FAQs ON TRANSFER FACTOR
"Treating Chronically Ill Patients With Transfer Factor"
A discussion by Dr. Carol Ann Ryser, M.D.
Dr. Carol Ann Ryser, M.D., is a Board Certified Pediatrician, Board Certified Clinical Analyst, member of F.A.A.P., the American Medical Association, OHM (Orthomolecular Health Medicine), and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. The primary focus of Dr. Ryser’s medical practice is on the prevention of illness and disease. Since 1996, Dr. Ryser has been the Medical Director of Health Centers of America. Previously, she was Medical Director of the International Learning Centers, Director of Mid-American Treatment and Training, a staff member of the Gardner Medical Center, Consulting Staff Member of the Research Medical Center, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Medical Director of the Children’s Rehabilitation Unit, University of Kansas Medical Center, Consultant to the Special Education Department for Orthopedically Handicapped Children, and a Consultant to the United States Air Force in Crete.
Dr. Ryser has published and presented a number of papers in her area of expertise, appearing in such publications as The American Journal for Diseases of Children, the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychology and Pediatrics. Dr. Ryser has been recognized for her contributions in the fields of medicine, science, and mental health, as both a clinician and educator, by both professional and lay organizations.
The use of transfer factor represents one of the most exciting advances in immune system health. transfer factor is based on the fact that key immune information can be transferred from cell-to-cell. These cells then teach the immune system to recognize specific viruses and bacteria.
Transfer factors are tiny protein molecules that are produced by immune cells called T-cells. Transfer factors allow the immune system to remember conditions for which immunity has already been established. When a person has been infected, for example, with chicken pox in childhood, their body develops a memory of that illness, and prevents the person from becoming re-infected with it later in life. In the future, the specific immune transfer factor molecule for chicken pox will endow the immune system with the exact ‘blueprint’ of what chicken pox looks like, and the body will be able to quickly recognize and respond to any possible re-infection.
Many of these transfer factors - or “immune memory molecules,” were introduced to us from our mother’s milk or colostrum, which is the richest source of concentrated transfer factors known to scientists. Transfer factors in colostrum have the sole purpose of transferring immunity from the mother to the baby’s immature immune system. All mammals produce transfer factor, but scientists prefer to work with chicken and normal bovine colostrum. A healthy cow already produces millions of different transfer factors, but when the cow comes into contact with a pathogen such as a virus, it produces a new transfer factor for that specific virus or pathogen.
For individuals challenged by specific pathogens – such as those suffering with chronic illnesses like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, supplementation with the appropriate transfer factor molecule may provide the ‘missing link,’ thereby allowing the immune system to target and destroy the offending pathogen, and mitigate the symptoms of the disease.
Since 1998, Dr. Carol Ann Ryser has been using transfer factor to treat her chronically ill patients, and has experienced considerable success in diminishing symptoms and achieving overall health improvements among those patients. In this exclusive interview, Dr. Ryser discusses her experience with transfer factor as an effective treatment for chronic illness.
Question: What transfer factor do you use in your practice, and for what kind of patient?
Dr. Ryser's Response: For chronically ill patients, including those with chronic sinusitis, and multiple allergies, I prescribe six capsules a day, and depending on the severity of their symptoms, I might prescribe up to twelve capsules a day. For Epstein-Barr patients, I typically prescribe three capsules a day of Transfer Factor Plus for adults, taken morning or evening as they prefer, because it can make them tired. For children ages 7-12 or 13, depending on weight, I will prescribe two capsules a day, to be taken at bedtime.
When a patient is beginning to get sick and is coming down with a fever, I will have them take two capsules every 2-3 hours, for 24 hours, and that usually knocks the virus “off its socks,” so to speak. This dosage of transfer factor can nip a fever in the bud, by supporting the immune system’s natural killer cells.
I have also found that a blend of transfer factor formulas can be very effective. For patients with Herpes Virus 1 or the common cold, I might prescribe six capsules a day of the plain transfer factor, Transfer Factor Tri-Factor or the Transfer Factor Plus, to specifically target the virus they are trying to fight.
I also treat fibromyalgia patients with transfer factor. I believe that fibromyalgia is most commonly caused by infections, including bacteria, yeast, and parasites. For chronically ill patients dealing with multiple infections, including CNS (Central Nervous System) infections and gastrointestinal infections, I recommend several different transfer factor formulas, to be taken together.
In treating a chronically ill patient, viruses need to be suppressed. Stress –both physical and emotional, will activate the immune system and “distract” it to deal with the new stressor that has been introduced. That is why so many college students come down with mononucleosis.
If a patient isn’t getting good results with transfer factor, I look at possible coagulation problems, as well as malabsorption difficulties, and gastrointestinal problems. I always begin by getting a patient’s bowels functioning more normally (I address Irritable Bowel Syndrome), so they can properly absorb transfer factor.
Question: How long does it usually take for a patient to experience positive results once they start taking transfer factor?
Dr. Ryser's Response: My patients usually start to feel better within 3-6 months of beginning treatment with transfer factor. Dramatic results usually manifest in about one year, but we really begin to see positive changes in 5-6 months. It typically takes about a year of transfer factor treatment to really turn a patient around. I am specifically referring to chronically ill patients who have an average of 2-7 chronic infections that require treatment. The body’s cells regenerate every six months, and you need to give the body a chance to generate healthy cells before dramatic improvements in a patient’s overall health can emerge.
Question: What, if any, are the side effects or possible negative reactions that can occur with transfer factor therapy?
Dr. Ryser's Response: The initial reactions to transfer factor a patient will experience are similar to a vaccination – but without, of course, exposure to the pathogen. The initial reaction typically includes flu-like symptoms, proportionate to the severity of a patient’s illness. These flu-like symptoms go away, but they prove that the immune system has been activated, and that it is working to suppress the body’s infections.
Regarding the safety of transfer factor, I have never had a problem with negative side effects or adverse reactions.
[Note: Initial reactions or Herxheimer's reaction means detoxification. This is a positive reaction and not a side-effect nor adverse reactions for it does not harm the body; instead it cleans the body of molecular debris to protect the body from diseases.]
Question: What have you found to be the most positive benefits of transfer factor for your Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients – what are the best results you have seen?
Dr. Ryser's Response: The patient stops getting sick, and they don’t have any more infections. Their cognitive thinking clears up – no more brain fog. Their energy comes back – they can start doing more, and they can start walking and exercising again. They don’t suffer relapses. However, when a patient is doing well and they make the personal decision to stop taking transfer factor, I have seen relapses. I strongly recommend that a patient takes transfer factor for life – that is, it is a lifetime commitment for my chronically ill patients.
Can TF be used also for racing horses and other animals?
"I have used these products as stand-alone and in conjunction with allopathic therapies in the following cases with excellent results: (Note all cancer cases were given Transfer Factor Tri-Factor Advanced Formula only - also referred to as CANCER: Canine lipomas, Canine/feline hepatic tumors, Equine squamous cell carcinoma, Equine melanomas; Feline leukemia, oral tumors. VIRAL/BACTERIAL: Upper and lower respiratory infections, Canine/feline dermatoses, Equine/bovine scours, Equine septic arthritis, Feline abscesses. PARASITIC/FUNGAL/AUTOIMMUNE: E.P.M., Feline and equine fungal dermatitis, and Feline autoimmune gingivitis." Steven Slagle, DVM
NOTE: A number of veterinarians use the human formula of transfer factors in their practices. Diana Mc Cormick owns a magnificent black purebred Andalusianstallion, Amistad. The horse fully recovered from his cancer and other health problems with 6 capsules of Transfer Factor twice a day. A year later, Diana wrote me: "The Tumor did not reappear or Amistad did not have any set backs since I nursed him through that winter after the surgery and the following Spring. Amistad looks magnificent and he is winning everywhere, producing foals and making many more. At this time Amistad is actually in the process of being sold for $80.000 to a wonderful lady in MI. So miracles do happen, had we gone with the radiation, chances are he would have broken a leg with the weak bones and he would be sterile."
Joe Raemakers, DVM - "We recently had an experience with a 30-year-old horse who had a leg swollen from infection. I applied Transfer Factor directly to the leg and within 6 days the swelling was totally gone. I checked his lymphocyte level and he had a 27% increase since the use of transfer factors. THAT’S JUST PHENOMENAL!"
Question: Should I take Transfer Factor™ or Transfer Factor™ Plus?
If an individual should choose to use Transfer Factor™, their immune system may be supported in ways that
it otherwise would not. Transfer factors work as instructors to the different members of the immune system.
This instruction assists the function of the immune system in recognizing and fighting outside threats to your
health. Transfer factors are immune modulators, which means that they are able to support healthy immune
function by an Inducer Factor as well as a Suppressor Factor. In addition, an independent study showed that
4Life™'s Transfer Factor™ was shown to increase the Natural Killer cell (NK)activity by more than 100%. This is an important discovery in that NK cells carry the immune messaging cytokines, which direct battle with outside threats. When NK cell count is increased the immune system is working more effectively.
Transfer Factor Plus™ is different from Transfer Factor™ in that it has additional ingredients. These
ingredients include cordyceps, IP-6, maitake mushrooms, beta glucan, zinc, and shiitake mushrooms that help
initiate a stronger stimulating immune response than that of Transfer Factor™. Transfer Factor Plus™ strengthens both the innate immune system (the immune information an individual is born with) and the adaptive immune system (the immune information an individual's immune system has obtained throughout life). For your individual condition, either or both of these products may be of benefit to you because of its supporting and strengthening. If you choose to use these products, please consult your physician to make sure there will be no complications or interactions associated with your current state of health.
Question: Can pregnant women take Transfer Factor™?
There have been no adverse responses reported while taking Transfer Factor during pregnancy. As with all
supplements, consult a physician before use.
Question:Is Transfer Factor™ Casein and Gluten free?
Yes, in preparing Transfer Factor™ the large molecular proteins are removed, including casein and
antibodies. Milk allergies are caused by the large proteins in milk, primarily casein and to a lesser extent
antibodies. Gluten is another extracted protein and is predominately isolated from wheat, rye and barley. Because Transfer Factor XF is extracted from colostrum, gluten is not found in Transfer Factor™.
Question: Does Transfer Factor Plus™ contain yeast?
Transfer Factor Plus™ contains a component derived from baker's yeast called beta glucans. Transfer Factor Plus™ does not contain whole yeast however.
Question: Does TF Kids™ contain less Transfer Factor XF™ than regular Transfer Factor™?
Yes, TF Kids™ contains 150 mg of Transfer Factor XF™ per tablet where Transfer Factor™ capsules contain 200mg each capsule. Because of the weight differential between adults and children, TF Kids™ contains less Transfer Factor XF™. Instructions concerning serving size may be found on the TF Kids™ labels.
Question: Can I discontinue taking Transfer Factor™ or is it necessary to take it continuously?
Ideally Transfer Factor™ should be used daily to continually work to support the immune system. If you
discontinue taking Transfer Factor™ your immune system will miss out on its daily support.
Question: Is it safe to take multiple capsules of Transfer Factor™ a day?
There is no known toxicity level associated with Transfer Factor™.
Question: How does ingesting transfer factors orally compare to injecting transfer factors from blood
Generally, the effects are very similar no matter how transfer factors enter the body. Because transfer
factors originate in the blood, the source of transfer factors is identical whether they reenter the body in
concentrated form such as 4Life™ Transfer Factor™, or by injection.
Question: The NK cell study talks about "in vitro." What does this mean?
In vitro, means "out of the body". This means that substances are tested on extracted cells that have been
removed from the body. In vivo means that substances are placed into the body and the results are measured "in the body."
Question: Can you take transfer factors from one group of people and give them to another group of people?
This process is how Dr. Lawrence discovered transfer factors. He took the white blood cells (leukocytes) from a previously infected tuberculosis patient, who has regained their health, and injected these white blood cells into a recently infected patient. The white blood cells from the "old" TB patient contain information on how the immune system fights against the disease and transferred this information to the "new" patient.
Question: Are there research studies available on Transfer Factor™?
4Life has made available three booklets containing condensed information from the volumes and volumes of
research available on Transfer Factor™ and the components that were brought together in Transfer Factor Plus™. The first booklet is ""Transfer Factor" by William Hennen, Ph.D. the second is called ""Enhanced Transfer Factor", also by Dr. Hennen. A third booklet by a member of 4Life's Medical Advisory Board, Rita Elkins, MH, is also entitled "Transfer Factor", and is written in layman's terms so the general population can gain additional knowledge. Each of these booklets contains hundreds of additional references.
Question: What are its accreditations and endorsements?
= It is a food supplement derived from milk which falls under the category of GRAS (Generally Recognized
As Safe). It is also BFAD approved.
= It is approved and endorsed by the Russian Federation and Ministry of Health. Based on the Methodological Letter (Moscow 2004) which had been approved by the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation, Transfer Factor was being endorsed in immunorehabilitation after infectious, inflammatory, and somatic diseases. In vitro studies carried out by M.V. Kisielevsky and E.O. Khalturina at the Russian Cancer Research demonstrate that Transfer Factor stimulates antitumor and cytotoxic activity of mononuclear blood cells from healthy donors.
= Ever since Dr. Laurence’s discovery of Transfer Factor in 1949, there have been over 3,500 scientific
studies published about Transfer Factor which all validate its efficacy. Dr. Hennen has summarized a
portion of this research in a forty-eight page booklet for the general public. The booklet can be obtained from
Woodland Books by calling 801 785 8100.
= In May of 2000 , Alternative Medicine magazine published an article entitled: “Educating the Immune Cells” in which D.J. Fletcher writes that “the immune system is one of the miracles of Nature, and Transfer Factor, an immune molecule which is a type of immunotherapy, is part of the therapy.”
= A study done by the Institute of Longevity Medicine in California, a laboratory recognized for its research and expertise in measuring the ability of ingredients to significantly boost the immune system. Plain Transfer
Factor Formula was tested for its ability to increase Natural Killer (NK) cells’ activity. The researchers used
peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBM) isolated from human volunteers. Test results showed that plain Transfer Factor Formula boosted the NK cells’ activity 103% above normal immune response without supplementation which is capable of killing 97% of cancerous cells based on the Russian Academy of Medical Science Research thus making it more powerful than interferon which only kills 88% of cancer cells.
= The demonstrated immunocorrecting effects in many infectious and somatic diseases have been studied and
reported by scientists of different countries. Transfer Factor wide spectrum of clinical effects, which were
reported at the 11th International Symposium, encouraged doctors to recommend them to patients of different ages from infants to elderly people being treated in intensive care units.
Question: Why do you choose cows as your source for Transfer Factor™?
4Life™ extracts Transfer Factor™ from cow colostrum because it is an immense and available source. Transfer factors are non-species specific, meaning they can be used in humans even if the original source is a different mammal.
Question: Is Transfer Factor™ effective on large animals such as horses? If so, what is the suggested serving?
Yes, Transfer Factor™ can be given to animals, including horses. TF Pets™ is available for canines and
felines, but regular Transfer Factor™ can be taken by any animal. Remember when you are calculating serving size for animals that they have a much more "heroic" and responsive immune system. Animals, especially the grazers, are much more immunologically responsive and can get by with less Transfer Factor™ per pound. The immune system has a way of amplifying the signal. Serving sizes for larger animals do not always correspond to weight entirely, especially when you are dealing with grazers. Start your animal on a
minimal amount and continue to increase the serving over time, if necessary.
Question: Why do we need to use Transfer Factor™ if we received immune information when we were infants?
The transfer factors we received as infants are just purposeful as those available in Transfer Factor™. As
infants, mother's colostrum gave immune information while our immune systems were not fully developed, but the transfer factors were absorbed into the bloodstream and eventually were used up to become part of the functioning immune system, consisting of lymphocytes, natural killer cells, macrophages, etc. The information provided at birth was to work against the specific threats experienced by your mother at that time; after years of life new threats to the immune system exist. By using oral transfer factor we are providing the same type of immune information we received at birth.
Question: Will Transfer Factor™ or Transfer Factor Plus™ help my specific medically diagnosed condition?
Unfortunately, 4Life™ is unable to prescribe specific supplements for identified conditions; we are only able to describe system function that may be supported through supplementation. Overall, Transfer Factor and Transfer Factor Plus are designed to support normal immune function. Additional information is available in "Transfer Factor" or "Enhanced Transfer Factor" by William Hennen, Ph.D.
Question: Is there a Transfer Factor product created for topical application?
Yes, TF Renewall has been formulated for external application to support the body's first line of immune
defense: the skin. Please consult with a physician for information on specific skin conditions.
Question: I have heard reports of people exceeding the recommended serving size of Transfer Factor™. Is this safe?
Transfer Factor has been consumed for many years with no reported side effects. Studies have shown no
toxicity. The recommended maintenance amount is 3 capsules a day.
Question: Can a person use more than the recommended serving size of Transfer Factor Plus™?
Some individuals do use more for added immune support during short duration. The best and safest way to
begin using Transfer Factor Plus™ is to use the recommended serving size as listed on the product label.
Question: How does Transfer Factor™ react to heat?
Long-term exposure to high temperatures can degrade potency and possibly neutralize Transfer Factor™ activity. Transfer Factor should be stored in a cool, dry environment.
Question: Can people who are lactose intolerant use Transfer Factor™?
Yes. The large proteins, such as lactose, are filtered out during the extraction process. Are transfer factors made of sugars, proteins or fats? Isolated transfer factors have been determined to be a chain of small peptides consisting of 44 amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.
Question: Why do people use Transfer Factor Plus™ or Transfer Factor™ during treatments that severely weaken immune function?
The immune system is challenged during times of stress. Because of this, additional support through supplementation may promote a healthy immune system. When the immune system is working effectively, recovery occurs at an ideal pace. The use of Transfer Factor™ or Transfer Factor Plus™ is appropriate at anytime you feel your immune system has been compromised.
Question: Is transfer factor good only for newborns?
Transfer factor is good for everyone who needs an extra immune boost. The three groups who are most in need of immune strengthening are the young, the old, and anyone under stress. Almost all of us fall into one of these categories. We often talk of the baby-boom generation. Most of these people are at an age where already their immune systems are becoming lax. Transfer factor is a way to boost a lagging immune system.
Question: If transfer factor is so effective, then why hasn't the pharmaceutical industry jumped on it?
I think that is exactly what we are seeing in many countries, notably China, Czechoslavakia, Germany,
Hungary, Poland, and Japan. In the US, transfer factor has had an interesting history. The idea of transfer factor flies in the face of conventional immunology. In the 1950's, antibiotics were the golden child of medicine, followed in the 60's by steroids like cortisone for inflammation and the synthetic steroid hormones like ethinyl estrogen and progestin that were used to create the birth control pill. After an initial delay, transfer
factor hit its heyday in the 70's and early 80's. Results, however, were inconsistent as researchers dove in
sometimes with more enthusiasm than skill. The key feature that was missing in these investigations was a dependable assay technique for quality control of the product. The quality control issue was not resolved until the mid 1980's. Given that transfer factor is not a single entity, the pharmaceutical companies had fits trying to purify the material without losing efficacy. This attempted force-fit into the single-entity, single-function drug dogma was disastrous. The next issue that slowed transfer factor research is the age-old issue of funding. When AIDS hit the popular press, politicians shifted funding into AIDs research, but with focus on finding the cause and then finding a drug that would cure AIDs. The work of a few, dedicated, but under-funded researchers and the inability of the mainstream medical-pharmaceutical industry have combined to again focus attention on transfer factor as one of the few modalities that is effective against diseases of viral origin.
Question: Are there reasons why we haven't seen transfer factor as a food supplement before now?
Yes, there are two doors that recently have opened that allow transfer factor to be effectively marketed now.
The first door to open was the passage of the DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act) in 1994. The provision for structure-functions claims allows the story of transfer factor to be told without jeopardizing its status as a nutritional supplement. The second is technical. Transfer factor was definitely an idea way ahead of its time and it had to wait for technology to catch up. The processing methods that allow for large scale extraction of transfer factor have only recently been perfected, and a commercial product has only been available for the last 12 years.
Question: Is Transfer Factor™ FDA approved?
Since Transfer Factor is a food supplement derived from milk, it falls under the category of Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS), an agency created by the FDA.
Question: Is Transfer Factor™ safe?
YES. Researchers have given huge doses of transfer factor to volunteers in an attempt to trigger some sort of
adverse reaction. No negative side effects were observed, even with massive doses.
Question: Is Transfer Factor™ safe for infants?
Colostral transfer factor was designed by nature for newborns. Removal of the milk allergens and lactose leaves the essence of the immunologic information in the form of transfer factor.