Thymosin alpha 1 (T α 1) is a peptide, or small protein, produced naturally by the thymus gland. The thymus is where immune cells known as T cells mature and are released when prompted to do so by the T α 1 peptide. T cell production and action within the body is vital to adaptive immunity. This is the mode by which immune cells are able to recognize and kill foreign invaders. Specifically, T α 1 has been shown to enhance the function of certain immune cells called T and dendritic cells. These white blood cells play pivotal roles in the body’s defense process to anyone with a depressed immune system or suffering from an infection.
Benefits of Thymosin-alpha 1:
- Enhances the function of certain immune cells called T and dendritic cells
- Help eradicate the unhealthy cells and stop the infection or cancer growth
- Exhibits antibacterial and antifungal properties
- Suppresses tumor growth
- Increases vaccine effectiveness
- Protects against oxidative damage
T cells, for example, come in two forms: killer and helper T cells. Killer T cells are responsible for hunting down and destroying our body’s own cells that are cancerous or infected with bacteria or viruses. Helper cells work with the other cells of the immune system to orchestrate and carry out appropriate immune responses.
It is approved in more than 37 countries for the treatment of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and as an adjunct to chemotherapy and various vaccines. T α 1 has been found to have a profound effect on the immune system and is the active ingredient in the immune modulating drug, Zadaxin®. Zadaxin® is used to treat hepatitis B and C and has been studied extensively for its ability to support an immune system that has been suppressed by chemotherapy in cancer patients. Additional possible indications are malignant melanoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, drug-resistant tuberculosis, chronic fatigue and Di George’s syndrome as well as any chronic cancer or viral disease.
Studies have shown that individuals fighting infection have a lower amount of circulating T α 1 and suppressed helper T cell numbers compared to healthy individuals. This is problematic, as the optimal immune function is vital to recovery from infection. Supplementation with T α 1 has the potential for great therapeutic benefit for patients suffering from an infection or autoimmune disease.
In addition to its use in the treatment of Hepatitis, AIDS, and cancer, T α 1 has shown great promise in the treatment of Lyme disease. This is unsurprising when one considers the large role the immune system plays in combating the disease.
T α 1 assists the immune system in the location and eradication of the Lyme bacteria and infected cells, while helping to prevent oxidative damage, thereby decreasing inflammation and enabling a better quality of life throughout treatment.
Thymosin Beta 4
Thymosin is a hormone secreted from the thymus. Its primary function is to stimulate the production of T cells, which are an important part of the immune system. Thymosin also assists in the development of B cells to plasma cells to produce antibodies. The predominant form of thymosin, thymosin beta 4, is an actin, a cell building protein. One of the main mechanisms of action of Thymosin Beta-4 is its regulation of Actin. This cell-building protein is an essential component of cell structure and movement which leads to its role in tissue repair. Tβ 4 has been found to play an important role in protection, regeneration, and remodeling of injured or damaged tissues. After an injury, Tβ 4 is released by platelets and numerous other types of cells to protect the most damaged cells and tissues and to reduce inflammation and microbial growth.
Benefits of Thymosin beta 4:
- Calms muscle spasm
- Improved muscle tone
- Increased exchange of substances between cells
- Encourages tissue repair
- Stretches connective tissue
- Helps maintain flexibility
- Reduced inflammation of tissue in joints
- Encourages the growth of new blood cells in tissue
- Increased endurance and strength
- Prevents the formation of adhesions and fibrous bands in muscles, tendons, and ligaments
Recent studies have revealed that the first gene to be upregulated after an injury is a Tβ4 gene. As the body begins the recovery process, Tβ4 aids in the creation of new vessels in the injured area, which carry blood, nutrients, and reparative substances to the site. Tβ4 also has anti-inflammatory properties and works to decrease the amount of inflammatory substances, called cytokines. Inflammation plays a large role in many of the symptoms associated with a number of other conditions (i.e., Lyme disease, CFS, FM, autoimmune diseases, infections, etc.), making the potential impact of Tβ4 quite extensive.
The discovery of the role of Tβ4 in the process of immune regulation has lead to its use as a valuable therapeutic agent. Tβ4 has been used in the treatment of HIV, AIDS, Influenza, colds, and various infections. It has been utilized in the management of various inflammatory conditions, as well as part of treatment following a heart attack due to its cardio and neuroprotective effects.
Tβ4 is very well tolerated and has not been found to cause any significant side effects. It can be taken on its own or in conjunction with an existing therapy, making it a versatile and valuable peptide.