Thymus Extract (generic name)
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CategoryHerbs & Supplements
Aqueous calf thymus extract, bovine thymic extract, calf thymus, calf thymus acid lysate, calf thymus extract, calf-thymus lysate, calf thymus nuclear extract, Complete Thymic Formula®, CSFa, CSFb, CTE, facteur thymique serique, fetal thymus, fraction V, FTS, glandular therapy, hormonal thymic factor, IFX, immunophan, Leucotrofina, leucotrofina-L (Timolimfotropina-T), leukotrophin, oligopeptide (fractionV), organotherapy, peptide thymosin alpha 1, polypeptides, polypeptide thymus extract, rabbit thymus, RTE, serum thymic factor, tactivin, T-activin, taktivin, Talpha1, TFX, TFX-JELFA ini., Thymalfasin™ (thymosin alpha1, Talpha1, Zadaxin®, SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), thymalin, thymex L, thymex-L, thymic calf extract (leucotrofina), thymic extract, thymic factor, thymic factor X, thymic hormones, thymic humoral factor, thymic peptides, Thymoject®, thymomodulin, thymomodulins, thymopoietin, thymosin, thymosin alpha, thymosin alpha 1, thymosin fraction 5, thymosin fraction V, thymostimulin (TS, TST, Tp-1, Serono, bovine thymic extract), thymsin (TP-1), thymulin, thymus extract (TFX-JELFA ini.), Thymus Extract Mulli®, thymus gland, TP1, TP-1, Tp-1 Serono, TS, TST, ubiquitin, umoral factor, vilozen, whole calf thymus extract (TFX-Polfa), Zadaxin®.
The thymus is a lobular gland located under the breastbone near the thyroid gland. It reaches its maximum size during early childhood and plays a large role in immune function. The thymus is responsible for the production of T-lymphocytes, as well as the production of various hormones including thymosin, thymopoeitin, thymulin, thymic humoral factor, and serum thymic factor. These hormones may be involved in the increase in lymphokines (interleukin 2, interferon, colony stimulating factor), increase of interleukin 2 receptors, and regulation of weight. With age, the thymus is replaced by fat and connective tissue.
According to legend, glandular or organotherapy, which refers to the use of animal tissues or cell preparations to improve physiologic functioning and support the natural healing process, first gained popularity in the early to mid 1900s. The idea of homeopathic glandular therapy was first introduced almost 200 years ago.
Thymus extracts for nutritional supplements are usually derived from young calves (bovine). Bovine thymus extracts are found in capsules and tablets as a dietary supplement.
Thymus extract is commonly used to treat primary immunodeficient states, bone marrow failure, autoimmune disorders, chronic skin diseases, recurrent viral and bacterial infections, hepatitis, allergies, chemotherapy side effects, and cancer. Most basic and clinical research involving oral and injectable thymus extract has been conducted in Europe.
Clinical trials in humans suggest promising results in terms of allergies, asthma, cancer, chemotherapeutic side effects, cardiomyopathy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, HIV/AIDS, immunostimulation, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, systemic lupus erythematosus, and tuberculosis. However, not all study results agree, and properly randomized, double-blind clinical trials are still needed in many fields.