AIDS/HIV and Colostrum 2

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Colostrums many antibodies focus their energies where an overwhelming majority of diseasesand infections enter the body†the mucosal surfaces. The largest of these is the gastro-intestinal(GI) tract. In healthy conditions, the antibodies along with many varieties of helpful bacteriaproduced and located in the intestinal tract, destroy pathogens and stop disease. However, asweve mentioned before, years of antibiotic use combined with additive-filled diets haveweakened the defenses in the intestines, thereby allowing pathogens to enter the body and causedisease. This condition that precedes most other conditions is known as leaky gut syndrome.

Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS)

Leaky gut syndrome is the name given to a very common health disorder in which theintestinal lining is more permeable than normal. The abnormally large spaces present betweenthe cells of the gut wall allow the entry of viruses, bacteria, fungi and other toxic material intothe bloodstream. Leaky gut syndrome is at least as common as all the immune system diseasesput together. Basically, it is caused by inflammation of the gut lining. This inflammation can bebrought about by any of the following:

  • Antibiotic use†leads to the overgrowth of abnormal bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Alcohol and caffeine†these can irritate the gut wall
  • Foods contaminated by parasites
  • Foods contaminated by bacteria such as e-coli
  • Chemicals (including dyes and preservatives) in fermented and processed foods
  • Prescription corticosteroids
  • An abundance of highly refined sugars and other carbohydrates in your diet (e.g. candybars, cookies, soft drinks, white bread)

LGS damages the protective coating of antibodies of the IgA family normally present in ahealthy gut. Since IgA helps us ward off infections, leaky gut problems make us less resistant toviruses, bacteria, parasites and candida. These microbes are then able to invade the bloodstreamand colonize almost any body tissue or organ, thereby causing disease.

LGS also creates a long list of mineral deficiencies because the various carrier proteinsneeded to transport minerals from the intestine to the blood are damage by the inflammationprocess. For example, magnesium deficiency is a very common finding in conditions likefibromyalgia, despite high magnesium intake through diet and supplementation. If the carrierprotein for magnesium is damaged, it doesnt matter how much of the mineral you take, it willnot get into the body where it is needed. Similarly, the body can be deprived of zinc because ofpoor intestinal absorption, often resulting in hair loss. Copper deficiency can occur in anidentical way, leading to high blood cholesterol levels and osteoarthritis. In addition, whencalcium, boron, silicon and manganese are not absorbed into the bloodstream, bone problemsdevelop. Bloating, cramps and gas are common ailments associated with a leaky gut. Eventually,however, nutritional deficiencies can also lead to systemic complaints like fatigue, headaches,memory loss, poor concentration or irritability.

Deitch, E. A. The Role of Intestinal Barrier Failure and Bacterial Translocation in theDevelopment of Systemic Infection and Multiple Organ Failure, Arch Surgery. 125:403-404,1990.Galland, L. Leaky Gut Syndrome: Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Townsend Letter for Doctors.145(6):63-68, 1995.Galland, L.; et al. Intestinal Dysbiosis and the Causes of Disease, J Adv Med. 6:67-82, 1993.Rooney, P. L.; et al. A Short Review of the Relationship Between Intestinal Permeability andInflammatory Joint Disease, Clin Exp Rheumatol. 8(1):75-83, 1990.Jackson, P. G.; Lessof, M. H.; Baker, R. W. R.; Ferrett, Jean; MacDonald, D. M. IntestinalPermeability in Patients with Eczema and Food Allergy, The Lancet. 1(8233):1285-6, 1981.

Auto-Immune Diseases

As we explained earlier, auto-immune diseases are caused by the damage done by theimmune system when it cannot turn itself off. The substances that trigger this hyper-response ofthe immune system are known as allergens. Leaky gut syndrome is almost always associatedwith auto-immune disease and reversing the direction of the disease depends on healing thelining of the gastrointestinal tract. Any other treatment is just symptom suppression.

Auto-immune diseases include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Addisonsdisease, childhood asthma, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroiditis, vasculitis,Chrohns disease, colitis, and Raynauds disease.

The connection between colostrum, leaky gut and allergic responses is most promising inregards to the most severe allergic reactions, the auto-immune diseases. In cases of auto-immunedisease, some allergen triggers a severe allergic response that in turn damages the body tissue.For example, multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that affects different parts of thenervous system through the destruction of the myelin sheaths, the membrane that protects thebodys nerves. This destruction produces any number of symptoms, including blurred vision,staggering gait, numbness, dizziness, slurred speech and even paralysis. In short, the results canbe devastating.

In 1983, Polish researchers discovered a small protein chain called Polyprotein-richPeptide (PRP) in colostrum. This immune factor was found to have the same ability to regulatethe immune system as the hormones of the thymus gland. PRP is able to stimulate T-cellprecursors to form helper T-cells, thereby prompting the immune system into action againstpathogens. More impressive, however, in relation to auto-immune disease, is PRPs ability toturn off the immune system. It does this by telling the T-cell precursors to produce Tsuppressorcells. These are the cells that slow down an overactive immune response, therebystopping the attack on the bodys own tissue.

Further studies showed that PRP was not species specific, meaning that PRP in bovinecolostrum could be used very effectively to combat a multitude of auto-immune diseases. Thegrowth factors also found in colostrum can then come in and repair any damage already done byan auto-immune disease. These factors, combined with transforming growth factors A and B,work to stimulate tissue repair in the skin, the myelin sheath and other connective tissuesthroughout the body, reducing pain and swelling, and increasing mobility and freedom.

Other Diseases

Unfortunately, we do not have the time or space to show you all of the research orexplain all of the disease-specific benefits that colostrum can provide.

In addition to the diseases and infections we have outlined, many other illnesses havealso been shown to respond favorably to colostrum treatment. They include, Alzheimersdisease, anemia, Attention Deficit Disorder, autism, brain injury, Bullous Pamphigoid, chickenpox, Cystic Fibrosis, decreased mental alertness, depression, Diabetes Mellitus, Diverticulitis,drug allergies or sensitivity, endometriosis, emphysema, gout, Graves Disease, Guillian BarreSyndrome, Hashimotos Thyroiditis, hepatitis, herpes, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, menstrualirregularities, Myasthenia Gravis, Neutropenia, ocular disturbances, Pernicious Anemia,premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Rheumatic Fever, Scleroderma, stress, and stroke. And, as moreand more research comes in, the list continues to grow.

Diabetes

Type I, or juvenile onset diabetes, can also be considered an auto-immune disease. Testsat UCLA and Stanford University showed that a protein called GAD, found in cows milk, cantrigger an allergic response that damages the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Withoutinsulin, the body is unable to use glucose for energy, so is forced to burn fat instead. This severemetabolic imbalance can lead to a dangerous condition called diabetic coma.

This type of diabetes seems to occur most often in children who did not receivecolostrum at birth, or were not breast fed for long. The immune factors in colostrum increasedthe tolerance for GAD, preventing the allergic response.

But, once an individual has developed Type I diabetes, the treatment options are veryfew. Generally, the condition is controlled with a combination of dietary restrictions, and dailyinsulin injections. A 1990 study suggested that colostrum supplementation would be a verybeneficial treatment for diabetics, based on the fact that a key growth factor, IGF-1, can stimulateglucose utilization. Researchers found that plasma levels of IGF-1 were lower in diabetic patientsthan in healthy individuals. After administering IGF-1 to patients, the doctors noticed a two-foldincrease in glucose transport to the muscles. The IGF-1 in colostrum could painlessly do the jobof the daily insulin injections most diabetics now have to endure. Do be aware, however, that anychange in insulin medication should only be made under a doctors supervision.

A New Way to Fight Diabetes, Newsweek. November 15, 1993.Dohm, G. L.; Elton, C. W.; Raju, M. S.; Mooney, N. D.; DiMarchi, R.; Pories, W. J.; Flickinger,E. G.; et al. IGF-I†Stimulated Glucose Transport in Human Skeletal Muscle and IGF-IResistance in Obesity and NIDDM, Diabetes. 39(9):1028-1032, 1990.Pennisi. Immune Therapy Stems Diabetes Progress, Science News. 145:37, January 15, 1995.

Heart Disease

We have heard so much in recent years about heart disease and what we can do toprevent it. Diet and exercise are some of the best weapons we can use to fight this killer, but, formany, the immune and growth factors found in colostrum may be whats needed to win the war.Altered immunity may be the hidden cause of arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

For example, the American College of Cardiology recently reported that a common type ofChlamydia bacteria has been associated with arterial plaque formation in over 79% of patientswith heart disease. Also, a recent New England Journal of Medicine article concluded that heartdisease is the result of immune sensitization to cardiac antigens. In other words, once heart tissueis damaged, the immune system begins creating antibodies which then cause more harm.

Because heart disease resembles an auto-immune response in this way, colostrums PRPcan help limit the severity of the disease by toning down the immune systems attack ondamaged heart tissue. In addition, the other immune factors found in colostrum can directlycombat the Chlamydia bacteria. Finally, IGF-1 and GH in colostrum can lower LDL-cholesterolwhile increasing HDL-cholesterol concentrations. Colostrum growth factors promote the repairand regeneration of heart muscle and the regeneration of new blood vessels for collateralcoronary circulation.

Gilliland, S. E.; Nelson, C. R.; Maxwell, C. Assimilation of Cholesterol by LactobacillusAcidophilus, Appld and Envir Microbiol. 49:377-81, 1985.Lange; Schreiner. Immune Mechanisms of Cardiac Disease, New England Journal ofMedicine. 330:1129, 1994.Robert, L.; et al. The Effect of Procyanidolic Oligomers on Vascular Permeability. A StudyUsing Quantitative Morphology, Pathol Biol. 38:608-616, 1990.

Cancer

It has been estimated that one in three people living in Canada and the U.S. will get someform of cancer during their lifetime. The causes of cancer (or cancers) are multiple. There are, ofcourse, the well known carcinogens like nitrates, hydrogenated oils, cigarette smoke, andradiation. Cancerous cells are continuously being formed and destroyed in almost every humanbody. The problem comes when a weakened immune system allows for the cancerous cells tospread and destroy other healthy tissues. Ironically, chemotherapy, the treatment of choice formany cancers, compromises the bodys natural immune function, leaving patients susceptible toeven more infection.

The benefits of natural immune boosters in the treatment of cancer was first popularizedby the 1985 Steven Rosenberg Book, Quiet Strides in the War on Cancer. Rosenberg had greatsuccess with cancer patients, including one complete cure, by using a treatment that flooded thebody with killer immune cells, as well as chemical messengers called cytokines. SinceRosenbergs time, the same cytokines found uniquely in colostrum (Interleukins 1, 6, 10,Interferon G, and Lymphokines) have been the single most researched elements in the search forthe cure for cancer.

Colostral lactalbumin has been found to cause the selective death of cancer cells, leavingthe surrounding non-cancerous tissues unaffected. Lactoferrin has similarly been reported topossess anti-cancer activity. The incredible mix of immune and growth factors in colostrum caninhibit the spread of cancer cells. And, if viruses are involved in either the initiation or the spreadof cancer, colostrum could prove to be one of the best ways to prevent the disease in the firstplace.

Gross, Neil; Carey, John; Hamilton, Joan. Quiet Strides in the War on Cancer, Business Week.February 6:150, 1995.
Lidbeck, A.; Allinger, U. G.; Orrhage, K. M.; Ottova, L.; Brismar, B.; Gustafsson, J. A.; Rafter,J.; Nord, C. E. Impact of Lactobacillus Acidophilus Supplements on the Fecal Microflora andSoluble Fecal Bile Acids in Colon Cancer Patients, Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease.4:81-8, 1991.

Lidbeck, A.; Nord, C. E.; Gustafsson, J. A.; Rafter, J. Lactobacilli, Anticarcinogenic Activitiesand Human Intestinal Microflora, Eur J Cancer Prev. 1:341-353, 1992.

AIDS (HIV Virus)

A couple of features make the HIV virus one of the most frightening bugs to catch. Firstof all, the virus mutates so quickly that the body cannot produce an antibody to destroy it.Secondly, how can we fight off a virus that directly targets the bodys main defense†the immunesystem? In fact, it is not finally the HIV virus itself that poses the deadly threat associated withthe AIDS disease. Instead, the HIV virus attacks the immune system, rendering it extremelyvulnerable to other invaders. In cases of severe immune damage, a simple cold or flu can bedeadly.

In a 1995 study in Scientific American, researchers concluded that traditional diseasefighting methods (the vaccine, for example) are just not effective in fighting the HIV virus.Instead, they recommend reducing the viral level in the body and stimulating he bodys naturalimmune response to have the best chance against the tricky virus.

Another study from 1995, this one by Martin C. Harmsen and associates from theNetherlands, indicates that the colostral immune factor lactoferrin is one of the best ways toreduce viral levels in the body. For example, lactoferrin inhibited HIV infection of certain bodycells. In addition, the immune factor was able to completely block Cytomegalovirus infection.The Harmsen study also concluded that bovine lactoferrin was up to 2.5 times more potent thanhuman lactoferrin.

Many of the immune factors in colostrum also help to stimulate or jump start aweakened immune system. Lactoferrin, for example, is responsible for turning on the immunesystem in newborn babies, and has been proven to do the same thing for adult AIDS patients. Inaddition, colostrums growth factors also boost the bodys immune function. Clinical studieshave shown that HIV positive patients who are treated with certain growth factors (in particulargrowth hormone or IGF-1) were much less likely to develop full-blown AIDS than were patientswho received different treatments.

The growth factors also play an important role in preventing AIDS associated wasting, orsevere weight loss. Wasting occurs when the AIDS-infected body begins using muscle forenergy. Treatment with growth hormone and IGF-1 showed an increase in lean muscle massamong AIDS patients. This increase in muscle mass is one of the main keys to improving thequality of life of AIDS sufferers.

Mass wasting is most often brought about by severe, chronic diarrhea, one of the firstsymptoms of AIDS. Cryptosporidia and rotavirus take advantage of the weakened immunesystem, causing acute diarrhea. This results in a loss of vital nutrients and fluids and alsodepletes much of the supply of intestinal antibodies leaving the sufferer even more susceptible todangerous pathogens.

Because this is one of the most serious problems that AIDS sufferers face (even leadingto death in the absence of other infections), much of the research thus far has focused on findinga way to prevent diarrhea. A 1992 study by Rump and associates, showed that, out of 37 immunodeficient patients with chronic diarrhea, 72.4 % experienced a significant improvement with theuse of immunoglobulins from colostrum. Over half of the patients remained diarrhea free for atleast four weeks after the treatment. A 1992 study said that colostrum immunoglobulins havebeen able to treat opportunistic, diarrhea-causing infections in AIDS patients, where no othertreatment was effective.

At the very least, colostrum will benefit the AIDS patient by prolonging and greatlyimproving the quality of life.

Harmsen, M. C.; Swart, P. J.; Bethune, M.; Pauwels, R.; De Clercq, E.; et al. Antiviral Effectsof Plasma and Milk Proteins: Lactoferrin Shows Potent Activity against Both HumanImmunodeficiency Virus and Human Cytomegalovirus Replication In Vitro, Journal ofInfectious Diseases. 172:380-8, 1995.

Anderson, Ian, Powdered Milk Cure for Fatal Diarrhoea, New Scientist. January:6 1994.Nord; DiJohn; Tripori; Tacket. Treatment with Bovine Hyperimmune Colostrum ofCryptosporidial Diarrhea in AIDS Patients, AIDS. 4(6):581-584, 1990.

Rump, J. A.; Aarndt, R.; Arnold, A.; Bendick, C.; Dichtelmuller, H.; Franke, M.; Helm, E. B.;Jager, H.; Kampmann, B.; Kolb, P.; et al. Treatment of Diarrhoea in Human ImmunodeficiencyVirus-Infected Patients with Immunoglobulins from Bovine Colostrum, Clin Investig.70(7):588-594, 1992.Art 7

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