One of the basic concepts of glandular therapy is that the oral ingestion of glandular material of a certain animal gland will strengthen the corresponding human gland. Glandular therapy increases the tone, function, and/or activity of the corresponding gland. This principle is a mainstay of oriental therapy.
Benefits of Glandular Therapy
There are three principal nutritional benefits to glandular and organ extracts:
1. Active components
It is believed that glands and organs in animals and humans contain similar biochemical substances as their functions are very similar. These enzymes are
(1) Aldose reductase, an enzyme for sugar breakdown
(2) Steroid 17 -20 lyase, an enzyme for both producing steroidal hormones and for the subsequent detoxification of those hormones from the body.
Essentially, by taking a glandular supplement you are using the biochemical compounds extracted from animals to "substitute" or make up for an internally generated deficiency.
- Thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland
- Thymosin from the thymus.
2. Associated nutritional factors
Glandular tissues are rich in nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, fatty acids, polypeptides and many other substances. Glandular therapy can supply essential nutritional needs in a highly efficient manner.
3. Adaptogenic effect
Tissue cells can repair or replace itself, but it must have the raw materials necessary. Glandular therapy provides the raw materials to the failing organs, glands, and tissues so that they can start the process of regeneration. Biochemist Jeffrey Bland, Ph. D., shares how glandular therapy products work:
"According to him, glandular-based food supplements may contain small polypeptide, protein-like substances which have specific messenger activity and which act on target tissues. Dr. Bland suggested that many of the hormones found in the glandular tissues, even at low concentrations, still have potent tissue-specific activities. For example, a small polypeptide material present in one tissue can have selective effects in encouraging another tissue at a different site in the body to produce hormonal materials, which then may affect a final target tissue and change its physiological function. (1)"
The thyroid gland is the key organ for regulating metabolism. It does this by releasing hormones that control energy production in all the body's cells. Thyroid extract helps cells eliminate cellular waste and speeds up their restorative functions. A healthy immune system starts with a healthy thyroid.
Thymus extracts and spleen extracts have been found to be quite useful with immune system deficiencies.
Orally administered calf thymus extracts have been found to be quite effective in restoring and enhancing immune function. (2-4) It resulted in a broad- spectrum immune system enhancement. Scientists believe that this is from an improved thymus gland activity, as a result of administering thymus extracts.
Thymus extracts may provide a solution to chronic viral infections and low immune function. Double blind studies with groups of children with a history of recurrent respiratory tract infections showed that orally administered thymus extracts were able to effectively eliminate infection. The treatment, over the course of a year, also significantly reduced the number of respiratory infections and significantly improved numerous immune parameters. (5)
Thymus extract has also been shown to normalize the ratio of T helper cells to suppressor cells, whether the ratio is low (as in AIDS or cancer) or high (as in allergies or rheumatoid arthritis). (2-4)
Pharmaceutical grade bovine spleen extracts are useful in the treatment of infectious conditions and as an immune-enhancing agent in cancer. The benefits are attributed to small-molecular-weight proteins (eg., tuftsin and splenopentin ) that stimulate macrophages in the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. Macrophages are large cells that engulf and destroy foreign particles, including bacteria, cancer cells, and cellular debris. Macrophages are essential in protecting against invasion by microorganisms as well as cancer. Tuftsin also helps mobilize other white blood cells to fight against infection and cancer. A deficiency of tuftsin is associated with signs and symptoms of frequent infections. (1)
Spienopentin is a small-molecular-weight protein that enhances the immune system's response to regulating compounds known as colony-stimulating factors. These compounds stimulate the production of white blood cells. Splenopentin has also been shown to enhance natural killer cell activity.The primary use of spleen extracts is after a splenectomy, or removal of the spleen. The removal of the spleen is associated with an increased risk for infection, particularly bacterial infection. Spleen extracts can be quite helpful in such cases.Spleen extracts are also useful in the treatment of low white blood cell counts and bacterial infections and as an adjunct to cancer therapy.
The pituitary gland is small and bean-shaped, located below the brain in the skull base very near the hypothalamus. Weighing less than one gram, the pituitary gland is often called the "Master Endocrine Gland" since it controls the secretion of hormones by other endocrine glands.
See Also: Glandular Therapy Home in Holisticonline.com
1. J. Bland, "Glandular-Based Food supplements: Helping to Separate Fact from Fiction," Bellevue-Redmond Medical Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA, 1980, pp. 20-21.
2. Michael Murray, N.D., et. al, "Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine," Prima Publishing, 2nd edition, 1998.
3. P. Cazzola, P. Mazzanti, and G. Bossi, 'In Vivo Modulating Effect of a Calf Thymus Acid Lysate on Human T Lymphocyte Subsets and CD4+/CD8+ Ratio in the Course of Different Diseases," Curr Ther Res 42 (1987):1011-7.
4. N.M. Kouttab, M. Prada, and P Cazzola,"Thymomodulin: Biological Properties and Clinical Applications," Medical Oncology Tumor Pharmotherapy 6 (1989): 5-9.
5. A. Fiocchi et al., "A Double-Blind Clinical Trial for the Evaluation of the Therapeutic Effectiveness of a Calf Thymus Derivative (Thymomodulin) in Children with Recurrent Respiratory Infections," Thymus 8 (1986): 831-9.