Transfer Factor Basics

Transfer Factor Basics
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Written by: Teresa Tomalska, MD, Health Sciences Advisory Board

Nature holds many secrets, and scientists have been working for years and years to discover them. Some scientific discoveries are exciting only to a small group of devoted scientists, but some discoveries change the world. Some discoveries lead to better technology, or they can even benefit the wellbeing of humanity. Transfer factors are a discovery that has changed the world.

Discovery of Transfer Factors

In 1949, Dr. H. Sherwood Lawrence, an American immunologist, discovered that immunity could be transferred from one individual to another via small molecules he called transfer factors. At the time, transfer factors were extracted from human white blood cells, an approach that was expensive and impractical. Much later, research showed that transfer factors produced by other mammals were similar to those created by the human body. Scientists also discovered that the first milk of mammals (colostrum) contained many important immune system molecules, including transfer factors.

In 1997, David Lisonbee, the founder of 4Life Research, discovered a patent for extracting transfer factors from cow colostrum, and he immediately wanted to know more. Later, David licensed the patent and 4Life brought the first transfer factor supplement, 4Life Transfer Factor Classic, to market.

There is one more valuable source of transfer factors we use at 4Life: chicken egg yolk. 4Life also has a patent for the process of extracting transfer factors from chicken egg yolk (U.S. Patent 6,468,534). Cow colostrum and chicken egg yolk are two widely available sources of transfer factors that allow for the mass production of transfer factor supplements.

The discovery of transfer factors and their presence in these two sources was a major scientific advancement and has provided an important means of promoting wellbeing worldwide. Here is an overview of how transfer factors work to support your health.

What Do Transfer Factors Do in Your Body?

Transfer factors are quite different from vitamins, minerals, and herbs. Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients your body uses to carry out many important functions, such as the conversion of food into energy (metabolism). Herbs contain phytonutrients, natural compounds found in plant foods that act in a variety of ways to support optimal body function. Transfer factors are not classified as nutrients; they are messenger molecules that contain important immune system information and intelligence that can be relayed to immune cells throughout your body.*

Transfer factors are very small molecules that your immune system generates. They are not species-specific, which means that transfer factors generated by cows, chickens, and other animals can benefit the human immune system.*

Transfer factors in supplements are most commonly sourced from cow colostrum. The cow colostrum is filtered to remove ingredients such as casein and other large proteins, which allows for a high concentration of transfer factor molecules in the supplement.

Transfer factors support immune system health in three main ways: recognize, respond, and remember.*

  • Recognize: Transfer factors help your immune system identify harmful invaders quickly.*
  • Respond: Transfer factors enhance your immune system’s ability to respond to and destroy harmful invaders.*
  • Remember: Transfer factor molecules store specific information about different invaders, which gets passed along to your immune system cells. Your immune system cells remember this information as long as they live (typically a few months), which helps them quickly identify and destroy invaders each time your body encounters them.*

How does 4life Transfer Factor differ from other immune system supplements?

Typical immune system products are simply boosters, enhancing immune system function only. When you buy transfer factor products from 4Life, though, you get effective products that optimize your immune system response.* What does this mean?

  • When you take transfer factors, you significantly strengthen your immune system response.*
  • Transfer factors help promote a balanced immune system response.*
  • Transfer factors contain a large amount of immune system knowledge, which helps your immune system quickly recognize and respond to harmful invaders.*

The human immune system is diverse and complex and has over 200 subtypes of cells, proteins, and mediators. Ideally, all components will work in a balanced way and perform their tasks. In reality, though, immune system balance can be disrupted by stress, poor diet choices, and even pollution.

4Life Transfer Factor Product Benefits

To illustrate the benefits of 4Life Transfer Factor supplements, let’s focus on one type of immune system cell, Natural Killer cells (NK cells). These cells need to stay highly active to function well. With proper activation, NK cells identify and destroy invaders quickly and effectively. 4Life Transfer Factor products have been shown to significantly increase NK cell activity in the presence of a threat. 4Life Transfer Factor products enhance your immune system response by delivering immune system molecules and activating different types of immune system cells and mediators called cytokines.*†

You can get your daily dose of transfer factors from many 4Life products.* To learn more about 4Life Transfer Factor products, click the links below:

Transfer Factor FAQs

Q: If transfer factors come from colostrum, why not just take colostrum?

A: The concentration of transfer factors is much higher in 4Life Transfer Factor products. You would have to consume a large amount of colostrum to get the same health benefits offered by 4Life Transfer Factor products.*

Q: If transfer factors come from colostrum, are they safe for children too?

A: Yes, adults and children can consume transfer factors to optimize immune system function. However, not all 4Life products are approved for children under 18, so please read the labels carefully before giving any 4Life supplement to a child under 18. 4Life Research has developed different forms of 4Life Transfer Factor supplements for children and adults. Check the 4Life website and product shopping pages for more information.*

Q: Should I still take 4Life Transfer Factor products if I feel well?

A: A robust immune system helps support cell function in many ways and is essential for optimal health, whether or not you’re sick. 4Life Transfer Factors help maintain a robust and resilient immune system.

Q: Is there any research on transfer factors?

A: Yes! 4Life has conducted plenty of studies on 4Life Transfer Factor and arranged some third-party studies as well.* Check them out here.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. †Andersen, Vieira-Brock, Vaughan, Vollmer, Method development for the analysis of PBMC-mediated killing of K562 cells by bovine colostrum, Journal of Immunological Methods, Volume 499, 2021, 113175.