Colostrum and Diverticulitis
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Diverticulitis is a common but bothersome condition in which the pouches of the colon start protruding outward due to swelling caused by inflammation or infection. Based on recent research findings, a large number of uncomplicated cases can be prevented or treated by bovine colostrum, the first milk produced by mother cows just after giving birth. But what is the link between colostrum and diverticulitis? Let’s try to find out together.
In this article, we’ll be exploring the relationship between the use of colostrum and diverticulitis according to science. But before we get into how colostrum can help with diverticulitis, we’ll need to learn the basics of diverticulitis first. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- Understanding diverticular disease and diverticulitis
- Symptoms of diverticulitis
- Causes of diverticulitis
- What is colostrum?
- Colostrum and diverticulitis
- Final words
Understanding diverticular disease and diverticulitis
Diverticular disease, also known as diverticulosis, is a troublesome condition that refers to the presence of diverticula, small sac-like bulging pouches that form in the gut lining and start protruding to the outer wall. These sacs are likely to develop as we age, especially after the age of fifty but rarely cause any issues.
In diverticular disease conditions, at some point, diverticula get inflamed, and in rare cases infected, which is known as diverticulitis. While the diverticular disease itself often does not show up any symptoms, in the case of the development of diverticulitis, a number of symptoms may occur, making it far easier to diagnose the disease condition.
With the exception of some severe cases that might require surgery, most mild and uncomplicated diverticulitis can be easily treated with changes in lifestyle, diet modification, nutritional supplements, and certain prescription medications. Let’s take a look at some of the most common noticeable symptoms of diverticulitis.
Symptoms of diverticulitis
People with diverticulitis may require medical help due to some untrollable symptoms, such as:
- Intense abdominal pain, which usually occurs in the lower left side of the belly and may persist for a couple of days constantly
- Abdominal tenderness
In some rare serious incidents, diverticulitis may be accompanied by:
- Severe constipation or bowel obstruction
- Lower intestinal hemorrhage
- Abdominal abscess due to the perforation of a diverticulum
Causes of diverticulitis
Though the exact cause of the diverticular disease is still unclear, it is assumed that the dietary factor may be involved in its root. The perspective is that a low intake of liquids or low-fiber foods causes chronic constipation and pressure inside the colon, making it bulge out in the weaker areas, known as diverticula. An incident of diverticulitis happens when a diverticulum breaks up and results in inflammation, or in certain situations, even infection.
What is colostrum?
Colostrum, also known as pre-milk or first milk, is a complex bodily fluid released by lactating mothers immediately after giving birth. All mammalians, including humans and cows, produce this precious liquid and feed their newborn babies to protect them from infections and support their growth and development, but only for a limited period of time until regular milk starts releasing, typically for 3 to 5 days.
Colostrum is rich in essential nutrients to give newborns the best possible start in their lives. It is dense in proteins, vitamins, minerals, growth factors, immune factors, and more, making it an ideal superfood that can help to promote immune health, start digestive function, and enhance growth and cell repairs.
Colostrum can offer a range of potential health benefits not only for the earliest days of life but also at any stage of life. This is the reason why colostrum is widely used to treat nutritional deficiencies, suppressed immune functions, infections, allergies, and of course various gut disorders including diverticulitis. Let’s have a look at how colostrum can help with diverticulitis.
Colostrum and diverticulitis
Colostrum can hugely help people who have diverticular disease even if with inflamed diverticula or diverticulitis. It has an excellent ability to heal and strengthen the gut lining and reduce inflammation and infection of the diverticula.
Colostrum contains several classes of growth factors and these growth factors, especially epithelial growth factors (EGF) play an essential role in maintaining the integrity of the gut lining, and by doing so can help reverse and prevent weakness or damage to the lining of the gut.
Besides, colostrum contains various types of anti-inflammatory and immuno-modulating components. A vital action of these components, proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs), in particular, is to improve, balance, and regulate the immune and inflammatory response which can greatly help in lowering inflammation and the associated pain in diverticulitis.
Colostrum is a rich source of lactoferrin, antibodies, immunoglobulins, and various other immunomodulating compounds, all of which play an important role in developing and maintaining a healthy balance in gut microflora.
When the lining of the gut is strong and the microflora in the digestive tract is balanced, the foods and nutrients consumed get properly used, making the immune system gets its optimal functioning, which can work more efficiently to seek out and destroy harmful substances such as viruses and bacteria that cause infection in the gut or diverticula.
Colostrum is assumed to be the only natural ingredient that has been clinically proven to promote hemostasis and wound healing in damage to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science showed that the bioactive ingredients found in bovine colostrum can promote hemostasis and wound healing in the intestinal epithelial cell by favorably affecting the biological cellular process involved with wound healing.
Colostrum contains more than 200 biologically active compounds including growth factors, antibodies, and various immuno-modulating components such as immunoglobulins. All these compounds cohesively can help heal diverticulitis naturally by improving immune response, maintaining a healthy microbiome, and reducing inflammation and infection.
Work with a licensed healthcare provider to determine whether colostrum is right for your specific health condition and what dose would be appropriate for you.