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Colostrum and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Colostrum and Rheumatoid Arthritis


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. 

It is reported that about 20% of the American population suffers from some type of arthritis in their lives. Joint pain is so widespread that most of us just accept it as an unavoidable part of getting older, whether it be osteoarthritis, which is brought on by wear and tear, or rheumatoid arthritis, which is caused by an overactive immune system attacking its own tissues.

Studies revealed that colostrum could help generate new tissues and contain IGF proteins which help prevent numerous types of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis. This article details colostrum and its effects on rheumatoid arthritis and possible risks or side effects associated with overconsumption.

What is Colostrum?

Colostrum, commonly referred to as "first milk," is a fluid that female animals' mammary glands make in the latter stages of pregnancy and in the early hours following childbirth. Bovine colostrum contains more nutritive substances than regular milk.

It is a crucial source of nutrients that supports development and wards off diseases in babies, but it may also be ingested at later stages of life, usually in the form of supplements. Even though many animals generate colostrum, cow colostrum is often used to make supplements. We call this dietary supplement bovine colostrum.

Like human colostrum, bovine colostrum is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins that fight illness, growth hormones, and digestive enzymes.

While colostrum is abundant in macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals, most of its health advantages are connected to certain protein components, such as:

Lactoferrin: The immune system possesses the protein lactoferrin to fight off infections, including those brought on by bacteria and viruses.

Growth hormone: Growth-promoting hormones are known as growth factors. Insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2, sometimes known as IGF-1 and IGF-2, are two protein-based hormones that are particularly abundant in cow colostrum.

Antibodies: Our immune system contains proteins called antibodies, commonly referred to as immunoglobulins, to combat viruses and bacteria. IgA, IgG, and IgM antibodies are abundant in bovine colostrum.

Colostrum supplements are prepared from cow’s colostrum by pasteurizing and drying the colostrum. Supplements are prepared in form of pills or powder which are then mixed with liquids. These supplements possess light yellow color and mild taste resembling buttermilk.

Does Colostrum Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis?

According to recent studies, consuming colostrum—a material we often only come into contact with when we are very young—can help our bodies fight against arthritis. Colostrum is the first "meal" for a baby who is immune compromised and developing quickly. It is rich in immunological components such as proline-rich polypeptides (PRP) and anti-inflammatory sulfur compounds like methylsulfonylmethane (MSM).

IGF proteins promote cell development, which helps create new tissues and restore damaged ones. Rheumatoid arthritis patients had lower plasma levels of IGF-1 than non-sufferers, according to research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology in July 2012. This finding suggests that taking an IGF supplement may assist to strengthen one's health against the symptoms of arthritis.

How Does it Work?

Regarding immunological support, it has been demonstrated that proline-rich polypeptide (PRP) from colostrum controls immune response by preventing the overproduction of T-cells, lymphocytes, and other immune cells. PRP has been shown in laboratory studies to have the capacity to halt the development of too-aggressive immune responses, hence reducing rheumatoid arthritis-related pain and inflammation.

Colostrum is a rich natural source of sulfur component MSM, which help in alleviating inflammation. MSM has a long history of use as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory compound. Researchers found that MSM helps reduce inflammation and symptoms of osteoarthritis in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

Bovine colostrum is a holistic natural supplement to support one's health against arthritis by mixing tissue-regenerating growth factors and pain-relieving anti-inflammatory components. Additionally, colostrum does not irritate the lining of your intestines like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

According to another study, colostrum-fed mice showed a significant reduction in inflammation, inflammatory cytokines, and tumor necrosis factors. The study suggests that colostrum possesses potent anti-inflammatory activity against rheumatoid arthritis.

In another trial in 20 individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, whey protein concentrate containing natural milk antibodies was given for 3 months. Results revealed that high levels of antibodies against enteromicrobes and toxins are considered more effective in the RA subset. It is necessary to conduct more research to know its potent antirheumatic activities.

Other Benefits

Bovine colostrum offers a multitude of antibodies and the protein lactoferrin which help prevent bacterial and viral infections and treat diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems.

Studies also revealed that bovine colostrum encourages intestinal cell growth, nourishes the gut wall, and inhibits intestinal permeability. Intestinal permeability is a condition in which gastrointestinal content leaks through the gut wall and enters the bloodstream.

These supplements also enhance immunity and help the body combat disease-fighting microorganisms. Colostrum is an excellent source of antibodies like IgA and IgG that help fight against viruses and bacteria and boost immune functions. Research of 29 male cyclists found that eating 10 grams of bovine colostrum daily for five weeks decreased the likelihood of upper respiratory infection symptoms and avoided a post-exercise drop in immune cells.

The bioactive peptides found in milk have growth-promoting, anticancer, immunomodulating, antioxidative, mineral-carrying, antithrombotic, and antihypertensive activities. The conjugated linoleic acid found in colostrum shows potent anticancer activities. Bovine colostrum exhibit anticarcinogenic effects of CLA in female mammary glands as it inhibits the cyclooxygenase-2 or lipo-oxygenase pathways and stimulates the production of apoptotic genes. It also inhibits the production of immunosuppressive compounds like prostaglandins and leukotrienes.

Possible Risks or Side Effects

Colostrum offers a wide variety of benefits to the body; however, it has some risks or side effects. In people sensitive to milk, it can cause some allergic reactions. Some supplements may contain additives like soy and people allergic to them should avoid these supplements.

Colostrum may also contain antibiotics, pesticides and some synthetic compounds depending on the grass cows are feeding. It is necessary to ensure that supplements do not contain these compounds in their end products.

Colostrum is a quite new supplement and there is no research on drug interactions of bovine colostrum. There is not enough research suggesting the safety of these supplements for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Bottom Line

Colostrum supplements are prepared from the first milk of female mammary glands as they gave birth. Colostrum is light yellow, thick liquid rich in nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, hormones, and enzymes. Studies showed that colostrum supplements help people with rheumatoid arthritis and different types of joint pain.

Here you can check out Vorst’s Colostrum Tablets.