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Thymus extracts have not been definitely associated with any side effects. However, there are real concerns that any glandular extract might contain the virus causing "mad cow disease." 1 Keep in mind that there is relatively little governmental regulation of thymus products sold as dietary supplements in the US. Even when a ban is placed on importation of cow glands from a country where mad cow disease has been found, the ban does not apply to dietary supplements! For this reason, we recommend that you do not use thymus products sold as dietary supplements unless they are certified as free from risk of infection.
- Norton SA. Raw animal tissues and dietary supplements. N Engl J Med. 343(4):304-5.