Transfer Factor
Transfer Factor
This information describes the common uses of Transfer Factor, how it works, and its possible side effects.

How It Works

Transfer factors have not been shown to treat or prevent cancer.

Transfer factors are a group of proteins produced by cells of the immune system. Some studies have shown that transfer factors can be used to treat herpes, infections in children, chronic fatigue syndrome, and yeast infections. They may also boost the immune system in patients with AIDS. More research is needed to determine the anticancer effects of transfer factors.

Purported Uses

  • To treat cancer
    Although some studies have shown that transfer factors can have some positive effects in cancer patients, further research is needed to confirm such observations.
  • To treat multiple sclerosis
    This use is not supported by scientific evidence.
  • To treat HIV/AIDS
    One study showed that transfer factors increased the number of white blood cells in patients with AIDS.
  • To treat herpes and Epstein-Barr virus
    Studies have shown some signs of efficacy in treating herpes.
  • To treat hepatitis (inflammation of liver)
    Transfer factors were not effective in treating hepatitis.
  • To treat asthma
    Some studies have shown that transfer factor does not benefit patients with asthma.
  • To treat chronic fatigue syndrome
    Transfer factor was shown to have positive effects in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Patient Warnings

  • A major concern is contamination of transfer factors isolated from cattle that have bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The BSE-causing prions can accumulate in the brain and damage nerve cells.

Side Effects

  • Fever
  • Tenderness, pain and swelling following injection