Transfer Factors As A Nutritional Supplement

By Suzette Lawrence, CNM, MSN

Transfer factors (TF) stand alone as the single most powerful and effective immune system regulator known to science. They are unique in their ability to up-regulate an under-achieving immune system, down-regulate an over-responsive immune system and to modulate a chaotic immune response. What an important discovery for those with chronic viral, auto-immune, fungal and bacterial infections!

Transfer factors are showing many potential benefits for those with autism, attention deficits and various learning and behavioral disorders. They have been used safely in humans for over 25 years.

What are Transfer Factors?

Transfer factors are naturally occurring molecules that contain our immune history. If one thinks of vitamins and minerals as the bricks and mortar that build immune system cells, transfer factors are the blueprints that determine were the brick will be placed.

TF is made by white blood cells. During pregnancy the white blood cell production of mammals increases. These white blood cells travel to the maturing mammary glands and release the donor’s immune history, via the TF, into the maturing mammary tissues. At birth TF is secreted into the colostrum. As the newborn nurses he receives his mother’s immune history via her immune factors, hence the name. This extension of maternal protection is so fundamental to survival that it occurs in all humans and animals. TF are thought to be cross-species compatible, so humans can use the TF from cows and chickens to strengthen their own immune function at any age.

The Immune System at Work

The immune system is made up of more than a trillion cells. Its function is to recognize alien substances such as bacteria, viruses and parasites and react to them. It holds the invader in its memory and quickly responds to it in the future. This amazing skill is the basis for vaccines. Give the body a tiny amount of the invader, and then it will be "immune" to it later.

Children with chronic infections, such as strep, are described as immune-deficient. Children with auto-immune conditions, as well as those with developmental disorders, including autism, attention deficit disorder, or language delays, often have immune systems that are overwhelmed and confused. This is apparent because they also frequently are diagnosed with allergies and asthma.

Infants who are breast-fed show stronger immune systems than those who are not because they receive the colostrum from their mother’s milk. Colostrum is a rich source of transfer factors; it imprints the mother’s recognition of hostile invaders on her baby.

How does Transfer Factor Work?

Transfer factors work by downloading information to the recipient’s immune cells. Every illness that the donor’s immune system encounters is remembered by the TF molecules. In addition, TF enables the immune system to identify and appropriately respond to viruses, bacteria, mycoplasma, yeasts, parasites and even cancer cells. If one infected cell escapes immune system detection, the system has failed, and the culprit will resurface. With the intelligence that TF delivers, the immune system uses it‘s own defenses to kill off invaders. Fever, fatigue, rashes, and loose stools result. These reactions known as "die- off" are evidence that the immune system has the intelligence to purge the body of disease causing invaders.


There are thousands of research studies on the use of transfer factors. Of special interest is one done in 1996 by Dr. Hugh Fudenberg. In a group of 22 children with autism, 15 of whom had become autistic following an MMR vaccine, all but one responded positively to TF, with ten regaining sufficient skills to enter mainstream schools. After discontinuing treatment, some showed regression, but none returned to their prior baseline levels.

In another study, 88 children who used TF at the recommended doses for at least 6 months were compared to a matched sample. The TF group had a 74% reduction in illness and an 86% reduction in antibiotic use.

Dosing and Results

Start with one 200 mg capsule, and work up to as high as 2,000 mg a day, gradually increasing over the first month. Do not combine with digestive enzymes. Parents report improved health and mental focus during the first six months of supplementation.

Results? Healthier children with a strong immune foundation, who are more available for the treatments and therapies they need!

For more information about transfer factor, read Transfer Factor: Natural Immune Booster (Woodland Health)Transfer Factor: Natural Immune Booster by William Hennen.

Suzette Lawrence is a parent of a child with developmental delays. She lives in Delaware.

[Initially published in New Developments: Volume 10, Number 2 - Winter, 2004-2005]

All material in this web site is given for information purposes only and is not to be substituted for advice from your health care provider.

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