Transfer Factor

18/Description

About

A transfer factor is a chemical that is taken from a human or animal that has already developed protection (immunity) against a certain disease. So far, transfer factors for various diseases have been produced only in laboratories for experimental use. Researchers are interested in finding out whether transfer factors can pass along immunity to people who need it. Transfer factors are given as shots or taken by mouth.

Transfer factors are used for infectious conditions in people with weak immune systems. These infectious conditions include bacteria or viruses in the blood stream (septicemia), sinus infections, bronchitis, influenza, swine flu, the common cold, shingles, chickenpox, hepatitis B, fungal infections such as coccidioidomycosis, yeast infections (candidiasis), parasitic infections such as leishmaniasis and cryptosporidiosis, and leprosy. Transfer factors are also used against infections caused by viruses such as cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein-Barr virus; by bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium fortuitum, and Mycobacterium avium; and by yeast-like fungus such as Cryptococcus and Pneumocystis carinii.

Transfer factors are also used for diabetes, autism, infertility, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Behcet's syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, balding, and Alzheimer's disease. They are also used for skin conditions including psoriasis, allergic dermatitis, and others. Other uses include an eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease), multiple sclerosis, bone cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, food and chemical allergies, myasthenia gravis, and asthma.

How it works

Transfer factor might boost immunity to specific diseases.

Effectiveness

Possibly Effective
Shingles

Giving transfer factor as a shot under the skin seems to prevent shingles in children with leukemia. However, transfer factor doesn't seem to prevent a second bout of shingles or restore protection against shingles in people who have received a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. When given as a shot under the skin to people with shingles, transfer factor seems to help reduce the duration of pain compared to the drug acyclovir.

Concerns

Possibly safe

Transfer factors that have been taken from humans are POSSIBLY SAFE when used for up to 2 years in adults.Transfer factors that are taken from cows are POSSIBLY SAFE when used short-term, up to 3 months. They can cause fever in some people. Transfer factors given as a shot (by injection) can cause swelling and pain where the injection is given.There is some concern about the possibility of catching "mad cow disease" (bovine spongiform encephalitis, BSE) or other diseases from products that come from animals. "Mad cow disease" has not been transmitted by transfer factor, but it is probably wise to avoid animal products from countries where mad cow disease has been found.

18/Warnings

Warnings

Children: The shot form of transfer factor from humans isPOSSIBLY SAFEin children when given for up to 6 years. Transfer factor from cows isPOSSIBLY SAFEin children when given by mouth for up to 6 months.Dosing considerations for Transfer Factor.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking transfer factor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Interactions

No information available.

The information provided on this page is for reference purposes and is not meant to be used as a medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a medical professional.