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Research Indicates Thymic Protein A Improves Immune Function in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients

  [ 121 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • December 23, 2002

In a 2001 research study published in the Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (11, 241-247), the effects of orally administered thymic protein A [the active ingredient in ProBoost™ Thymic Protein A] on clinical blood parameters and subjective symptoms common to patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) were evaluated.

Lead researcher Michael E. Rosenbaum, M.D., et al administered thymic protein A, a novel immune modulator, in oral formulation to twenty-three CFS patients manifesting clinical symptoms of CFS and abnormal CD8+ subpopulations and interferon pathway-associated enzyme levels. After three months of treatment, which consisted of three packets daily of 4 µg purified thymic polypeptide concentrate, sixteen of the twenty-three patients experienced normalization of immune function with a corresponding improvement in clinical symptoms of CFS. Based on their clinical data, the researchers concluded that reinstitution of immune regulation with thymic protein A may ameliorate symptoms associated with CFS.(1)

In a separate earlier study published in the Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, six patients with chronically elevated Epstein-Barr virus early antibody titers were treated for 60 days with purified Protein A from calf thymus cell culture (BPTPA). There was a statistically significant reduction of antibody titers following treatment. The thymic protein was well tolerated and increased energy was reported by most of the participants. These results suggest that BPTPA may be useful in the treatment of patients with persistently elevated Epstein-Barr virus early antigen antibody titers.(2)

The Thymus Gland and Thymic Protein A

The thymus is a ductless, butterfly-shaped gland lying at the base of the neck, formed mostly of lymphatic tissue and aiding in the production of T cells of the immune system. After puberty, the lymphatic tissue gradually degenerates. The function of the thymus gland was only first understood in the early 1960’s when Dr. J.F.A.P. Miller experimented on animals by removing their thymus gland, and observed that they proceeded to develop profound, life-threatening immune deficiency. Subsequently, doctors Osoba and Miller, along with Dr. Esther Hays, demonstrated that certain soluble factors from the thymus, when administered to animals, could restore lost immune function that resulted from removal of the thymus gland.

In the late 1960’s, doctors Goldstein and White were able to extract and biochemically isolate a portion of calf thymus which they called “thymosin fraction 5” and which contained a mixture of more than 30 peptides. This thymic fraction was able to stimulate a very limited immune response, due to its fragmented nature and the fact that the complexity of this mixture created compelling biological activity, thus diluting the effectiveness. However, this discovery sowed the seeds from which later emerged discovery of thymic protein A.

Thymic protein A [such as ProBoost™] is a purified protein derived from calf thymus cell culture which contains a polypeptide that has been scientifically shown to stimulate mature T lymphocytes and enhance mammalian immune response to infectious agents.


1. Rosenbaum M. E., Vojdani A., Susser M., Watson C. M. Improved Immune Activation Markers in Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) Patients Treated with Thymic Protein A. Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (2001) 11, 241-247.

2. Riordan N. H., Jackson J. A., Riordan H.D. Pilot Study of the Effects of Thymus Protein on Elevated Epstein-Barr Virus Titers. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, February – March 1998.

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