Thymus Gland is a small gland in the upper chest. It weighs
1/3 - 1/2 half ounce at birth, and reaches its peak weight of
about 17 ounces at puberty. Thereafter, under the influence
of many factors, including adrenal and sex hormones, the active
thymus gland cells begin to die off, with much of the thymus
gland tissue being gradually replaced by fat and connective
the healthy thymus gland structure typically atrophies by
age 20, and the decline accelerates throughout life thereafter.
As immunologist Keith Kelly notes: "The involution (shrinkage)
of the thymus gland is one of the cardinal bio-markers of
aging." In the past 40 years, science has discovered that
the thymus gland is the key regulator of immunity.
thymus gland hormones have been shown, in human, animal and
in vitro studies, to have a broad range of action, well beyond
merely maturing and differentiating T cells.
gland hormones can prevent the tissue wasting that occurs
with thymus gland removal or severe thymus gland atrophy,
and promote healthy weight gain in disease states- such as
AIDS - where catabolic body wasting is typical.
gland hormones can reduce autoimmune reactions, clinically
and experimentally, such as occur in rheumatoid arthritis.
gland hormones prevent the bone marrow injury and subsequent
reduction in white and red blood cell production, frequently
produced by X-ray or chemotherapy cancer treatment.
physiologist Dennis Fahy has noted: "If you restore immune
function, your ability to make DNA, to have normal cell division,
to have normal insulin sensitivity, to have normal thyroid
levels and other things, such as normal population of certain
molecules in the brain that change with age, all these things
are restored by an improvement in the immune system."
thymus gland hormones are secreted by the very thymus gland
cells that "shrivel up" and waste away due to aging, stress,
disease, radiation and malnutrition, etc., the drop in thymus
gland hormone activity with aging should hardly be surprising.
it is little known, even to most alternative/anti-aging medicine
devotees, there is a large body of published, human clinical
research supporting the use of oral thymus gland extracts.
They have been used in a broad range of conditions, ranging
from cancer treatment, to rheumatoid arthritis, to various
allergy and asthma conditions, to recurrent respiratory infections
and hepatitis. (1)
studies have generally shown thymus gland extracts to be extremely
non-toxic and side effect free, with few contraindications
block to the acceptance of the efficacy of oral thymus gland
extracts is the erroneous yet widespread belief that all proteins
and peptides taken orally, as food or supplements, are 100%
digested to individual amino acids before absorption, from
the intestine into the body.
were true, then indeed orally administered thymus gland peptide
hormone extracts would be broken down completely during digestion,
becoming merely very expensive, low dose amino acid supplements,
with no more immune activity than (for example) a few hundred
milligrams of ground beef protein. Yet it has been known since
the 1970's that significant quantities of various proteins,
such as gliadin from wheat, milk casein, Ferritin, hemoglobin
and milk immunoglobins routinely survive digestion and enter
the body- and even the brain -intact.
research of W.A. Hemmings (2)
and Ziovdrov and colleagues (3)
had repeatedly demonstrated this in a wide variety of experiments
using many different proteins, by the late 1970's.
1997 textbook Oxidology (4),
Bradford and Allen even explain the mechanism of how this
occurs. It is based on a cellular process called "pinocytosis."
N. Kouttab et al. "Thymomodulin: Biological Properties
and Clinical Applications."
Med. Oncol. And Tumor
Pharmacother. 6, 5-9 1989.
(2) W. Hemmings. "Dietary Protein Reaches the Brain."
6, 309-16, 1977.
(3) C. Ziovdrou et al. "Opiod Peptides Derived from
J. Biol. Chem., 254, 2446-49,
(4) R. Bradford & H. Allen. "Oxidology."
Chula Vista, CA: R.W. Bradford