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Public health seems to be number one on everyone’s minds these days, and for a good reason too. As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc throughout the world, it’s of the utmost importance that we all stay protected by being clean and healthy. But of course, there’s more to staying safe than just eating well, exercising, and washing our hands. As more and more people are getting sick, more and more people are turning to new ways to boost their immune systems. Some of these solutions are complete quackery such as lemon and chili juice, while others are far more scientific.
While it’s true that immunology is a field of medicine that’s constantly changing and undergoing new research, there are certainly some well-established lines of research to back up a life’s time of scientific findings. Among some of these findings, you’ll find germ theory, the smallpox vaccine, and the discovery antibodies. These are only a few of the major groundbreaking discoveries but, somewhere among them, you would also find the discovery of a few crucial peptides in the immune system.
Because today more than ever before in our lifetimes, people are interested in the immune system, we wanted to share a little information about one of these peptides in particular—Thymosin Alpha 1.
Thymosin Alpha 1 is a peptide—a small chain of amino acids—synthesized by the thymus gland. Thymosin Alpha 1 is responsible for regulation when the thymus produces and releases T cells—a type of immune cell that kills infected host cells. Without T cells, our body is unable to fight off foreign pathogens effectively and can cause minor illnesses to become fatal. This is the case in people with AIDs who die from a lack of enough T cells to fight off common diseases.
Thymosin Alpha 1 has specifically been shown to boost T cells and dendritic cells, white blood cells that play a crucial part in how the body defends itself. Increasing a person’s Thymosin Alpha 1 levels helps to improve their immune system, regardless of if it’s depressed or currently fighting off an infection. This makes it a prime candidate for treating both chronic and acute diseases. Thymosin Alpha 1 has even been researched as a potential cancer treatment and treatment for Hepatitis B and C.
Research on Thymosin Alpha 1 is pretty long standing by this point, so it’s of no surprise that there’s been a resurgence of interest around it throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Several studies have shown that this peptide produces lower viral loads in Hepatitis patients and can be effectively combined with standard treatments as well.
Because of its ability to increase T-cells it has also been the main candidate for HIV/AIDS research. But perhaps one of the most recent developments in Thymosin Alpha 1’s storied life as a research peptide is that it’s currently being studied as a cancer treatment. So far, scientists have struggled to make the peptide last long enough to break through cancer cells’ outer membranes, but they are not giving up. As of this year, there are still ongoing trials hoping to explore whether Thymosin Alpha 1 can be used in clinical settings. It has already been approved as a Hepatitis B and C medicine in 35 countries around the world.
As a peptide, Thymosin is most often delivered as an injection in small doses. Because it affects the immune system, it doesn’t have many side effects though patients may experience joint and muscle soreness and irritation at the injection site. If you are currently taking Thymosin for Hepatitis, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders.