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Transfer Factor 101

101 Things You need to know

If you've not heard of transfer factors before, take 3 minutes to read this. Transfer factors are perhaps the single most valuable immune support you can give your body daily.

In our previous article, we talked about mother's milk and its content of transfer factors (among other immune blocks) to support her newborn's immune system and protect it from potential harm. Read the article here 'Mother's Perfect Gift'

What are transfer factors?

Vital components of the immune system, transfer factors work to enhance the effectiveness of immune cells, making them more sensitive, smart and focused at identifying and killing the body's enemies; viruses, bacteria, etc. Years of research coupled with new technology has enabled scientists to isolate transfer factors and study them more closely. Here's what science discovered:

1. The immune library

Transfer factors are made up of 40-44 amino acids (amino acids are the building blocks of protein). They are made by immune cells and stored in immune cells. Their main function is to sensitized and educate immune cells, increasing their speed and accuracy at identifying and responding to a threat. They contain information (like an immune library) to help immune cells function smarter. 

2. Can be shared between people

Studies have shown that transfer factor's unique ability to enhance immune activity can be transferred from one person to another. The information stored in transfer factors can be shared between people.

Reference: Fudenberg, H. and H. Fudenberg. 1989, Ann Rev Plharmacol Toxicol, Vol. 29, pp. 475-516

3. Can be shared across species barrier

In addition, because of their structure, transfer factors can be transferred across species without losing their function. For example, transfer factors from cows are structurally analogous to transfer factors in humans and research shows that though they are different in origin but in terms of physiological activity, they are equivalent. In short, transfer factors from cows can be transferred to humans while retaining their potency. 

References: Dwyer, John M. 1–3, 1996, Biotherapy, Vol. 9, pp. 7-11, Wilson, G.B., R.T. Newell, and N.M. Burdash. 1, 1979, Cell Immunol, Vol. 47, pp. 1–18, Radosevich, J.K., G.H. Scott, and G.D. Olson. 4, 1985, Am J Vet Res, Vol. 46, pp. 875-8.

Find out  '3-Scientific Steps Making Immune Smarter'

4. Why transfer factors from cows?

This is ground-breaking for many reasons. Your immune system can now leverage on other sources to stay smart and sharp. Picture a cow grazing in a muddy pasture surrounded by swarms of flies. Surely it's exposed to a multitude of germs but somehow remains unperturbed. Why?  Here's a fact; cows have got resilient immune systems. Were they born with it? Maybe but early in life most of their resilience come from immune blocks (including transfer factors) passed from mother cows to their young through colostrum. Later, the calves build their own resilience through daily exposure to germs in the paddock and pasture. 

The last two decades brought technological advancement that enabled transfer factors from cow colostrum to be extracted (without harming mother cows or depriving their calves) and processed into capsules for human consumption. They look like milk powder in capsules but are actually concentrated transfer factors. 

5. Oral transfer factor is just as effective

While most clinical studies involved recipients receiving transfer factors through injection, several studies tested transfer factors given by oral route. Results from the latter showed that transfer factor activity is not affected by stomach acid nor gastrointestinal enzymes. In fact, these studies concluded that when possible, oral route is preferred because it's convenient and the least invasive route. 

Reference: Kirkpatrick, C.H. 1–3, 1996, Biotherapy, Vol. 9, pp. 13-6

6. 3,000 scientific reviews over 50 years

This is a just really brief explanation on transfer factors. There are over 3,000 scientific reviews spanning over 50 years. You will notice that most of these used the injectable form of transfer factors. Transfer factors from cow colostrum were only available recently with the introduction of new technology. Nevertheless, scientific evidence points to improved immune function with transfer factors. Read more about 4Life Transfer Factor as stated in Physician desk Referrence (PDR.net/4Life-Transfer-Factor)

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