Glandular Therapy

Glandular Extracts Useful for Immune Support/Improvement

One of the basic concepts of glandular therapy is that the oral ingestion of glandular material of a certain animal gland will strengthen the corresponding human gland. Glandular therapy increases the tone, function, and/or activity of the corresponding gland. This principle is a mainstay of oriental therapy.

In case of infection of immune system deficiencies, thymus extracts and spleen extracts have been found to be quite useful.

Thymus Extracts

Orally administered calf thymus extracts have been found to be quite effective in restoring and enhancing immune function. (1-3) It resulted in a broad- spectrum immune system enhancement. Scientists believe that this is from an improved thymus gland activity, as a result of administering thymus extracts.

Thymus extracts may provide a solution to chronic viral infections and low immune function. Double blind studies with groups of children with a history of recurrent respiratory tract infections showed that orally administered thymus extracts were able to effectively eliminate infection. The treatment, over the course of a year, also significantly reduced the number of respiratory infections and significantly improved numerous immune parameters. (4) 
Thymus extract has also been shown to normalize the ratio of T helper cells to suppressor cells, whether the ratio is low (as in AIDS or cancer) or high (as in allergies or rheumatoid arthritis). (1-3)

Spleen Extracts

Pharmaceutical grade bovine spleen extracts are useful in the treatment of infectious conditions and as an immune-enhancing agent in cancer. 
The benefits are attributed to small-molecular-weight proteins (eg., tuftsin and splenopentin ) that stimulate macrophages in the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. Macrophages are large cells that engulf and destroy foreign particles, including bacteria, cancer cells, and cellular debris. Macrophages are essential in protecting against invasion by microorganisms as well as cancer. Tuftsin also helps mobilize other white blood cells to fight against infection and cancer. A deficiency of tuftsin is associated with signs and symptoms of frequent infections. (1)

Spienopentin is a small-molecular-weight protein that enhances the immune system's response to regulating compounds known as colony-stimulating factors. These compounds stimulate the production of white blood cells. Splenopentin has also been shown to enhance natural killer cell activity.
The primary use of spleen extracts is after a splenectomy, or removal of the spleen. The removal of the spleen is associated with an increased risk for infection, particularly bacterial infection. Spleen extracts can be quite helpful in such cases.

Spleen extracts are also useful in the treatment of low white blood cell counts and bacterial infections and as an adjunct to cancer therapy.

See Also: Glandular Therapy Home in


1. Michael Murray, N.D., et. al, "Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine," Prima Publishing, 2nd edition, 1998.

2. P. Cazzola, P. Mazzanti, and G. Bossi, 'In Vivo Modulating Effect of a Calf Thymus Acid Lysate on Human T Lymphocyte Subsets and CD4+/CD8+ Ratio in the Course of Different Diseases," Curr Ther Res 42 (1987):1011-7.

3. N.M. Kouttab, M. Prada, and P Cazzola,"Thymomodulin: Biological Properties and Clinical Applications," Medical Oncology Tumor Pharmotherapy 6 (1989): 5-9.

4. A. Fiocchi et al., "A Double-Blind Clinical Trial for the Evaluation of the Therapeutic Effectiveness of a Calf Thymus Derivative (Thymomodulin) in Children with Recurrent Respiratory Infections," Thymus 8 (1986): 831-9.

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