Thymosin Alpha-1 is a peptide that is naturally secreted by the thymus gland. It has many immune system regulating properties. It stimulates T cell production, assists in the development of B cells, and is important in the production of antibodies. It improves NK cell activity and TNF alpha. Clinically it is prescribed for its effectiveness with viral and other infectious problems, cancer, and autoimmune conditions.

The National Library of medicine has published:

A comprehensive review of the literature

This review begins with the statement “Thymosin alpha 1 is a peptide naturally occurring in the thymus that has long been recognized for modifying, enhancing, and restoring immune function. Thymosin alpha 1 has been utilized in the treatment of immunocompromised states and malignancies, as an enhancer of vaccine response, and as a means of curbing morbidity and mortality in sepsis and numerous infections. “

Since thymosin alpha 1 is a polypeptide naturally present in the thymus, it plays a fundamental role in the control of inflammation, immunity, and tolerance. As a result of these properties, it has been shown to be an effective therapeutic agent for those with immune dysfunction.

Many studies of Thymosin alpha 1 have documented its immune enhancing and immune modulating properties. It has also been shown to be an immune restorative agent benefiting those with immune deficiencies.

Studies have shown that Thymosin Alpha-1 has helped patients with a variety of cancers.

Thymosin alpha 1 stimulates the adaptive immune response, essential for fighting viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. It can increase levels of immune related substances such as IL-2, IL-10, IL-12, interferon (IFN)-α, and IFN-γ. Thymosin alpha-1 enhances T cell-mediated immune responses via differentiation of immature T-cells called progenitor cells. It has the ability to elevate the activity of T cell maturation into CD4+/CD8+ cells.


Here is a summary of the conditions for which research shows the effectiveness of Thymosin Alpha-1




Thymosin alpha-1 has demonstrated it can to restrain tumor growth. It has anti-proliferative properties shown in the study of those with lung and liver tumor metastases. Against cancer, thymosin alpha 1 works via two main mechanisms: Stimulating the immune system and it has a direct anti-proliferative activity on tumor cells.

Multiple studies have shown promising results for the use of thymosin alpha-1 in patients with metastatic melanoma, head and neck carcinoma, lung cancer, breast cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma.

It is indicated as adjuvant for chemotherapy-induced immune depression, immune insufficiency, and immune suppression in cancer patients. In combination with chemotherapy or radiation thymosin Alpha-1 improves survival rate in non-small cell lung cancer, which has a low responsiveness to chemotherapy alone.

Decreasing toxicity from chemotherapy

In clinical studies thymosin alpha 1 has been shown to be effective in reducing the toxicity of chemotherapy, improving the quality of life of cancer patients. An increase in the numbers and functions of immune cells by those given Thymosin Alpha-1 may account for the decrease of toxicity from chemotherapy in these setting. Also, fewer infections occurred during chemotherapy, and there was a reduction in neurotoxicity.

Thymosin Alpa-1 activates natural killer cells and CD8+ T cells, which allows it to kill cells infected by viruses. It stimulates cytokine-mediated immune responses.

Thymosin alpha 1 has a negative effect on both IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α, which leads to a decreased inflammatory response and benefits those with acute pancreatitis as well as those with chronic hepatitis.


The use of thymosin alpha 1 in patients with sepsis has shown a significant decrease in mortality due to multiple-organ failure, which is the primary cause of death in sepsis.


Bone marrow transplant patients

Thymosin alpha 1 is used to enhance immunity following bone marrow transplantation to resist infections like pseudomonas.


Mold toxicity

This thymic peptide has the ability to prime dendritic cells and to enhance Th1 and Treg cells so that an antifungal response is generated. Th1 response will activate the production of Th2 cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12, IL-18), stimulating phagocytic activity. Therefore, cytotoxic CD4+, CD8+, and T cells and opsonizing antibodies will be produced, generating a protective effect against fungal pathogens.  

Immune deficiency

Treatment with thymosin alpha 1 has been shown to have a restorative effect on patients with a suppressed lymphokine-activated killer cell activity and with immunodeficiency. Its lack of side effects and safety profile gives us an agent that improves immune system function without causing adverse events.

Psoriatic arthritis

Thymosin alpha 1 is a potent modulator of immunity and inflammation. Individuals with diseases that are characterized by deregulation of the immune system such as psoriatic arthritis, have serum levels of thymosin alpha 1 significantly lower than those of healthy individuals. This finding is consistent with the role of thymosin alpha 1 as a regulator of immunity, tolerance and inflammation.

Oxidative damage, pancreatic lesions and diabetes

Thymosin alpha 1 has protective effects against oxidative damage. By remarkably amplifying the activity of catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase, thymosin alpha 1 prevents oxidative damage to the liver. These properties of thymosin alpha 1 are also felt to explain the benefits in the treatment of pancreatic lesions

In summary thymosin alpha-1 is a safe, virtually side effect free immune supportive peptide with many clinical uses.

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