Colostrum: The Fountain of Youth for Your Immune System?
Colostrum may be the Fountain of Youth for your immune system.
Ayurvedic physicians in India have used this supplement for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
US physicians have used it as an antibiotic before the introduction of sulfa drugs and penicillin.
Research indicates it contains a wide range of antiviral factors.
Sources: US Center for Disease Control, Colostrum Research Organization
It's an indisputable fact: As we age, our bodies change. Our skin loses elasticity, our muscle tone slackens and we may put on unwanted pounds. We also become more vulnerable to disease, and after we catch that cold or the flu we don't bounce back to health as quickly as we once did.
That's because growing older means our bodies produce fewer immune and growth factors -- important components in the repair of tissue and for maintaining good health. But where we once might have accepted such changes in our health as part of the cycle of life, now there may be way to help boost immunity and slow down the signs of aging.
Colostrum, used therapeutically in other countries for years, is gaining attention in the U.S., as research continues to show this natural substance can optimize function of the immune system.
It is the pre-milk fluid produced by every mammal mother during the first 72 hours after birth. Medical research indicates that bovine colostrum is extremely well tolerated by humans (which probably isn't surprising to those of us who drink cow's milk), and provides an optimum number of immune and growth factors -- over 37 different immune factors and more than eight growth factors. It also contains a precise balance of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, making it ideal for helping our bodies fight disease and heal damaged tissue. And because it is a food rather than a drug, there is no danger of side effects.
In fact, studies at the International Institute of Nutritional Research have determined that it is safe even for those who are lactose intolerant.
It is a huge reason for women to breast feed their babies!
The benefits appear to be due to the unique manner in which it provides its immune factors: Clinical research indicates that a high percentage of the antibodies in colostrum remain in the intestinal tract, rather than immediately being absorbed by the body. Most disease-causing organisms enter the body through the mucous membranes of the intestinal tract, but because its immune factors remain in the intestines, they are ready to attack disease-causing organisms before they can penetrate the body and cause illness. And there's a bonus -- bacteria and viruses do not become resistant to these immune factors.
Studies of the benefits are not new. Western scientists began studying this substance in the late 18th century; initially, to document its benefits for survival, growth and development of newborns. In 1950, Dr. Albert Sabin, developer of the polio vaccine, discovered that it contained antibodies that had the potential to lower risk of developing polio and he recommended it for children who were susceptible to the disease. In the early 1950s, it often was prescribed in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Today, the numerous medical studies on this substance have focused primarily on its immunity-boosting properties.
Colostrum may be taken as a whole supplement, or as part of an immunity-boosting nutritional blend. But if you think you can improve your immune function simply by drinking more milk consider this: In addition to containing significant amounts of immune factors that aren't available in cow's milk, it is higher in protein, vitamins and minerals; lower in fat and sugar; and has the ability to enhance immune reactions when they are too low and suppress them when they are too high.
Read our pages on:
Taking Supplements and Which Ones Are Right For You
Flax Seed Oil
Benefits of Soy
Benefits of Whey Protein
Benefits of Vitamin C
Benefits of Co Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Arabinogalactan for your immune system
Colostrum for your immune system
Importance of Potassium
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