The DCA Immune Response
Modulate our primary immune defense
DCA is the common abbreviation for “DeoxyCholic Acid” in biochemistry and medicine. For the chemists among us: 3,12′-dihydroxycholanic acid. It is known as bile acid, a substance (in all higher mammals) that is subject to internal control cycles. The raw material deoxycholic acid is mostly of animal origin, but the author is also aware of the possible possibility of cost-effective plant production. Synthesis of DCA is possible, but still expensive.
By the way, the abbreviation DCA was also used at times for dichloroacetic acid, which has NOTHING to do with the deoxycholic acid described here, but was partly illegally a use of our protected brand name!
Deoxycholic acid has three different known functions. The first function is as a (secondary) bile acid, which makes its contribution in digestion. The second function of DCA is that of an immunomodulator of our immune response – which is described in detail on this website. The third function is one in the hormone structure of our body.
Due to their steroidal molecular structure, deoxycholic acid is involved in our hormone balance, especially as an antagonist of some stress hormones. The functions as an immunomodulator and fellow player in the hormonal process were discovered by Dr. Bohuslav Vlcek as well as scientifically published – and are only known to some experts in medicine.
In natural medicine, bile acids have been used for centuries to combat inflammatory processes and strengthen the immune response. In Central Europe, an envelope with cow dung was used for wound healing. In traditional Chinese medicine, Niu Huang is a TCM medicament composed of thickened and pressed bile.
Deoxycholic acid as an active ingredient was isolated more than 100 years ago as a component of our own bile acid pool. DCA has also long been used as an emulsifier in food. In medicine, deoxycholic acid is still used today as a choleretic, or more recently in cosmetic medicine for the control of adipose tissue. Their application for modulation of the immune response is known, but not yet widely established – not yet …
The great discovery of Dr. Bohuslav Vlcek is the identification of the role of deoxycholic acid as a stimulator of the non-specific immune system, according to the latest publications straightly of the macrophages.
From the principle of action, DCA travels in an inactive form (single molecule) constantly through our entire body – and becomes active only directly to inflammatory causes or in case of virus infestation (tetramer formation). Here, as an immunomodulator, DCA intervenes roughly in the inflammatory process.
This knowledge gives us a practical tool for immunomodulation in virus diseases and inflammations. Practically we can use deoxycholic acid in a time window of 1-3 days at the beginning of a disease. In this way, we support our first immune response.
Treatment of an incipient disease with DCA …
… is therefore a classic substitution therapy. The immune response is modulated by raising the currently too low natural DCA level in the body.
Over time, the DCA fan base has coined the term “immune vitamin”. Chemically, of course, this term is nonsense. Deoxycholic acid is not a vitamin, but a bile acid with an additional hormonal and immunological function. But as a handy label, this term still appears on the Internet, which is why it should be clarified in this context.
Patents and publications: DCA stimulates the immune system
DCA potentiates the immune response
Publication: Potentiation of the immune response with deoxycholic acid (Vlcek, Karls-Univ., CSSR, 1972) – Pub. at DCA Vlcek
GA regulate non-specific immune system
Publikation: Bile Acids Activated Receptors Regulate Innate Immunity (Fiorucci, Univ. of Perugia, Italy, 2018)
DCA activates kupffer cells (macrophages)
Publikation: Effect of deoxycholic acid and ursodeoxycholic acid on lipid peroxidation in cultured macrophages (Ljubuncic, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Israel, 1996)
Influencing the immune response with DCA
Publikation: Affecting the immunity response with deoxycholic acid (Sborni Lekar, Chyle, CSSR, 1982)
Macrophages are stimulated by GA
Publikation: Bile acid-activated receptors and the regulation of macrophages function in metabolic disorders (Fiorucci, Univ. of Perugia, Italy, 2020)
DCA as a steroidal immunopromotor
Publication: Perspectives of steroidal immunopromoters (Vlcek, Karls Univ., CSSR, 1974) – Pub. at DCA Vlcek
GA regulate immune defenses and inflammations
Publikation: Emerging roles of bile acids in mucosal immunity and inflammation (Chen, The Scripps Research Institute, USA, 2019)
GA active in the immune system and inflammations
Publikation: Counter-regulatory role of bile acid activated receptors in immunity and inflammation (Fiorucci, University of Perugia, Italy, 2010)
Gallic acids stimulate macrophages
Patent: Immunmodulierende Zusammensetzungen aus Galle (Imutec Corp, Canada, 1996 & 2003)
DCA as Agent in Cancer Immunity
Publication: Toxicity of deoxycholate at pH below 7-3 as a potential cancerostatic property (Vlcek, Karls-Univ., CSSR, 1970) – Pub. at DCA Vlcek
GA control the immune system
Publikation: The Immunomodulatory Role of Bile Acids (Sipka, Univ. of Debrecen, Hungary, 2014)
Livestock feed with DCA supports immune defenses
Patent: Futter und Futterzusatzmittel mit einer verbesserten Resistenz gegen Krankheiten wie Pseudorabies für Vieh, Geflügel und Fisch (National Federation Agriculture, Japan, 1995)
Infections with viruses and bacteria
- Viral diseases√such as herpes, mumps or chickenpox
- Bacterial inflammations√such as angina, inflammation of the middle ear or urinary tract
- Wound healing√assistance in the event of injury or after surgery
The first findings on modulation of the immune response with DCA were discovered and described in the 1970s using viral diseases by Dr. B. Vlcek. There are several publications and clinical studies here, especially for the treatment of herpes zoster. Over the years, deoxycholic acid has been tested for a wide variety of viral diseases, such as chickenpox, shingles and various forms of herpes.
In addition to viral diseases, inflammation is a homecoming of the non-specific immune system. This applies unrestrictedly to viral inflammatory processes. For bacterial inflammation in the pre-pus formation phase as well as in anaerobic pathogens. Here, too, the stimulation of macrophages by deoxycholic acid again plays a role. Wound healing also benefits from this.
Several researchers are investigating the effect of DCA in the treatment of cancer. But more research is needed here to understand the complex correlations.
The possibilities of intervention of our non-specific defenses vary greatly depending on the pathogen. This fact clearly limits the indication for immunomodulation with deoxycholic acid.
For most diseases on this planet, the use of the active substance DCA is not indicated – a change in the immune response is not possible. The use of DCA lies in diseases that are based on the immunodeficiency of the non-specific immune system in the occident. People on many other continents, such as the Orient or Asia, sometimes have a completely different spectrum of ailments with many diseases, where the use of DCA does not offer a starting point.
In addition, the use of DCA in atopic or autoimmune diseases is contraindicated. This is logical, because that is where the immune response itself is the problem.