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Immunocal Research - A Historical Perspective

In a double-blind clinical study, lymphocyte glutathione values increased by 35,5% using IMMUNOCAL (p<.01) with no increase in control subjects fed casein. Additionally, muscular performance (measuring Peak Power and 30-sec Work Capacity) increased by 13% (p<.02)2

Adapted from L.C. Lands, V.L. Grey, and A.A. Smountas. Effect of supplementation with cysteine donor on muscular performance. J Appl Ph. 1999 Oct,87(4):138-5.

In 1978, Dr. Bounous initiated a novel research program to search for a dietary protein source that would boost the immune system. In conjunction with colleagues from McGill University, notably Dr. Patricia Kongshavn and others, their studies led to the discovery of an undenatured serum milk concentrate that sustains normal glutathione levels and promotes immune enhancing activity. Subsequent identification of the active ingredients present in this protein mixture, brought on in 1993, the production of a high-quality bioactive material given the name and trademark Immunocal.

In the same decade, the science of glutathione began to progress rapidly. Anton Meister, Mary Anderson and others in the USA worked out much of the biochemistry and physiology of this tripeptide. Others across the world now had further impetus to examine potential clinical applications, from cancer to more benign pathologies. Dr. Larry Lands, also at McGill University, using Immunocal demonstrated increase of glutathione levels in healthy young adults with a corresponding increase of muscular performance. (see figure)

Major potential applications of glutathione in immunology became apparent. After Dr. Wulf Dröge demonstrated the effect of glutathione on the immune system in living organisms in 1986, a new problem arose which drew focus to glutathione modulation. The AIDS epidemic came on the scene and world-wide efforts were underway to understand its pathophysiology and possible treatment modalities. The Hertzenberg team, Dröge, Roederer, Buhl and others described the inevitable glutathione and cysteine depletion that took place in HIV-positive individuals.

Dr. Dröge continued to study the role of glutathione in AIDS and broadened his research to include other types of cachexia, cancer, and the aging process in general. Dr. Dröge joined the Immunotec team in 2004 where his research efforts continue.

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