper cells in hepatitis C detection: implications for hepatitis C virus chronicity. Hepatology 25:449-458, 1997.

22. Ferrer-Argote VE, Romero-Cabello R, Hernandez-Medoza L, Arista-Viveros A, Rojo-Medina J, Balseca-Olivera F, Fierro M, Gonzalez-Constandse R: Successful treatment of severe complicated measles with non-specific transfer factor. In Vivo

8:555-558, 1994.

23. McCormick DP, Lim-Melia E, Sneed K, Baldwin CD, Chonmaitice T: Detection of respiratory viruses in middle ear fluids of children with otitis media infections. Ped Infectious Disease Journal 19(3):256-258, March 2000.

24. Ramilio O: Role of respiratory viruses in acute otitis media: implications for management of AOM. Ped Infectious Disease

18(12):1125-1129, December 1999.

25. Khan A, Sellars W, Grater W, Graham M, Pflanzer J, Antonetti A, Bailey J, Hill NO: The usefulness of transfer factor in

asthma associated with frequent infections. Annals of Allergy 40(4):229-232, April 1978.

26. Ibid.

27. Khan A: The syndrome of asthma, recurrent viral infections and T-cell immuno-deficiency: investigations and management.

Annals of Allergy 43(2):69-72, August 1979.

28. Clerici M, Merola M, Ferrario E, Trabattoni D, Villa ML, Stefanon B, Venzon DJ, Shearer GM, De Palo G, Clerici E: Cytokine production patterns in cervical intraepithelial neoplasis: association with human papillomavirus infection. J Natl Cancer Inst

89(3):245-250, February 5, 1997.

29. Grohn P: Transfer factor in chronic and recurrent respiratory tract infections in children. Acta Paediatr Scand 66:211-217,


30. De Vinci C, Pizza G, Cuzzocrea D, Menniti D, Aiello E, Maver P, Corrado G, Romagnoli P, Dragoni E, LoConte G, Riolo U, Masi M, Severini G, Fornarola V, Viza D: Use of transfer factor for the treatment of recurrent non-bacterial female cystitis

(NBRC): a preliminary report. Biotherapy 9(1-3):133-138, 1996.

31. Masi M, De Vinci C, Baricordi OR: Transfer factor in chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis. Biotherapy 9(1-3):97-103, 1996.

32. Matyniak JE, Reiner SL: T helper phenotype and genetic susceptibility in experimental Lyme disease. Journal Exp Med

181(3):1251-1254, March 1, 1995.

33. Sherwood Lawrence H, Borkowsky W: Transfer factor: current status and future prospects. Biotherapy 9:1-5, 1996.

34. Hana I, Vrubel J, Pekarek J, Cech K: The influence of age on transfer factor treatment of cellular immunodeficiency, chronic fatigue syndrome and/or chronic viral infections. Biotherapy 9(1-3):91-95, 1996.

35. Ablashi DV, Levine PH, De Vinci C, Whitman JE Jr, Pizza G, Viza D: Use of anti HHV-6 transfer factor for the treatment of two patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS): two case reports. Biotherapy 9(1-3):81-86, 1996.

36. Pizza G, Viza D, De Vinci C, Palareti A, Cuzzocrea D, Fornarola V, Baricordi R: Orally administered HSV: specific transfer

factor (TF) prevents genital or labial herpes relapses. Biotherapy 9(1-3):67-72, 1996.

37. Meduri R, Campos E, Scorolli L, De Vinci C, Pizza G, Viza D: Efficacy of transfer factor in treating patients with recurrent

ocular herpes infections. Biotherapy 9(1-3):61-66, 1996.

38. Basten A, Pollard JD, Stewart GJ, Frith JA, McLeod JG, Walsh JC, Garrick R, Van Der Brink CM: Transfer factor in

treatment of multiple sclerosis. The Lancet 931-934, November 1980.

39. Long KZ, Santos JI: Vitamins and the regulation of the immune response. Pediatr Infect Dis J 18:283-290, 1999.

40. Ibid.

41. Wu B: Effect of acupuncture on the regulation of cell-mediated immunity in the patients with malignant tumors. (Abstract)

Chen Tzu Yen Chiu 20(3):67-71, 1995.

42. Lawrence HS: Immune Regulation in Transfer Factor. New York: Academic Press, 1979, p. 613.

43. Khan A, Sellars WA, Gabela P, Thometz D: Transfer factor, thymosin and E rosettes. NEJM 292:868, 1975.

44. See D, Gurnce K, Leclair M: An in vitro screening study of 196 natural products for toxicity and efficacy. JAMA 2(1),

December 1999.











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