Categories Addiction, Advice, Alcohol & Drug Use, Gut health, Mental health

Effects of alcohol on your body

Importance of Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 is required for a variety of bodily functions including red blood cell production, normal thought processes, short-term memory, DNA synthesis and healthy metabolism. A small amount of B-12 is made by friendly intestinal bacteria, but your body needs dietary sources to function properly.

Most animal products such as meat and dairy are good sources of B-12, although it needs intrinsic factor — a compound produced in the stomach — to be absorbed in the intestines. Lack of dietary B-12 and malabsorption are main factors associated with deficiency, which can take up to a few years to produce symptoms.

Common deficiency symptoms include anemia, fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, mouth sores, numbness and tingling in the limbs, unsteady gait, low blood pressure, depression, confusion and poor short-term memory.

Reduced Absorption

Alcohol — especially in large amounts — irritates the mucosal lining of the stomach and intestines. When the stomach lining is irritated — a condition called gastritis — it produces less hydrochloric acid and may secrete less intrinsic factor too, both of which contribute to reduced B-12 absorption from food.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol not only impairs nutrient absorption by damaging the lining of the gastrointestinal system, but it also prevents nutrients from being fully utilized in the body by altering their transport, storage and excretion.

Furthermore, decreased hydrochloric acid production can stimulate the growth of intestinal bacteria that use B-12, which further reduces the amount available to your body.

Depleted Storage

Vitamin B-12 is water-soluble, but unlike other water-soluble vitamins, it’s stored in the body — mainly the liver — for many months or more before it becomes unusable or gets flushed out. According to Christina Dye of the Do It Now Foundation, chronic consumption of alcohol tends to drain the body’s stores of critical nutrients such as B vitamins.

Alcohol consumption also increases your risk of liver disease and inflammation — also referred to as cirrhosis — which may also impact the storage or utilization of B-12.

Promotes Poor Nutrition

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism notes that heavy drinkers and alcoholics tend to eat poorly and often don’t consume enough essential nutrients such as B vitamins. The reasons for poor nutrition are two-fold: intoxication impairs the ability to make healthy food choices, and alcohol is a good source of calories and often curbs appetite.

However, the Institute notes that moderate drinkers — two alcoholic beverages or less daily — seem to be at little risk for nutritional deficiencies and various medical disorders.

What alcohol does to your liver

The liver breaks down most of the alcohol you drink so that it can be removed from the body. This creates substances that are even more harmful than alcohol. These substances can damage liver cells and cause serious liver disease.

Alcohol causes 4 out of 5 deaths from liver disease.

Types of liver disease caused by alcohol include:

  • fatty liver (steatosis)
  • inflammation of the liver (hepatitis)
  • acute alcoholic hepatitis
  • scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)
  • liver failure and death

Fatty liver (steatosis)

Fatty liver is the most common type of alcoholic liver disease. Fat builds up in the liver, which stops the liver from working properly.

Inflammation of the liver (hepatitis)

About a third of people with fatty liver will develop a mild or moderate inflammation of the liver. This is alcoholic hepatitis. Hepatitis may not cause any symptoms at first, so you may not realise that you have it.

Acute alcoholic hepatitis

More serious and life-threatening inflammation of the liver can cause:

  • a loss of appetite
  • sickness
  • tummy pain
  • jaundice (yellow skin) 
  • liver failure or death

Around 1 in 3 people who develop severe alcoholic hepatitis will die.

Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)

Around 1 in 5 heavy drinkers have scarring of their liver (cirrhosis).

Alcohol changes the chemicals that break down and remove scar tissue. This means that scar tissue builds up in the liver.

Scar tissue replaces normal healthy cells. This means that the liver can’t work properly and can fail, leading to death.

Cirrhosis may not cause symptoms.

Symptoms of liver cirrhosis include:

  • feeling unwell
  • vomiting blood
  • swollen tummy
  • loss of appetite
  • itching
  • muscle cramps

Most people who develop cirrhosis and liver failure don’t notice symptoms until it’s too late.

Reducing the risk of liver damage

You can reduce the risk of liver damage by cutting down or giving up alcohol. All liver diseases improve from giving up alcohol.

If you have significant liver scarring or cirrhosis, you should not drink alcohol. 

Fatty liver can be reversed and further damage avoided by not drinking alcohol. 

There is no cure for cirrhosis. But cutting out alcohol completely gives a much better chance of survival. You can live for decades with cirrhosis, if you give up alcohol in time.

Things that reduce the impact of liver disease include:

  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • not smoking
  • getting regular, adequate exercise
  • eating a balanced diet and avoiding processed food
  • drinking coffee
  • getting sunlight – a low Vitamin D level is bad for liver diseases

 

Alcohol’s Role in Gastrointestinal Tract Disorders

Among the many organ systems that mediate alcohol’s effects on the human body and its health, the gastrointestinal (GI) tract plays a particularly important part. Several processes underlie this role.

First, the GI tract is the site of alcohol absorption into the bloodstream and, to a lesser extent, of alcohol breakdown and production.

Second, the direct contact of alcoholic beverages with the mucosa1 that lines the upper GI tract can induce numerous metabolic and functional changes.

These alterations may lead to marked mucosal damage, which can result in a broad spectrum of acute and chronic diseases, such as acute gastrointestinal bleeding (from lesions in the stomach or small intestine) and diarrhea.

Third, functional changes and mucosal damage in the gut disturb the digestion of other nutrients as well as their assimilation into the body, thereby contributing to the malnutrition and weight loss frequently observed in alcoholics.

Fourth, alcohol-induced mucosal injuries—especially in the upper small intestine—allow large molecules, such as endotoxin and other bacterial toxins, to pass more easily into the blood or lymph. These toxic substances can have deleterious effectson the liver and other organs.

Over the past three decades, researchers have made major progress toward understanding alcohol’s manyacute and chronic effects on GI-tract function and structure.

ALCOHOL’S DAMAGING EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN

Difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory: Clearly, alcohol affects the brain. Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops.

On the other hand, a person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain deficits that persist well after he or she achieves sobriety. Exactly how alcohol affects the brain and the likelihood of reversing the impact of heavy drinking on the brain remain hot topics in alcohol research today.

We do know that heavy drinking may have extensive and far–reaching effects on the brain, ranging from simple “slips” in memory to permanent and debilitating conditions that require lifetime custodial care. And even moderate drinking leads to short–term impairment, as shown by extensive research on the impact of drinking on driving.

A number of factors influence how and to what extent alcohol affects the brain (1), including

  • how much and how often a person drinks;
  • the age at which he or she first began drinking, and how long he or she has been drinking;
  • the person’s age, level of education, gender, genetic background, and family history of alcoholism;
  • whether he or she is at risk as a result of prenatal alcohol exposure; and
  • his or her general health status.

This Alcohol Alert reviews some common disorders associated with alcohol–related brain damage and the people at greatest risk for impairment. It looks at traditional as well as emerging therapies for the treatment and prevention of alcohol–related disorders and includes a brief look at the high–tech tools that are helping scientists to better understand the effects of alcohol on the brain.

BLACKOUTS AND MEMORY LAPSES

Alcohol can produce detectable impairments in memory after only a few drinks and, as the amount of alcohol increases, so does the degree of impairment. Large quantities of alcohol, especially when consumed quickly and on an empty stomach, can produce a blackout, or an interval of time for which the intoxicated person cannot recall key details of events, or even entire events.

Blackouts are much more common among social drinkers than previously assumed and should be viewed as a potential consequence of acute intoxication regardless of age or whether the drinker is clinically dependent on alcohol (2). White and colleagues (3) surveyed 772 college undergraduates about their experiences with blackouts and asked, “Have you ever awoken after a night of drinking not able to remember things that you did or places that you went?”

Of the students who had ever consumed alcohol, 51 percent reported blacking out at some point in their lives, and 40 percent reported experiencing a blackout in the year before the survey. Of those who reported drinking in the 2 weeks before the survey, 9.4 percent said they blacked out during that time.

The students reported learning later that they had participated in a wide range of potentially dangerous events they could not remember, including vandalism, unprotected sex, and driving.

 

The pancreas

Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can lead to:

  • pancreatitis
  • inflammation of the pancreas
  • swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas

Pancreatitis can be very painful.

There are 2 types of pancreatitis:

  • acute pancreatitis
  • chronic pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis comes on suddenly. It can cause severe pain and can be life-threatening.

Acute pancreatitis can cause pain in the stomach area (abdomen), behind the ribs. It can spread through the back and cause nausea, vomiting and fever.

Chronic pancreatitis

Chronic (long-lasting) pancreatitis is when the pancreas becomes inflamed and stays that way. This causes it to stop working properly.

Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis include:

  • recurring, severe pain behind the ribs and through the back
  • weight loss
  • greasy, foul-smelling poo and loose bowel movements

It may cause complications that can be life-threatening, such as pancreatic cancer.

Treatment for chronic pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis is hard to treat. The main advice is to not drink alcohol. 

The pancreas produces enzymes that digest your food. When the pancreas does not function, these enzymes come in tablet form.

A third of people with pancreatitis develop type 2 diabetes.

Blood pressure and the heart

A lot of alcohol over a long time – or too much on a single occasion – can damage the heart or interfere with the way it works.

This can cause different problems, including:

  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • increased risk of strokes
  • cardiomyopathy (stretching and drooping of the heart muscle)
  • arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)

High blood pressure (hypertension)

High blood pressure is the most common alcohol-related health problem. Many people don’t realise they have it.

Drinking a lot of alcohol can affect the muscles in your blood vessels. This can cause them to become narrower.

The more alcohol you drink the higher the risk of developing hypertension. If you drink regularly you are at risk, especially if you’re over the age of 35. One drink a day can increase the risk.

When your blood vessels are narrower, the heart has to work harder to push blood around your body. This makes your blood pressure go up.

High blood pressure can significantly increase your risk of:

  • stroke
  • heart disease
  • vascular dementia – caused by not enough blood being able to get to the brain
  • chronic kidney disease

 

Sex life and fertility

Drinking alcohol can increase your:

  • confidence with sexual partners
  • sexual desire

But it can have a bad effect on what happens in bed.

Alcohol can also cause long-term problems with sex and fertility.

How alcohol can affect sex and fertility

Problems with erections

Drinking large amounts of alcohol can make it hard to get or keep an erection. This is called erectile dysfunction (ED).

Alcohol interferes with the messengers in the brain that tell the penis to fill with blood.

It can also happen because alcohol can reduce the production of testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone that controls male sexual functions.

ED is normally a temporary problem.

Problems with orgasms

Alcohol interferes with your ability to feel sexual stimulation. It does this by interfering with the signals between the brain and the genitals.

After heavy drinking:

  • men may find it hard to ejaculate (come) or may ejaculate too quickly
  • women may find it harder to orgasm or their orgasms may feel less intense

Sex drive (libido)

Drinking heavily over a long period of time can lead to a lower sex drive (libido). This is because it reduces your levels of testosterone.

Shrinking of sex organs

High-risk drinking over a long time can cause a man’s testes and penis to shrink.

Fertility

Lowered testosterone can affect sperm production. This can reduce fertility.

Women who drink heavily for a long time may find they stop ovulating.

Even small amounts of alcohol can affect fertility.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and affects your judgement. This increases your chances of having unprotected sex. This puts you at risk of sexually transmitted infections

 

Categories Advice, Diet, Gut health, Health

How Food Affects your Mood

How Food Affects your Mood

Few things affect our state of mind, aka our mood, as profoundly as food. Women being propelled by some mysterious hormonal force to eat chocolate during PMS is one good example. There’s just something in that chocolate that makes them feel so good!

Aside from the emotional ties around food, such as associating it with celebration or entertainment, there is also the physiological side that affects our mood. We’ve all seen children throwing fits in the cereal aisles or at the checkout stand where all the sweets have been placed for impulse buying. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen such outbursts in the broccoli aisle.

People crave almost instinctively comfort foods which are high in carbohydrates, which the body immediately converts into sugar in the bloodstream upon consumption. Consuming processed and refined foods which contain exorbitant amounts of sugars and artificial ingredients and practically no dietary fiber renders the eater into a blood sugar nightmare.

Even cooked starches that some consider healthy such as potatoes, rice and pasta are converted into simple sugars quickly in the body. This gives an immediate burst of false energy and a short-lived sense of well being, followed by a nasty letdown and what some call ‘self induced hypoglycemia.’

In order to feel better after the letdown phase, which can make people feel exhausted, cranky and unable to focus, the body compels one to simply eat more of the substance that gave it that happy rush in the first place. Now we see how we get set up for addictions. Ever tried to be in a good mood, feel jubilant about life or get lots of work done when you are in the throes of caffeine withdrawal?

The main function of most anti-depressants on the market is to enhance the uptake of that famous ‘feel-good hormone’ serotonin. When this brain chemical is low, people crave carbohydrates and comfort foods in order to get it.

But if we learn how to nourish the brain properly, we need not suffer from nutrient or serotonin deficiencies and consequently we can avoid the addictions that keep us bound to the constant highs and lows. There is a sound and foolproof way to accomplish this.

One of the main reasons a raw vegan diet is so helpful in maintaining stable moods is due to the fact that there are no toxins, addictive substances or artificial ingredients in living foods. Moreover, raw foods are loaded with fiber to keep the intestinal tract and colon in tip top shape as well as clean.

If the colon is overloaded with waste, this waste is recirculated in the bloodstream again and again. How peaceful and blissful do you think you can feel with your body’s own waste nourishing your brain? Consumption of foods that are high in fiber and natural sugars also eliminates the wild roller coaster blood sugar swings which are notorious for ultimately depleting our serotonin supplies.

After a period of detoxification, which may sometimes be a bumpy road as our emotions are detoxified as well, the mind becomes clearer and sharper. Better health also brings an improved outlook on life and renewed hope that other improvements are possible. When we begin to look better, perhaps by dropping a few pounds or our skin clears up, we definitely begin to strike a more cheerful tone.

On a raw food diet, our brain becomes cleansed and nourished on a cellular level, our senses sharpen and we begin to see the sun come out in our life once again. Won’t you join me in eating naturally?

Categories Gut health, Health

Phospholipid Colostrum

Allergy Research Phospholipid Colostrum is obtained from healthy, grass-fed cows, within the first 16 hours after birthing. It has an added natural phospholipid coating (liposomal) from sunflower lecithin, for enhanced protection, dissolution, and absorption.
* It is tested to be free of antibiotics and growth hormones.

Women who are pregnant, wishing to become pregnant, or breastfeeding should use only under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Store in a cool, dry place, tightly capped.

 
Servings Per Container: 60

As a dietary supplement, 1 scoop (5 g) one or two times daily, or as directed by a healthcare professional.


Serving Size: 1 scoop (5 g)

Amount Per Serving
Calories … 50
Protein … 3g
Calcium … 25mg
Colostrum and Sunflower Lecithin Phospholipids … 5g
Immunoglobulins … 1g
(Total)
Proline-Rich Polypeptides … 200mg
(PRP)
Lactoferrin … 50mg

 


Quantity



Inflammation

Science is showing that chronic inflammation is at the root of nearly every disease.  Inflammation is linked to everything from metabolic disorders, like obesity and diabetes, to neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.

How Does Colostrum Work?
Colostrum is highly beneficial in the unique manner in which it provides the body with its numerous immune and growth factors. Most infectious disease-causing organisms enter the body through the mucous membranes of the intestinal tract.. In order to remain healthy, it is critical that we are able to combat disease-causing organisms, such as bacteria and viruses or as well as environmental toxins, contaminants and allergens where they attack us.

Clinical research by Dr. David Tyrell in England, published in 1981, revealed that a high percentage of the antibodies and immunoglobulins present in colostrum are believed not to be absorbed but remain in the intestinal tract where they attack disease-causing organisms before they can penetrate the body and cause disease. The remainder are absorbed and distributed to assist in our internal defense processes. It is this combination of action that makes colostrum so unique and effective as an oral supplement.

Healing the gut
Another critical action of colostrum’s growth factors, epithelial growth factor (EGF) in particular, is to heal and prevent damage to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract by maintaining integrity of tight junctions. The delicate lining between the GI tract and the bloodstream is one cell thick and, because it is permeable, it allows nutrients from food to gain access to the body.

The downside is that the lining can become hyperpermeable when the tight junctions loosen. This condition, commonly referred to as “leaky gut syndrome” or “leaky gut,” allows larger, partially digested food proteins, disease-causing microbes and toxins to enter the body as well. Once inside the bloodstream, the immune system recognizes these substances as foreign and mounts an inflammatory response against them. If the ensuing inflammation becomes chronic, the immune system may mistakenly attack healthy cells, which over time can lead to tissue destruction and autoimmune conditions.

Damage to the gut lining can be caused by a variety of factors, including NSAIDs, prescription pain medications, antibiotics, birth control pills, glyphosate, GMOs, poor lifestyle choices  i.e., chronic alcohol use and environmental toxins. Damage can be compounded by an unhealthy microbiome in which beneficial bacteria are unable to keep pathogenic bacteria in check.

Colostrum’s immunoglobulins, antibodies, lactoferrin and other immune-modulating components can help maintain a healthy microbiome.  When the GI lining is strong and the microbiome is healthy, the body can make good use of the foods and nutrients consumed and help maintain an optimally functioning immune system. Bovine colostrum is the only natural substance that has been clinically proven to heal damage to the intestinal lining and prevent intestinal hyperpermeability.

Reduce inflammation
Bovine colostrum contains more than 200 growth factors and immune-modulating components (such as the aforementioned PRPs) that function synergistically to help the immune system do its job more effectively.  PRPs can stimulate an underactive immune system to seek out and destroy viruses and bacteria to prevent infection. They can also tone down an overactive immune system, such as in the case of autoimmune conditions, to prevent further damage caused by excessive inflammation.

Note that when prescribing bovine colostrum as an adjunct therapy, for it to be effective its healing components must be bioavailable. The infant’s digestive system does not contain harsh stomach acids the way an adult’s digestive system does. The immature GI tract plus the natural lipid coating on mother’s colostrum guarantees maximum benefit for the infant.

But when raw, fresh bovine colostrum is processed into powder form, it loses the lipid coating that otherwise protects it from being digested in the adult’s stomach, and it becomes more like powdered milk. Thus, it is critical that the lipid coating be restored. The reapplication of lipids preserves the growth factors and immune-modulating components, making it as close to raw, fresh colostrum as possible.

Colostrum Meets the Microbiome A Tried and True Remedy for Gut Health Takes Centre Stage

The microbiome is one of the most exciting discoveries of 21st century biomedicine, and scientific heavyweights as prominent as Craig Ventner, whose company sequenced the human genome, are now sequencing the microbiome.

The microbiome is the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space–the mass of trillions of microbes that live on and in your body. Most of them are in your large intestine, but they thrive in your mouth, on your skin, and even in your bloodstream.

The human gut contains on average: 40,000 bacterial species, 9 million unique bacterial genes and 100 trillion microbial cells. These hundred trillion microbes render us a walking, breathing ecosystem–more microbe than man.

Research on ancient and modern microbiomes is uncovering new insights into the fluid and ever-changing composition of our resident bacteria. An intact “microbial tomb” was found on teeth from humans buried in Pompei over a thousand years ago. Fossilized fecal samples from medieval times are being analyzed, and scientists are even going to sequence the microbiomes of identical twin astronauts up in space, to see how low gravity and diet might affect it.

The Human Food Project in Tanzania is sampling the gut microbiome of hundreds of Hadzabe hunter-gatherers, whose diet is so different than that of most individuals in developed nations.

Why such interest in the microbiome? Because the microbes we cohabit with, particularly those of the gut, help regulate human health and wellbeing, and even influence the brain, neurological function, and behavior. New research shows that beneficial bacteria in our microbiome may help us fight infection anywhere in the body. In fact, gut microbes help our bodies develop immune

And that brings us to colostrum: Mother Nature’s first food for the developing microbiome in all mammals, our earliest and most potent influence on gut health and bacterial composition.

Colostrum provides a cornucopia of nutrients, immunoglobulins, passive antibodies, and signaling peptides that Mother Nature has perfectly honed to protect the newborn infant from infection, and to help train and shape the emerging immune system so it can handle its environment. Ingesting colostrum establishes beneficial bacteria in the neonate’s digestive tract.

“Research shows that colostrum can restore a leaky gut lining to normal permeability levels, and reduce movement of toxins and gut microbes into the bloodstream.”

Colostrum contains immunoglobulins such as IgG, IgA, IgM; the immune modulating molecule lactoferrin; fat-soluble vitamins including retinol, tocopherol, and beta-carotene; water soluble vitamins including niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B12, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine, and pyridoxine; and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, iron, copper and manganese.

It contains whey proteins, oligosaccharides, immunoglobulins, growth factors including IGF-1, IGF-2, TGFbeta and EGF, prolactin, and insulin. Fresh colostrum also contains both essential and non-essential amino acids, enzymes, and commensal bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. Finally, colostrum contains a rich array of novel, potent signaling peptides called proline-rich peptides (PRPs).

Colostrum helps the newborn gut develop a healthy microbiota. When our gut ecology becomes imbalanced, we experience dysbiosis. Then the delicate gut lining and associated lymphoid tissue becomes inflamed, leading to altered levels of permeability.

That increased permeability can then result in microbial translocation–or the movement of toxins and gut microbes through the normally tight epithelial barrier of the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream. Microbial translocation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of HIV, cirrhosis, atopic dermatitis and many other conditions.

Decreased permeability can lead to altered absorption of essential food components, a thickening of the lining, loss of the local villi and subsequent activation of the innate lymphoid cell, as bacteria have direct contact to the lining because of loss or decreased functionality of the mucus layer.

Research shows that colostrum can restore a leaky gut lining to normal permeability levels. The immunoglobulins in colostrum are especially impressive at combating gut pathogens, including H. pylori, E. coli and protozoan parasites and amoebas. Antimicrobial effects are likely due to the presence of the antibody (immunoglobulin) complement system.

In addition, research by David Tyrell, MD, in 1980, suggested that a high percentage of antibodies and immunoglobulins present in colostrum remain in the intestinal tract, where they attack pathogens.

A recent study on bovine colostrum suggested that it is a potential source of anti-infective glycans which might limit Campylobacter jejuni infection, the leading cause of acute bacterial infectious diarrhea in humans. Researchers found that bovine colostrum dramatically reduced the cellular invasion and translocation of C. jejuni, in a concentration dependent manner. Bovine colostrum also completely prevented C. jejuni binding to chicken intestinal mucin, in vitro.

Bovine colostrum can restore the damage caused by anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to the gut lining. For instance, the anti-inflammatory NSAID indomethacin when used alone causes a three-fold increase in gut permeability. But when taken with colostrum by healthy volunteers, there is no increase in gut permeability. Researchers concluded that bovine colostrum may provide a novel approach to the prevention of NSAID induced gastrointestinal damage in humans.

In another study, researchers determined that bovine colostrum is a rich source of tissue repair and growth factors, and limits gastrointestinal injury. Feeding with colostrum facilitated growth of the intestinal villi, assisting with the restoration of barriers that have become impermeable as well as too permeable. Only the colostrum casein fraction stimulated intestinal villus elongation, whereas the whey fraction and mature milk casein showed no such effect. Colostrum has therapeutic potential for intestinal inflammation.

“New research shows that beneficial bacteria in our microbiome may help us fight infection anywhere in the body.”

Colostrum enemas were effective in the treatment of distal colitis during a randomized, double-blind study. Fourteen patients with a mean age of 45 and mild to moderately severe distal colitis, were given colostrum enema or placebo enema for 4 weeks. Both groups also received the drug mesalazine.

The colostrum group showed a mean reduction in symptom score of 2.9, while the group only on medication showed an increase of 0.5. Symptoms improved in five of the eight patients in the colostrum group and in two of the six patients in the placebo group. The researchers concluded that bovine colostrum enemas may be a novel adjunctive therapy for left-sided colitis along with standard treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs such as mesalazine.

Lactoferrin is one of the main proteins in colostrum. High quality supplemental colostrum has over 1%. Lactoferrin binds free iron, which many bacteria and fungi need to reproduce. Lactoferrin can penetrate the cell wall of bacteria, which allows an antimicrobial enzyme in gastric secretions calls lysozyme to then enter the cell and cause it to burst. Together, lactoferrin and lysozyme can destroy Candida albicans.

We know that nutrients are absorbed along the length of the small intestine, which is lined with millions of microscopic, finger-like projections called villi. Each villus is connected to a mesh of capillaries so that nutrients can pass into the bloodstream.

Colostrum extract that contains bioactive components such as insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), enhances intestinal villus size and can modulate neonatal gastrointestinal tract development and function. Villus circumference and height in the small intestine, as well as epithelial cell proliferation, are higher in calves fed colostrum extract than in controls.

According to a review article in 2011 on colostrum, a commercial product which is made from large standardized pools of colostrum collected from over 100 cows has been used to treat a number of diseases, including diarrhea caused by diarrheagenic E. coli. Bovine colostrum contains significant antimicrobial properties as a result of natural exposure of the cows to antigens of pathogens that may afflict humans as well.

All colostrum and milk will contain some secretory IgA. The presence of secretory IgA in the intestinal lumen is part of the protective function of  the epithelial barrier in the intestine and also plays an important role in maintaining ecological tolerance with the commensal bacteria.

Milk and colostrum secretory IgA in the intestine will bind bacteria, toxins and other macromolecules, limiting their ability to bind to intestinal cells and thereby be transported through the mucosa to cause a systemic immune response. The mature stomach lining of an adult is of course more effective in digesting proteins and peptides than that of a newborn infant.

Fresh bovine colostrum has a natural phospholipid coating that enhances its properties, but this is lost during the processing of colostrum into a powder form. New research by biochemist Michail Borissenko, BSc, MSc, chief scientist at the Institute of Colostrum Research in New Zealand, suggests that coating bovine colostrum with high quality phospholipids during processing helps to make it more soluble and preserve it until it reaches the large intestine.

Although bovine colostrum is generally well tolerated, colostrum with the phospholipid coating restored may possibly increase tolerance and benefit for sensitive individuals. Colostrum and phospholipids together might provide an ideal and stable source of the ultimate “mother’s milk” for healing the gut and restoring a healthy microbiome.

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