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What is Thymus Extract?

By Alyssa Ast
Updated Feb 17, 2024
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Thymus extract is a chemical that typically is collected from the thymus gland of a cow, but it also can be manmade. The extract is believed to produce multiple health benefits, including boosting the human immune system. This supplement is commonly used to treat infectious diseases, as well. Thymus extract often is used in alternative medicine for the possible health benefits it is believed to generate, such as offering relief from hay fever or asthma and helping with lung infections and certain food allergies.

Thymus extract is said to produce a wide range of health benefits for certain medical conditions and diseases, including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is believed to be a benefit for patients who have herpes, cancer, or shingles, as well. While positive reports have been associated with use of the extract, conclusive scientific evidence is still needed.

The use of thymus extract is known to posses certain risks. Since the extract is collected from the thymus gland of cows, there is a risk of contamination. If the extract is collected from a diseased animal, the infection or disease may transfer to humans. While there is the risk of infection, it remains rare for humans to become infected from the extract collected from cows.

Pregnant and breast-feeding women usually are advised to not use thymus extract. Due to the fact little remains known about the affects of the extract on a fetus or infant, it generally is best to avoid the extract, both natural and manmade. This typically is considered the safest option for pregnant and breast-feeding women.

Certain precautions typically must be followed in people with weakened immune systems. It generally is advised that patients with weakened immune systems only consume certified germ-free forms of thymus extract. This is advised to reduce the risk of developing an infection.

Medications prescribed to suppress the immune system are known to interact poorly with thymus extract. If the medications are used while consuming the extract, an increased risk of illness and infection could occur. Some of the medications known to interact poorly are azathioprine, orthoclone, and tacrolimus.

Before deciding to use a natural or manmade form of the extract, it can be vital for a person to consult with a certified health professional. While the extract is considered safe under most circumstances, only a medical professional can decide if the extract is safe for use. The typical dose given to adults is 750 mg daily, but only after being cleared by a health profession.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon130962 — On Nov 30, 2010

What is known about ThymuSkin product for use in people losing their hair?

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