Thymosin A-1, Your Way Through Covid

October 25, 2020

Thymosin A: Your Way Through Covid-19

We have referenced Thymosin A several times in months past. Now, we have specific proof of its efficacy so time for a deeper dive.

Introduction first to remind you and bring you up to speed. Thymosin A is a natural peptide you make when you are young. It is 28 amino acids long and made primarily in your thymus gland. Newborns make a lot of it as their thymus gland (Taking up about 20% of their chest cavity) ramps up and teaches their immune system to fight viruses. One of its principal results is the maturation of Treg cells. These are your immune system's Bossy Pants, the cells that direct all the other cells lines to go to work. In 1973, it was noted that its production drops dramatically with aging, and was proposed as one of the possible causes of aging. It was studied and approved by the FDA to fight chronic Hepatitis B as its use was shown to cure some 50% of folks with it. This key role of Treg (T "regulatory") cells (the masters of your immune system) to tolerate your own cells and fight like crazy against foreign invaders, cancers, viruses, etc is what degrades with aging, and is downregulated by COVID. So, T-reg is the master regulator of the master immune supervisor.

Now, we have a paper from Wuhan, China showing that thymosin A reduces mortality some 65% in severely ill COVID-19 patients. Two thirds! 30% mortality down to 11% mortality. Very interesting! How?  T reg cells. 

This pandemic is only a year old, so much research is on the fly but there is some evidence on just what's happening. When an immune system has not seen anything like COVID-19 before, its first response can be too exuberant. That is essentially what a cytokine storm is. Way too much response that feeds on itself and spirals out of control. As the inflammatory cytokines called TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-10 ramp up in your immune response, your CD-8 count goes down. CD-8 Tcells are the guys that actually go out and kill viruses. Mano a mano. You want healthy CD-8 cells (virus killers) with their CD-4 helpers (antibody makers to clean up). In severe COVID, you haven't got many. You can show that those cells are not only depleted but "exhausted". T-cell receptor excision circles (TREC) are an accepted form of measuring "immune exhaustion". Mature T-cells rearrange their DNA into circles and you want lots of them in healthy T-cells. Lose them and your immune system is being beaten up. Exhausted T cells express elevated inhibitory receptors like PD-1 or TIM-3. How's that for jargon! PD-1 stands for Programmed Cell Death Protein. You don't want it. It means you are biting the bullet. Your cells are dying. Covid-19 makes it go up in severe cases, while you go down. Thymosin A -1 reverses that.

Enough already. The Chinese have also looked at giving thymosin analogs to young health care workers. But not by shot, but by oral pill. Didn't work. Two issues, they were young so taking thymosin A wasn't necessary. Two, oral is dumb. The protein gets digested in your gut and chemically altering it so that it survives your gut does fool your immune system. It doesn't respond.

When I listen to my fellow functional medicine doctors treating COVID, thymosin A1 is right front and center. But should it be if you are over 60? Yup! Your immune system is doing what it does at age 60. It is degraded and falling apart. You want to wake it up so that you are already ready to go. You want your Treg cells to be turned on and watching. You want your CD8 count elevated so that it can see viruses. And then you don't have to do the cytokine storm thing to catch up.

www.What Will Work for me. I'm taking 0.15 cc of Thymosin A-1 daily as a sub Q shot. (That's 0.375 mg). If you are over 60, you should too. To get the pharmaceutical grade stuff, you have to get a prescription from a functional medicine doctor. The wild - cat, off label peptide houses, claim they are pure, but not how pure. When you are making a 28 amino acid peptide, you will have a 2% error rate for every amino acid you add to the chain, leaving your final product 56% impure. Your immune system is smarter than that and who knows what all those other peptides that got made with the missing or mistakenly added amino acids do. In this case, it might be worth paying the extra money for the good stuff. At least so that you have it on hand. I intend to take it all winter. If I get COVID, I will take a double dose, three times a day (0.3 ml using the standard mixing procedures.). The Chinese have used 1.6 mg a day. My dose would be 2.25 mg a day because I'm bigger. And there are no side effects to something that is naturally inside of you, once upon a time.

References: Clinical Infectious Disease, New York Times, Exp Opin Bio Ther, Exp Opin Bio Ther, Clinical Infect Disease, Front Immunol., Science Direct, Jr Med Virology, JamaNetworkInternational Immunopharm.,

Pop Quiz

1. When do you naturally make your own Thymosin -A1. Answer: When you are 6 weeks old, peaking in your first decade.

2. What cells does T-1 turn on? Answer: Your Masters of the Immune System, the T-regulatory cells (Treg in medical jargon) that direct other cells to do their business properly.

3. What's going on in older folks' immune system with severe COVID? Answer: Their T-reg cells are absent or decreased and their innate immune system is spiraling upwards, out of control.

4. If you are in an ICU with COVID, what reduction in mortality will you get if you are over age 60? Answer: 65%. From 30 down to 11%

5. If you are over 60, will you benefit by taking Thymosin A-1 if COVID prevalence is high in your community? Answer: Not proven yet, but it's good enough for me. I have been on it off and on for two years now and have had no colds despite frequent air travel prior to the pandemic.

6. Where can you get pure T-1? Answer: Compounding pharmacies that make pharmaceutical grade product. There are only a few of them. We can help you if you call for an appointment which we will oblige and do over the phone. We will walk you through the mixing and administering it. It's easy. And fill you in on the rest of the current best COVID protocol so that you never go to the hospital.