“One of the most recognized consequences of aging is a decline in immune function. While elderly individuals are by no means immunodeficient, they often do not respond efficiently to novel or previously encountered antigens. This is illustrated by increased vulnerability of individuals 70 years of age and older to influenza, a situation that is exacerbated by their poor response to vaccination”
The implications are clear – not only are you at a far greater risk of contracting illnesses, but the negative effects are much greater and it takes far more time to recover from infections and injuries.
So in a world of compromised immunity, what is the #1 therapeutic peptide for this purpose?
It would be a peptide that practicing doctors frequently use with their high-level clients for improving and increasing immunity.
Something that shows promise across multiple disease states:
“Clinical trials suggest it may be useful in cystic fibrosis, septic shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome, peritonitis, acute cytomegalovirus infection, tuberculosis, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and lung infections in critically ill patients., and for chronic hepatitis B”
I’m talking about Thymosin Alpha-1, an amazingly powerful peptide for strengthening the immune system and lowering your risk of infection (if not preventing it altogether).
This article will cover EVERYTHING you need to know about Thymosin Alpha-1: What it is, how it works, the BEST dose to use for enhanced immunity, where to buy it, and so much more.
What is Thymosin Alpha-1?
Thymosin Alpha-1 (TA-1) is a 28-amino-acid peptide that is naturally produced in the thymus gland, which itself is responsible for regulating the immune system.
The thymus gland is also the same place where T-cells are developed, fully matured, and released into your lymph system or blood vessels to “identify, isolate, and combat foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria.”
Thymosin-Alpha-1 is what “signals” the T-cells to be released from the thymus gland.
And in case you don’t know what T-cells are:
“T cells (also called T lymphocytes) are one of the major components of the adaptive immune system. Their roles include directly killing infected host cells, activating other immune cells, producing cytokines and regulating the immune response.”
In terms of the peptide’s history, it was first discovered by scientist Allan L. Goldstein and his colleagues in 1977 when they wanted to determine if the thymus gland’s immune-boosting effects were hormonal in nature.
After isolating a group of small proteins known as “thymosins” from the calf tissue of cows, further purification and isolation of these compounds led to the identification of an active component known as “Thymosin Fraction 5” (TF5).
And following some positive results with using TF5 in humans and animals suffering from a variety of immunity-related diseases, they wanted to see if a SPECIFIC part of TF5 was responsible for its effects.
This led to the eventual isolation and characterization of Thymosin Alpha-1:
“The promising results seen with TF5 in increasing T-cell numbers and function, resulting in improved clinical responses in these patients, provided the scientific rationale to actively pursue the isolation and clinical characterization of the molecules in TF5 responsible for the reconstitution of T-cell immunity.
Further purification of TF5 quickly led to the complete chemical characterization and synthesis of Tα1 in 1977, along with a number of other thymosin peptides, such as thymosin β4, which is currently in clinical trials in the field of wound healing”
In other words… it was Thymosin Alpha-1 that was responsible for the immune-restoring properties of TF5.
This peptide is so powerful that it enhances immunity, even with a severely compromised thymus gland (or none at all according to experimental animal studies).
Goldstein himself even said that Thymosin Alpha-1 is “10-1000 times more active than fraction 5 in several assay systems in vitro and in vivo designed to measure T cell differentiation and function.”
Several decades later, we now know that Thymosin Alpha-1 does wonders for enhancing the strength of your immune system:
“Tα1 plays a key role in the control of immunity, tolerance and inflammation.
It regulates immune response via a primary action on the cells of the innate immune system and thus acts as an endogenous regulator of both inflammatory and adaptive immune responses.
…Consistently, we showed that Tα1 administration increased natural killer (NK) activity in mice immunosuppressed by cancer and/or cyclophosphamide but not in normal mice”
Thymosin Alpha-1 is regarded as an incredibly strong immunomodulator, which the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines as “a chemical agent that modifies the immune response or the functioning of the immune system (as by the stimulation of antibody formation or the inhibition of white blood cell activity)”
(Some people will also refer to it as an “immunoregulator” but the terms are used interchangeably)
So it does the exact reverse of what I mentioned at the start of this article: Lowers your risk of contracting illnesses (if not prevents it), while helping you recover far faster from infections and injuries!
Is Thymosin Alpha-1 FDA-Approved?
Many of the peptides I prolifically write about have yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for select medical purposes.
But not Thymosin Alpha-1, which is an FDA-approved prescription drug known as Zadaxin (thymalfasin) that is manufactured by SciClone Pharmaceuticals.
To dive into the details, it currently has the status of an Orphan Drug and is designated to treat malignant melanoma, Hepatitis B, and hepatocellular carcinoma (i.e. liver cancer).
Internationally, Zadaxin is approved in over 35 countries for treating “viral infections, immunodeficiencies, malignancies, and HIV/AIDS”.
As you’ll soon discover in the later portions of this article, Zadaxin is the type of drug you don’t just give up willingly as a pharmaceutical company.
Which is why it’s no surprise that SciClone Pharmaceuticals was bought out for $605 million in 2017!
How Does Thymosin Alpha-1 Work?
There are numerous ways through which Thymosin Alpha-1 enhances the immune system and this picture does a great job of showing it:
One of Thymosin Alpha-1’s primary mechanisms involves stimulating the production of cytotoxic T-cells:
“The mechanism of action of thymalfasin is not completely understood but is thought to be related to its immunomodulating activities, centered primarily around augmentation of T-cell function.
In various in vitro assays, thymosin alpha 1 has been shown to promote T-cell differentiation and maturation; for example, CD4+, CD8+, and CD3+ cells have all been shown to be increased.”
Thymosin Alpha-1 also activates natural killer (NK) cells, which are responsible for mediating the immune system’s response against tumors and viruses:
“We investigated the possibility of thymosin α1 cooperating with αβ-IFN in boosting NK [natural killer] activity in cyclophosphamide-suppressed animals.
The results show that treatment with thymosin α1 (200 μg/kg) for 4 days, followed by a single injection of αβ-IFN 24 h before testing, strongly restored NK activity in cyclophosphamide-suppressed mice. Thymosin α1 was, moreover, able to accelerate the recovery rate of NK activity in bone marrow reconstituted murine chimeras.”
As you saw in the above picture, Thymosin Alpha-1 is also responsible for the maturation and differentiation of dendritic cells (which are antigen-presenting cells responsible for activating the adaptive immune system):
“Tα1 significantly enhances on DC differentiation, activation and functions from human peripheral blood CD14+ monocytes possiblly through a mechanism of the activation of p38 MAPK and NFκB pathways”
But what isn’t shown in the picture is how Thymosin Alpha-1 restores the optimal balance between Th1 cells and Th2 cells:
“The effects of Ta1 on precursor T cells leads to an increase in the number of activated T helper (Th) cells (CD4 T cells) and a shift toward the Th1 subclass. This shift leads to increased expression of Th1-type cytokines such as interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interferon (IFN)-alpha”
The BioDesign Wellness Center explains why this particular mechanism of action is so crucial for optimal immune system function:
“Th1 cells tend to generate responses against bacteria and viruses that invade cells, whereas Th2 cells produce immune responses to pathogens that cause infections outside cells, such as parasites.
More importantly in respect to systemic inflammation, Th1 cells are pro-inflammatory, whereas Th2 cells are considered anti-inflammatory. Both cell types are necessary, but they need to be balanced.
Infection, aging, stress, and toxins (including mold toxins), may all contribute to immune balances resulting in immune dysregulation that leads to several chronic illnesses.”
Excessive Th2 dominance leads to a deficiency of immunity and is often associated with chronic fatigue, oxidative stress, chronic infections, and many other autoimmune diseases.
The picture below does a good job of summarizing everything I’ve just talked about:
Other known mechanisms of action for Thymosin Alpha-1 include some of the following:
“Assists in the development of B cells to plasma cells
Increased mitogen response by lymphocytes
Decreased production of proinflammatory cytokines
Increased chemotactic response and phagocytosis by neutrophils
Normalizes immune balance and response
Normalizes immune dysfunction”
What’s really cool about all of this is that Thymosin Alpha-1 does not accidentally induce bodily processes which normally lead to chronic inflammation:
“Importantly, Ta1 acts without overstimulation of cytokine production and is generally well tolerated; it has an excellent safety profile and does not appear to induce the side effects and toxicities commonly associated with agents in this class such as interferon alpha and interleukin-2.”
Things such as fungus infections, viral infections, and bacterial infections can be killed by Thymosin Alpha-1 because it fixes the most foundational parts of your immune system.
All of which leads to a co-ordinated response involving multiple immune cells.
Do Thymosin Alpha 1 Levels Decrease With Age?
Now that you understand how Thymosin Alpha-1 works in the body, it’s important to understand what happens to the natural production of this peptide in your body as you get older.
Here’s what happens if your body does not naturally produce a sufficient amount of Thymosin Alpha-1:
“Chronic fatigue, physical exhaustion, tired appearance, lack of motivation, apathy
Chronic infections (colds, Herpes, Hepatitis, Shingles, Lyme, and other severe infections)
Persistent illness, lack of full recovery, e.g., recurrent bouts of ‘flu-like’ symptoms, CFIDS
Easily injured joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles with slow recovery
Chronic pain and disability after musculoskeletal trauma
Slow, difficult, and incomplete wound healing”
And in the case of numerous disease states, chronically low Thymosin Alpha-1 levels is one of the surest signs that immunity has been compromised:
“Evidence is growing that diseases characterized by deregulation of immune and/or inflammatory responses are associated with serum levels of Ta1 significantly lower than those of healthy individuals: to date, B hepatitis, psoriatic arthritis, multiple sclerosis and sepsis.
…In case of Ta1 treatment, it is crucial to know the patient’s baseline serum Ta1 level to establish effective treatment protocols and monitor their effectiveness over time.”
Put another way, immune-compromised individuals – especially those suffering from chronic inflammatory autoimmune diseases – have far lower levels of Thymosin Alpha-1 compared to healthy adults.
And one of the reasons why our immunity tends to weaken with age is due to the shrinking of the thymus gland and its consequent loss of optimal function:
“Though some sources continue to cite puberty as the time of onset, studies have shown thymic involution to start much earlier.
…In humans, the TES [thymic epithelial space] starts decreasing from the first year of life at a rate of 3% until middle age (35–45 years of age), whereupon it decreases at a rate of 1% until death”
Much like testosterone needs to be supplemented in aging adults for optimizing the hormone system, Thymosin Alpha-1 should be supplemented for optimizing the immune system.
Benefits of Thymosin Alpha-1
With over 750 search results on PubMed dating back all the way to 1979, there’s no denying that Thymosin Alpha-1 has been thoroughly investigated since its initial discovery.
“Thymosin Alpha-1 has been tested across a wide variety of clinical trials since 1985 in over 3000 patients ranging from 12 months old to 101 years old”
Many scientists believe that to this day there are still unrecognized applications in diseases like “septic shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome, peritonitis, acute cytomegalovirus infection, TB, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and lung infections in critically ill patients.”
But for the sake of this article, I’m going to cover the most extensively studied health benefits of Thymosin Alpha-1
Effective Against Common Flus & Colds
“…it’s incredibly effective if you’re going to start to get sick, doesn’t matter, cold and flu season and if you start to have any symptoms at all, you can do a fairly large bolus dose of thymosin alpha and your immune system is so propped up that you don’t even get sick. It’s all over from the first onset of symptoms.
“…We understand so much better how to modulate the immune system to not have symptoms. And thymosin alpha is extremely effective at that. And it’s very safe in high doses.”
And regardless of your stance on vaccines, Thymosin Alpha-1 can improve the immune response in elderly people who fail to get results using the influenza vaccine:
“A study conducted by Dr. William Ershler of the University of Wisconsin during the last flu season showed that giving thymosin alpha 1, a synthetic version of one of the thymosins, to normal elderly people increased their immune response to the influenza vaccine by more than 100 percent.
In people over 65 given the flu vaccine, only about 25 percent develop antibodies to the flu virus, because their immune systems are run down. Among people under 65 given the same vaccine, 60 percent to 80 percent will develop antibodies. Of 90 of the elderly in the study given the thymosin booster, 60 percent developed immunity to the flu virus”
Enhances the Effect of Cancer Treatments
Since 2000, Thymosin Alpha-1’s role in fighting cancer has been established:
“Evidence has been provided that combined treatments with thymosin alpha 1 (T alpha 1) and low doses of interferon (IFN) or interleukin (IL)-2 are highly effective in restoring several immune responses depressed by tumor growth and/or cytostatic drugs.
In addition, when combined with specific chemotherapy, they are able to increase the anti-tumor effect of chemotherapy while markedly reducing the general toxicity of the treatment.”
While there are very few studies willing to use Thymosin Alpha-1 by itself in human cancer patients, the current body of evidence nevertheless points us towards some very promising results.
Melanoma: A systematic review published in 2019 found that Thymosin Alpha-1 in combination with at least one other cancer drug consistently lead to improved overall survival and progression-free rates, long-term benefits from Thymosin Alpha-1 treatment, increased treatment efficacy, and no additional toxicities.
The same results were found with Thymosin Alpha-1 treatment alone, with or without the additional use of ipilimumab.
Lung Cancer: One randomized clinical trial involving 42 non-small cell lung cancer patients discovered that Thymosin Alpha-1 helped normalize T-cell function while significantly improving relapse-free survival and overall survival.
Malignant Tumors: In a study involving 30 elderly patients with a malignant tumor, Thymosin Alpha-1 helped them improve cellular immune function by increasing natural kill cell activity and the production of T-cells.
And in the present moment, Thymosin Alpha-1 is being thoroughly studied as a conventional treatment route for malignant tumors due to promising results in animal studies.
Breast Cancer: Several studies (here and here) have found that Thymosin Alpha-1 may be useful in inhibiting the growth of breast cancer cells, possibly including cellular death in a selective manner (i.e. without affecting normal, healthy cells).
May Help Treat Hepatitis B & C
With about two million Americans suffering from Hepatitis C and four million suffering from Hepatitis C, a safe and effective treatment is desperately needed.
(BTW… if you want to read up on the history of how Zadaxin got approved for treating Hepatitis B, the link I just referenced is a worthwhile read)
Hepatitis B: When Thymosin Alpha-1 was used alone in human clinical trials, patients found significantly lower levels of Hepatitis B virus DNA as the peptide was able to suppress viral replication (here and here).
Some trials even suggested that Thymosin Alpah-1 is superior to interferon-alpha for lowering replication of chronic Hepatitis B, not to mention it was extremely tolerable and did not have any side effects.
Hepatitis C: Three clinical trials analyzed in a 2001 systematic review found that Thymosin Alpha-1 was significantly more effective than interferon alfa-2b for eliminating Hepatitis C virus RNA. On top of that, it has shown to enhance existing treatments for Hepatitis C in terms of providing better clinical results.
With that said, some scientists suspect that Thymosin Alpha-1 may not treat Hepatitis C itself, but rather serve “a secondary therapeutic role as an adjuvant in the prevention of relapses in patients achieving a virologic response during therapy.”
Shows Great Potential for Treating HIV-1
A 2017 systematic review of several studies done in relation to Thymosin Alpha-1 and HIV-1 found that the peptide was useful in combination with other traditional treatment routes for increasing T-cell count and improving T-cell function, while also decreasing the quantity of HIV-1 RNA.
Even in 2020, another study involving 50 women with HIV-1 discovered Thymosin Alpha-1’s usefulness in reversing “immune exhaustion,” which reactivates HIV infection and prevents the body from eliminating the virus.
An older 12-week pilot study done in 2003 found no increase in T-cell count when Thymosin Alpha-1 was used by itself, but scientists have agreed that the treatment should have lasted much longer than 3 months.
Improves Rate of Recovery From Sepsis
As early as 2009, a review of the medical literature would have found that Thymosin Alpha-1 helped sepsis patients reverse immuno-suppression and accelerate their recovery.
And while another meta-analysis published later in 2014 discovered Thymosin Alpha-1’s ability to lower mortality in sepsis patients (alone and combined with other treatments), a more thorough investigation and better-designed trials are needed.
On the positive side, there wasn’t a single report of intolerance to Thymosin Alpha-1 or side effects related to the use of Thymosin Alpha-1.
Can Tackle Chronic Inflammation
The only human study I could find on this topic involved using Thymosin Alpha-1 to help decrease the degree of immune deficiency in patients with chronic purulent rhinosinusitis (an inflammatory disease affecting the nose and sinuses).
Nevertheless, several cell culture studies are highly persuasive for any clinician who wants to see how Thymosin Alpha-1 may reduce inflammation in human subjects.
One study conducted in rats with acute liver failure were able to live longer and reduce liver inflammation when injected with Thymosin Alpha-1.
May Lower Chronic Fatigue
Unfortunately, the only available clinical trial on Thymosin Alpha-1 and chemotherapy-related fatigue appears to be going nowhere.
It was going to measure the changes in overall quality of life and an increase or decrease in fatigue compared to what cancer patients are already experiencing.
However, Dr. Nancy Kilmas of the Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine in Florida offers a compelling explanation about the link between chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and poor immunity:
“Patients with CFS who show evidence of activation of the immune system have poor immune cell function and a predominance of what is called a T -helper (Th)2-type cytokine response when their lymphocytes are activated.
A Th2-type response, which is characterized by production of cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-4, -5, and -10, favors the function of B lymphocytes, the cellular factories of immunoglobulins.”
So the only real reports you’ll see of lowering fatigue with Thymosin Alpha-1 will be found in anecdotal testimonials, such as this one:
“I take Thymosin Alpha-1 and Thymosin Beta-4. I also took the peptide BPC-157 as well, but recently stopped it to see if I can cut that from things I take. They have been game changers for me.
The best, biggest and longest lasting improvement for my CFS. Took me from bed bound to able to run a few shorts errands per week. It drastically removed a lot of inflammation, malaise, headaches, depression”
Let’s hope scientists and doctors investigate this topic more thoroughly in the near future!
Thymosin Alpha 1 Dosage for Better Immunity
The most optimal dosing protocol for Thymosin Alpha-1 is relatively straightforward:
1.5 mg of Thymosin Alpha-1 injected subcutaneously (i.e. in your belly fat) twice a week in evenly spaced doses.
Doses of 1.0-1.5 mg taken twice a week are also observed in clinical trials involving Hepatitis B/C and HIV/AIDS, so don’t worry about adjusting this dose for a human being.
(I HIGHLY urge you to read the link referenced above for a comprehensive guide to properly preparing, injecting, and storing Thymosin Alpha-1)
You can take as much as 1.5 mg of Thymosin Alpha-1 per day, or even uses micro doses on a “5 day on, 2 day off” protocol.
Either way, this is an incredibly potent peptide and you only need minute amounts to experience a profound effect.
Keep in mind that Thymosin Alpha-1 reaches peak concentration in your body around ~80 minutes after the injection and has a half-life of 2 hours, which means it acts very rapidly.
Side Effects of Thymosin Alpha 1
Before I tell you about the safety profile of Thymosin Alpha-1, first-time users need to know something important.
It’s a disclaimer I put beside ANY drug or supplement I personally recommend, and the Ikon Health Clinic says it best:
“…it is important to note that TA1 won’t be effective at supporting immunity unless you are also taking care of (at least most) of the fundamentals for immune health:
Get enough good sleep, Stay active/lift weights, Manage chronic stress, Eat food that actually supports physiological function.”
With that understanding out of the way, let’s talk about whether it’s safe to use Thymosin Alpha-1…
Even in the WORST-CASE scenario, the side effects of Thymosin Alpha-1 are mild and extremely unlikely to happen:
“Common side effects of Zadaxin include redness and discomfort at the injection site, muscle atrophy, multiple joint aches and pains, and swelling and rash of the hand.
Adverse experiences have been infrequent and mild, consisting primarily of local discomfort at the injection site, and rare instances of erythema, transient muscleatrophy, polyarthralgia combined with hand edema, and rash.”
Some sources claim that patients who have had organ transplants, or those with autoimmune disorders and/or hypersensitivity to the peptide should avoid using Thymosin Alpha-1, but this has not been definitively confirmed or proven.
All in all, the side effects you would experience with Thymosin Alpha-1 are the SAME ONES you would get from injecting anything into your body, peptide or no peptide.
Furthermore, SciClone Pharmaceuticals’ product monograph for Zadaxin confirms what I said earlier about how this peptide is virtually free from side effects:
“In treatment of more than 3,000 patients with a range of diseases including hepatitis B and hepatitis C, Zadaxin has been well tolerated and is not associated with any significant side effects.
Zadaxin has been administered without adverse incident to elderly subjects (up to 101), children (as young as 13 months), and immunodeficient patients.
Patients with decompensated liver disease and renal disease requiring hemodialysis show good tolerance to Zadaxin administration.”
Tests done in cell cultures failed to “demonstrate any drug-related adverse toxicity at the doses tested” and “a maximum tolerated dose has not yet been achieved in single or repeat-dose studies.”
The same can be said for all of the animal studies done on Thymosin Alpha-1:
“Single-dose toxicity studies in mice, rats, and marmosets tested subcutaneous doses up to 20 mg/kg – over 800 times the currently used daily human dose (23 to 25 µg/kg for a 1.6-mg dose).
Repeat dose studies in mice, rats, and marmosets tested daily SC injections up to 6 mg/kg/day (over 200 times the daily human dose of 1.6 mg) for 13 weeks or up to 1 mg/kg/day for 26 weeks.”
This is backed up by the International Peptides Society and their investigation into the clinical trials done with Thymosin Alpha-1.
Even a historical review of Thymosin Alpha-1 published in 2018 finds that the peptide “does not induce the side effects and toxicities commonly associated with most immunomodulatory agents.”
All of this is true when you look at higher-than-normal doses of Thymosin Alpha-1 used in clinical trial settings:
“In the most recent clinical trials Ta1 has been used at higher doses than those commonly used in the past showing a direct proportionality between the dose and the effect. The safety profile of Ta1 is excellent and it is virtually devoid of toxicity”
Anti-aging physician Dr. Suzanne F. Turner, who has extensive experience in using Thymosin Alpha-1 with sick patients in her functional medicine clinic, can attest to the non-existence of a lethal Thymosin Alpha-1 dose:
“…when we treat what with the research shows if you even treating animals, we don’t see a lethal dose. You can give them tons and tons and tons and there’s no side effects and there’s no lethal dose with thymosin Alpha 1.
So I feel very safe giving high doses. We use it in mental in stroke patients or traumatic brain injury patients in much higher Doses and we can give it an ID. So these are very safe to give even at high doses.”
In conclusion, there is really nothing for you to be worried about when using Thymosin Alpha-1
Where to Buy Thymosin Alpha 1
If you’re interested in studying Thymosin Alpha-1 for fully restoring and optimizing immunity, you’ll need the highest-grade clinical formulation you can get your hands on.
For that reason alone, it is imperative to get this peptide – and any other ones you need – from Limitless Life Nootropics.
Use code JAY15 to get 15% off your order!
No other vendor on the planet delivers the standard of peptide quality and purity I’m looking for, and the company founder personally refers to Thymosin Alpha-1 as “a game-changer for strengthening the immune system.”
Additional Reading Resources for Thymosin Alpha-1
I’ve already covered an extensive amount of information about Thymosin Alpha-1… probably more than what you’ll hear from the overwhelming majority of physicians on the planet.
But as an avid reader of my content, I know you want nothing less than the BEST information out there.
For that reason, I’m going to give you some additional resources for learning more about this immunity-enhancing peptide.
This YouTube video is a great “Thymosin Alpha-1 101 For Dummies” if you want a general overview of what TA-1 does and how it works:
Life Extension published a comprehensive article BACK IN 2001 with an overwhelming amount of evidence for Thymosin Alpha-1 treating numerous disease states!
Dr. William Seeds, one of the founding fathers of peptides medicine, did a podcast with SuperHuman Radio about using Thymosin Alpha-1 in high-performance athletes.
This entire book chapter on Thymosin Alpha-1 collects and analyzes all of the human clinical trials done with Thymosin Alpha-1 since 2016.
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