Peptides are revolutionizing medicine, being harnessed for gut healing, improving immune function, tissue repair and anti-aging. There are more than 7,000 naturally occurring peptides within the human body that play critical roles and serve as neurotransmitters, hormones, enzymes, and growth factors.1 Peptides are amino acids bound together in different sequences. They each have their own job to do in the body,
The history of peptide therapy stems back to the 1920s when insulin was first discovered and used!2 Since the advent of insulin therapy, research into peptides took off and is currently booming with pre-clinical and clinical trials. The list of conditions potentially benefiting from peptides is extensive and nearly endless.
Peptide therapy is referred to as the “future of medicine” and “precision medicine,” offering a more individualized approach to medicine. This blog post will review the immune-modulating peptide, Thymosin Alpha 1 (Ta1).
What is Thymosin Alpha 1?
Ta1 is a naturally occurring peptide found in the thymus gland which plays a critical role in immune function.
“Ta1 has long been recognized for modifying, enhancing, and restoring immune function. It has been utilized in the treatment of immunocompromised states and malignancies, as an enhancer of vaccine response, and as a means of curbing morbidity and mortality in sepsis and numerous infections.” 3
Production of Ta1 decreases months after birth and continues to decrease with age to almost no production in later years. Ta1 has been extensively studied for its effects in many different immune deficiency conditions.
How Does Thymosin Alpha 1 Work?
Ta1 plays a fundamental and pivotal role in the regulation of immunity and inflammation. Ta1 works as a toll-like receptor (TLR), allowing the body to recognize and destroy foreign invaders such as viruses, bacteria, fungus, and cancers. Ta1 exhibits anti-tumor effects and can also increase levels of proteins necessary for natural immune defenses.
Immune dysregulation results in an imbalance of T helper cells. This imbalance leads to pro-inflammatory states and the development of disease. The immune-modulating response of Ta1 is due to a balancing of immune T cells, reduced immune cell death, increased natural killer cells, cytotoxic T cells, and activation of dendritic cells which present foreign invaders to the immune system. Think of Ta1 as stimulating and mobilizing new natural killer cells, like ‘packmen’ cleaning up unwanted debris and infection in the body.
The anti-tumor effects of Ta1 have brought attention to its use in various cancers. This very effect has been demonstrated in liver and lung tumor metastases.3 Ta1 effects on tumors are thought to be attributed to its powerful immune-modulating effects and direct action on tumor cells.
Many Benefits of Thymosin Alpha 1 Include:
- Balancing the immune system
- Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-mold, probable antiviral effects
- Preventing and helping fight off infections
- Eradicating toxic cells
- Suppressing tumor growth
- Helps sustain the immune system in endurance athletes
- At RMC, it is also used for long haul COVID and EBV with great success. Studies are currently underway to assess its role in the prevention and treatment of COVID.
- Combination therapy with Ta1 led to complete viral clearance of hepatitis B and C
- Decreases viral load and increases the number of T cells in HIV patients
- Decreases toxicity from chemotherapy and improved quality of life of cancer patients
- Decreases mortality from multiple-organ failure among patients with sepsis
- May help reverse autoimmune disease
- Helps treat lung, head and neck, breast, melanoma and liver cancer
- Combination with chemotherapy or radiation improved responsiveness and survival rate in patients with lung cancer
- Improves effectiveness of vaccines
- Ta1 has shown success against ARDS and SARS, two critical respiratory conditions secondary to viral infection
- Has been shown to decrease Covid mortality in early studies
- Ta1 has shown promise against Asthma, Lyme disease, Epstein Barr Viruses, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Eczema, Allergies, and many other chronic disease states.
Due to the wide range of actions of Ta1 via immune-modulating and anti-tumor effects, it has demonstrated beneficial effects among a wide range of conditions as depicted here:3
Who Might Benefit From Thymosin Alpha 1?
The addition of Ta1 for many patients with chronic illnesses stated and shown above has been life-changing.
A chronic imbalance of the immune system can lead to many health problems. As an immunomodulator and enhancer, Ta1 can help break the cycle of immune dysfunction that leads to such disease states which include autoimmune states, cancer, chemotherapy-induced immunodeficiency, and chronic infections such as Lymes, EBV, Herpes, Hepatitis, and Covid. Our immune system also becomes deficient as we age leading to more severe disease in the elderly. Restoring optimal immune function at any age can help reverse disease.
Thymosin Alpha 1 Safety
Ta1 is natural to our bodies, and therefore, well-tolerated with no significant adverse events. The only special consideration for its use is among transplant patients due to its immunomodulatory effects.
Through decades of research, peptides are now at the cutting edge of medicine becoming powerful adjuvants fighting acute and chronic disease states. Ta1 is well studied and well-tolerated for its immunomodulatory effects with virtually no side effects.
Ta1 is one peptide people should consider in their health regime demonstrating significant roles as an antioxidant, immune enhancer, and anti-tumor peptide with beneficial effects in a myriad of diseases including aging.