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Transfer Factor and It's Clinical Applications

Transfer Factor and It's Clinical Applications

Steven J. Bock, MD

"H.S. Lawrence discovered transfer factor in 1949, when he demonstrated that an immune fraction of a personís white blood cells was able to transfer immunity in a nonsensitized individual. 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. 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. Because it stimulates a TH1 response in most cases, transfer factor should not be used in pregnancy. Certain autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, which are TH1-dominant states, are ameliorated during pregnancy. 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 childís TH2-dominated immune system is subject to TH1 stimulation and TH1/TH2 balance ensues. 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. 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. 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 disease or cancer, and can end with an autoimmune disease."

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Keywords: Transfer Factor TH1 cells TH2 multiple sclerosis rheumatoid arthritis pregnancy viral infection fungal infection cancer vaccinations autoimmune disease

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