Some people argue that the Fountain of Youth can be found in something that every nursing mammal produces: colostrum.
The protective benefits of colostrum have a long history. According to Dr. Andrew Keech, ancient Egyptian art depicts pharaohs drinking colostrum in order become immortal. (1) And most farmers will tell you that a new calf will not live long if it does not drink at least once from its mother’s first milk.
For the past several decades, researchers and scientists have a renewed interest in colostrum. They have made astonishing discoveries. It turns out that in the remedy of many serious chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis, the proteins found in colostrum may offer substantial relief.
What Is Colostrum?
Colostrum is a mother's first milk that is protein-rich and full of beneficial growth and immune factors. Both newborns and adults can benefit from colostrum to boost immune health and fight against infection.
Colostrum is the first milk that any mammal produces just before and after giving birth. This first milk, full of growth and immune factors, is thin and yellow. Colostrum has far less fat in it than ordinary milk. It also has more protein.
Several of the proteins found in colostrum are growth factors and immune factors. These proteins educate the developing gastrointestinal tract of newborns. This is an essential process.
While the digestive system breaks down food into usable parts, it also plays an important role in immune system function. When a newborn drinks colostrum, the nutrients in colostrum actually inform the immune system of its immediate environment.
This why the special proteins in colostrum have been under such rigorous study.
Colostrum from pasture-fed cows contains proteins that are able to activate an immune response against human pathogens. (2) A pathogen is a disease-causing microorganism. Cow colostrum has immune factors that can protect the human body against:
- Escherichia coli
- Cryptosporidium parvum
- Shigella flexneri
Human colostrum is full of immune-boosting proteins that are important for a local infection. These are called immunoglobulin A (IgA). Other nursing animals, such as cows, will produce colostrum that is full of immunoglobulin G (IgG).
What does this have to do with our immune health?
It turns out that IgG actually promotes systemic immunity. This is what helps the body to recognize foreign invaders. This is also the same principle of memory that is used in vaccines.
Even within the last 100 years, there have been massive developments in our environment and in our food supply.
New toxins and new synthetic chemicals are being introduced to our bodies at a rapid rate.
Now, more than ever, we are also seeing the rise of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and autoimmune disorders. At the same time, infectious bugs are getting smart. Several organisms are becoming resistant to antibiotics, and even vaccines can fall short in their efficacy.
Researchers are now turning more to therapies that modulate the immune system. In other words, they are looking for ways to keep the immune system in balance.
Proline-Rich Peptides, otherwise called PRPs or colostrinin, are small chains of amino acids that modulate immune response.
Special attention is now being placed on the effect of PRPs in cases of neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s. (3)(4)(5) In 2002, one study found that approximately 40% of the Alzheimer’s patients enrolled in the trial had either stabilized or improved significantly. This was after only 15 weeks of therapy. At 30 weeks of treatment, there were even more improvements. (6)
PRPs, which are solely derived from colostrum, have been found to relieve the pain and inflammation found in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as well as other autoimmune conditions. (7)(8)
Dr. Andrew Keech tells us that before 1950, a great deal of success was found in using colostrum to treat rheumatoid arthritis. He adds,
“Unfortunately, with the advent of sulfa drugs, cheap antibiotics and other synthetic drugs, interest waned in natural remedies. The benefits of colostrum were largely lost for over forty years.”
What to Remember Most About This Article:
An aging brain and an immune system that struggles for balance are hallmarks of degenerative disease. Old-fashion remedies, like colostrum, are coming back into vogue as scientists pinpoint the healing benefits of a mother’s first milk.
- When choosing what kind of colostrum to supplement with, make sure that the animals are pasture raised. If available, choose raw, grass-fed colostrum.
- If you have sensitivity to dairy, you will want to first focus on healing the intestinal tract with probiotic-rich foods and with Body Ecology principles before consuming colostrum.
- Both colostrum and PRP therapy are safe. They have little, if any, negative side effects. This is good news in a time when one pharmaceutical drug can drastically deplete health!
- Keech, Andrew. Peptide Immunotherapy: Colostrum—A Physician’s Reference Guide. 2009: AKS Publishing. http://www.drkeech.com/files/Peptide_Immunotherapy_1.pdf
- McConnell MA, et al. A Comparison of IgG and IgG1 Activity in an Early Milk Concentrate from Non-Immunized Cows and Milk from Hyperimmunized Animals. Food Research International. 2001; 34: 255 – 261.
- Piotr Popik, et al. Colostrinin, a Polypeptide Isolated From Early Milk, Facilitates Learning and Memory in Rats. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 1999; 64 (1): 183 – 189.
- Agnieszka Zabłocka, et al. A proline-rich polypeptide complex and its nonapeptide fragment inhibit nitric oxide production induced in mice. Regulatory Peptides. February 2005; 125(1 – 3) 15: 35 – 39.
- Zimecki, Michal. A Proline-Rich Polypeptide from Ovine Colostrum: Colostrinin with Immunomodulatory Activity. Bioactive Components of Milk: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 2008: 241 -250.
- Bilikiewicz, et al. Colostrinin (a naturally occurring, proline-rich, polypeptide mixture) in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2004; 6 (1): 17 – 26.
- Alejandro Nitsch, et al. The Clinical Use of Bovine Colostrum. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. 1998; 13 (2): 110 – 118.
- Michal Zimeck, et al. Milk-derived proteins and peptides of potential therapeutic and nutritive value. Journal of Experimental Therapeutics and Oncology. 2007; 6: 89-106.
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