Transfer Factor, the Dubious Nutraceutical

You would not recognize me now if you knew that I suffered from severe migraine headaches*.  It was, for me, officially declared “attributed to Persian Gulf War exposure.”

Thirteen years I agonized without relief despite receiving good medical care first from the U.S. military and then VA neurology specialists.  Yes, I am a triple graduate-level physician from Harvard University, The Johns Hopkins University, and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.  And, it is me who had to endure debilitating pain.

Migraine with Aura, Courtesy The Mayo Clinic

Still, the pain persisted.  This, in spite of my faithful dedication to continued heavy treatments, which included daily injections, pills, and nasal spray ordered by the region’s senior neurologist.

In all, I endured as many as three (3) prolonged migraine headache events.  Each resulted in absolute bed rest for a full, two (2) weeks.

Still, each disabling episode happened while submitting to the most expensive, high-quality treatment available to the developed world.

Then, I met another person who suggested that I try this nutraceutical, called Transfer Factor, as the best alternative to my prescription medications.  Why?  “It’s got a patented delivery system!”

I knew “patented” meant nothing more than proprietary, which meant expensive and I was never going to know what was really in that expensive, oral capsule.    I later discovered this patented product was Transfer Factor Plus®.

Now, I was familiar with what 4Life Research touted as clinical research over the past, half century.  The research documented what was considered to be highly successful outcomes in people with both immune compromised and hypersensitive immune systems.  But, since the research was fully proprietary, NONE of the almost 60 years of data was available for peer-review!

Initially, according to the one peer-reviewed study, the only way to get such the valuable ingredient (usually only available as colostrum from a mammalian mother’s first three days after delivery) was by blood transfusion.  That was 60 years ago.

Then, after Transfer Factors became available using the propriety, patented delivery system that uses only capsules, drinks and creams, all the data became unavailable to peer-review.  Yes, there were patents submitted but the data revealed in the patents was sketchy and inconclusive… sufficient to satisfy a patent clerk, but not a medically-educated, unbiased peer reviewer. Nonetheless, 4Life Research managed to get its product listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR) for non-prescription medicines so it would be an inducement to both conventional and alternative medicine physicians in over 53 countries to use the nutraceutical.   

Well, since it was considered benign enough for that many physicians to gamble with this substance I thought I would give it a try on my migraines.  I am supposed to be intelligent.  After all, I attended two Ivy League schools and received three graduate degrees!

Then, after less than four (4) weeks using Transfer Factor Plus® I noticed the migraine headaches were gone.  By six (6) weeks, I was able to stop all the migraine prescription medications.

The migraines were gone! But, I also had another unforeseen problem.  Agranulocytosis.  

Yes, the nutraceutical seemed to have destabilized my white and red blood cell lines and I was bleeding.  Everywhere.

So, the specialist at the hospital ordered the nutraceutical, Transfer Factor by 4Life Research stopped immediately.  

Within a month I was back to normal.  

Do I still get migraines using my prescription medication?  Yes, from time to time.  

But, I would rather have the migraines than the destabilized white and red blood cell lines and all that bleeding.

You are probably asking yourself the obvious question: Can I have the same problem or will I see benefits?

Each person is different.

Still, when a placebo (sugar pill) has success, statistically, in 40 percent of the cases, doesn’t it seem suspicious when one-third of the Transfer Factor users are celebrating its benefits compared to two-thirds who experience marginal to no benefit… and some have bad experiences like me?  That is a medical failure, statistically.

This is about Transfer Factor and Me.  Your experience may be different.

 

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION BY ASKDRCARR.COM

 

Questions about this article or about the dubious nutraceutical, Transfer Factor, should be forwarded to GMT4Life  Remember, you should always make an informed decision about taking in or applying anything to your body for your own health.  Remember, a nutraceutical is NOT a benign substance!

 

*This approved reprint is an actual case presented by one of the guest authors from the website AskDrCarr®.  Your results may be different.  Incidental reference to the dubious nutraceutical, Transfer Factor, and similar substances is given without intention of diagnosing or treating, but rather to provide educational value to the reader to make an informed, independent decision, recognizing the marked variations in individual experience.