DCA Immune Response

  • Deoxycholic acid in action

    as an immunomodulator for viral diseases and inflammations

The DCA Immune Response

Modulate our primary immune defense

DCA – Deoxycholic Acid

The active substance is known – but its functions are not

Three natural functions of deoxycholic acid
  • 1 - Digestion

    Fat digestion like other bile acids

    DCA – as is typical for all bile acids – has a role in digestion, especially fats.

    This is where the well-known use in lipolysis comes from, or as a choleretic.

  • 2 - Immunomodulator

    Stimulation of the non-specific immune system

    DCA can activate macrophages and thus modulates our primary immune response.

    This gives DCA a place in the acute treatment of viroses and inflammations.

  • 3 - Regeneration

    Hormonal influence of recovery processes

    DCA can induce or accompany physical regeneration processes.

    DCA is an antagonist of the corticosteroids and maintains an action-relaxation balance with those.

The DCA molecule in the “resting form”

Deoxycholic acid preparing for immune response

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 …

DCA Immune Response in Action

Deoxycholic acid modulates the non-specific immune system

Biologically active DCA tetramer

Deoxycholic acid in immune response

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)

DCA Indications

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.

Patents and publications: DCA indications

DCA effects on herpes

Publication: For the treatment of herpes zoster with deoxycholic acid (Dr. Bradna, Hospital Kutna Hora, 1983, CSSR) – Pub. at DCA Vlcek

Bile acids can act antiviral

Patent: Method and composition for the treatment and prevention of viral infections (Health Lab Service Board, Great Britain, 1990)

DCA in wound healing

Patent: Verwendung von Desoxycholsäure bei Wundheilungsstörungen (Dr. Müller, BRD, 1985)

DCA acts in natural cancer defense

Publikation: Evidence of the participation of deoxycholate in cancer immunity (Charles Univ., B. Vlcek, CSSR, 1971) – Pub. bei DCA Vlcek

DCA modulates inflammatory processes

Publikation: Microbial metabolite deoxycholic acid controls Clostridium perfringens-induced chicken necrotic enteritis through attenuating inflammatory cyclooxygenase signaling (Wang, University of Arkansas, USA, 2019)

DCA investigated to counter stomach cancer

Publikation: Deoxycholic acid inhibits the growth of BGC-823 gastric carcinoma cells via a p53‑mediated pathway (Yang, Henan Univ., China, 2015)

DCA treatment of herpes recurrences

Publication: Deoxycholic acid in the treatment of recurrent herpes Labialis (Chyle, Karls-Univ. Prague, CSSR, 1975) – Pub. at DCA Vlcek

DCA suppresses tumor growth

Publikation: Deoxycholic acid modulates the progression of gallbladder cancer through N 6-methyladenosine-dependent microRNA maturation (Lin, Shanghai Jiao Tong Univ., China, 2020)

Candida reduced by DCA

Publikation: Secondary bile acids inhibit Candida albicans growth and morphogenesis (Guinan, Oxford University Press, Great Britain, 2018)

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

Deoxycholic acid regenerates skin

Patent: Composition for skin cell regeneration, anti-wrinkle, antioxidant, anti-imflamation, and skin whitening (LG Household & Health Care Ltd., South Korea, 2015)

DCA against gallbladder cancer

Publikation: Deoxycholic acid modulates the progression of gallbladder cancer through N 6-methyladenosine-dependent microRNA maturation (Lin, National Scienc Foundation of China, 2020)

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© Titelbild – Ion-Chiosea@RF123