Editor’s Note: Dr. Carol Ann Ryser, M.D., is a Board Certified Pediatrician, Board Certified Clinical Analyst, member of F.A.A.P., the American Medical Association, OHM (Orthomolecular Health Medicine), and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. The primary focus of Dr. Ryser’s medical practice is on the prevention of illness and disease. Since 1996, Dr. Ryser has been the Medical Director of Health Centers of America. Previously, she was Medical Director of the International Learning Centers, Director of Mid-American Treatment and Training, a staff member of the Gardner Medical Center, Consulting Staff Member of the Research Medical Center, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Medical Director of the Children’s Rehabilitation Unit, University of Kansas Medical Center, Consultant to the Special Education Department for Orthopedically Handicapped Children, and a Consultant to the United States Air Force in Crete.
Dr. Ryser has published and presented a number of papers in her area of expertise, appearing in such publications as The American Journal for Diseases of Children, the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychology and Pediatrics. Dr. Ryser has been recognized for her contributions in the fields of medicine, science, and mental health, as both a clinician and educator, by both professional and lay organizations.
Transfer Factor Overview
The use of Transfer Factor represents one of the most exciting advances in immune system health. Transfer Factor is based on the fact that key immune information can be transferred from cell-to-cell. These cells then teach the immune system to recognize specific viruses and bacteria.
Transfer Factors are tiny protein molecules that are produced by immune cells called T-cells. Transfer Factors allow the immune system to remember conditions for which immunity has already been established. When a person has been infected, for example, with chicken pox in childhood, their body develops a memory of that illness, and prevents the person from becoming re-infected with it later in life. In the future, the specific immune Transfer Factor molecule for chicken pox will endow the immune system with the exact ‘blueprint’ of what chicken pox looks like, and the body will be able to quickly recognize and respond to any possible re-infection.
Many of these Transfer Factors – or “immune memory molecules,” were introduced to us from our mother’s milk or colostrum, which is the richest source of concentrated Transfer Factors known to scientists. Transfer Factors in colostrum have the sole purpose of transferring immunity from the mother to the baby’s immature immune system. All mammals produce Transfer Factor, but scientists prefer to work with chicken and normal bovine colostrum. A healthy cow already produces millions of different Transfer Factors, but when the cow comes into contact with a pathogen such as a virus, it produces a new Transfer Factor for that specific virus or pathogen.
For individuals challenged by specific pathogens – such as those suffering with chronic illnesses like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, supplementation with the appropriate Transfer Factor molecule may provide the ‘missing link,’ thereby allowing the immune system to target and destroy the offending pathogen, and mitigate the symptoms of the disease.
Since 1998, Dr. Carol Ann Ryser has been using Transfer Factor to treat her chronically ill patients, and has experienced considerable success in diminishing symptoms and achieving overall health improvements among those patients. In this exclusive interview, Dr. Ryser discusses her experience with Transfer Factor as an effective treatment for chronic illness.
ImmuneSupport.com: What Transfer Factor do you use in your practice, and for what kind of patient?
Dr. Ryser: The diagnosis of a patient is of utmost importance. I perform a series of genetic testing with PCR (Polymer Chain Reaction) that tells me the specific bacteria or virus(es) a patient has.
Transfer Factor helps with viral, bacterial, and fungal infections as well as parasites, and supports the immune system while treating the problems a patient has. Regarding what formulas of Transfer Factor I use for different patients, I use the plain Transfer Factor as a general prevention treatment, especially for infections and allergies. For patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome who have HHV6, I use Transfer Factor formula 560 [Transfer Factor 6000 formula is identical to Transfer Factor 560. Both products are available from Pro Health]. For patients with Epstein-Barr, I use formula 540 [Transfer Factor 4000 formula is identical to formula 540. Both products are available from Pro Health].
ImmuneSupport.com: How much Transfer Factor do you typically prescribe, and for what kind of patient?
Dr. Ryser: For chronically ill patients, including those with chronic sinusitis, and multiple allergies, I prescribe six capsules a day, and depending on the severity of their symptoms, I might prescribe up to twelve capsules a day. For Epstein-Barr patients, I typically prescribe three capsules a day of Formula 540 for adults, taken morning or evening as they prefer, because it can make them tired. For children ages 7-12 or 13, depending on weight, I will prescribe two capsules a day, to be taken at bedtime.
When a patient is beginning to get sick and is coming down with a fever, I will have them take two capsules every 2-3 hours, for 24 hours, and that usually knocks the virus “off its socks,” so to speak. This dosage of Transfer Factor can nip a fever in the bud, by supporting the immune system’s natural killer cells.
I have also found that a blend of Transfer Factor formulas can be very effective. For patients with Herpes Virus 1 or the common cold, I might prescribe six capsules a day of the plain Transfer Factor and also Transfer Factor 560 or 540, to specifically target the virus they are trying to fight.
I also treat fibromyalgia patients with Transfer Factor. I believe that fibromyalgia is most commonly caused by infections, including bacteria, yeast, and parasites. For chronically ill patients dealing with multiple infections, including CNS (Central Nervous System) infections and gastrointestinal infections, I recommend several different Transfer Factor formulas, to be taken together.
In treating a chronically ill patient, viruses need to be suppressed. Stress –both physical and emotional, will activate the immune system and “distract” it to deal with the new stressor that has been introduced. That is why so many college students come down with mononucleosis.
If a patient isn’t getting good results with Transfer Factor, I look at possible coagulation problems, as well as malabsorption difficulties, and gastrointestinal problems. I always begin by getting a patient’s bowels functioning more normally (I address Irritable Bowel Syndrome), so they can properly absorb Transfer Factor.
ImmuneSupport.com: How long does it usually take for a patient to experience positive results once they start taking Transfer Factor?
Dr. Ryser: My patients usually start to feel better within 3-6 months of beginning treatment with Transfer Factor. Dramatic results usually manifest in about one year, but we really begin to see positive changes in 5-6 months. It typically takes about a year of Transfer Factor treatment to really turn a patient around. I am specifically referring to chronically ill patients who have an average of 2-7 chronic infections that require treatment. The body’s cells regenerate every six months, and you need to give the body a chance to generate healthy cells before dramatic improvements in a patient’s overall health can emerge.
ImmuneSupport.com: What, if any, are the side effects or possible negative reactions that can occur with Transfer Factor therapy?
Dr. Ryser: The initial reactions to Transfer Factor a patient will experience are similar to a vaccination – but without, of course, exposure to the pathogen. The initial reaction typically includes flu-like symptoms, proportionate to the severity of a patient’s illness. These flu-like symptoms go away, but they prove that the immune system has been activated, and that it is working to suppress the body’s infections.
Regarding the safety of Transfer Factor, I have never had a problem with negative side effects or adverse reactions. However, I am very cautious. I perform careful evaluations of a patient’s immune system. I check for viral leukemia, and so forth. I am very careful with cancer and autoimmune patients, with whom you must be cautious with regard to stimulating immune cells – this is particularly the case with Hodgkins Disease and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma patients.
ImmuneSupport.com: What have you found to be the most positive benefits of Transfer Factor for your Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients – what are the best results you have seen?
Dr. Ryser: The patient stops getting sick, and they don’t have any more infections. Their cognitive thinking clears up – no more brain fog. Their energy comes back – they can start doing more, and they can start walking and exercising again. They don’t suffer relapses. However, when a patient is doing well and they make the personal decision to stop taking Transfer Factor, I have seen relapses. I strongly recommend that a patient takes Transfer Factor for life – that is, it is a lifetime commitment for my chronically ill patients.