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CortControl Blogs

Introduction to Transfer Factor

By Jack Menear, Chief Scientist and Patent Strategist

Transfer factor contains a powerful collection of low-weight proteins. These proteins (called cytokines) are messenger molecules that allow communication among immune cells. Inter-cellular communication, in turn, lets the immune cells function as a team, as opposed to individual players. Teamwork matters when mounting a counter-attack against an invader. Cytokines influence other cytokines. 

When the team’s orchestrated counter-attack is fast and robust, the invader is defeated before it multiplies and gains strength. Symptoms are either avoided or experienced at a mild level. 

There are hundreds of published articles extolling the benefits of transfer factor. Most include enthusiastic recommendations and acknowledge the solid safety record. Scientific articles measure a dramatic increase (4-5X) in “killer cells”. Antibodies generated by animal vaccines increased 3-5X with transfer factor administered. Transfer factor is included in the U.S. Physician’s Desk Reference. Russian hospitals have used it successfully for decades as a front line remedy. 

Transfer factor is well named because benefits are transferrable among species. Transfer factor from a cow, sheep or goat works on a pig, horse, human, etc. The same cytokines operate in animals and humans. 

The predominant raw-material source for transfer factor is cow colostrum. Colostrum is mother’s first milk and is the vehicle for transmitting immunity from mother to calf. Without colostrum cytokines, the calf would be defenseless against opportunistic invaders. 

Transfer factor is roughly a 1:1000 to 1:2000 concentrate of colostrum. Low-weight proteins are retained; the remaining colostrum (fat, liquid, whey, etc.) is discarded. Colostrum should not be substituted for transfer factor. Colostrum is 1000 to 2000 times too weak. 

Not all transfer factor is equally effective. Without source knowledge, equating two transfer factor products is risky. A cheap product will probably disappoint so careful analysis of the transfer factor content is critical when selecting a formulation. 

Researchers (at CortControl) have boosted potency by pooling colostrum from various herds. There are hundreds of cytokines. Those present in colostrum reflect the mother’s prior immune responses. Not all herds are subject to the same environmental challenges. Hence, colostrum composition varies by herd. 

The variety of pooled-herd cytokines is greater than the variety of single-herd cytokines. This translates into superior immune support. A greater variety of cytokines opens more pathways for immune functioning. The team has more plays to execute.


Dr. Menear is Chief Scientist and Patent Strategist for CortControl. Dr. Menear is an analytical scientist with a Ph.D. in Physical/Analytical Chemistry and extensive skills and experience that extend into marketing and sales and patent law.