Scleroderma and Colostrum

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Colostrum and SclerodermaDear consumer,

Your inquiry regarding the benefits of routine dietary supplementation withbovine colostrum for scleroderma has been forwarded to me. I am a business and technologyconsultant with extensive knowledge about the formation of colostrum and its applications inhumans and animals.

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue, the tissue that supports thestructures in our body and holds them together. The symptoms associated with this disease maybe visible, as when the skin is affected, or invisible, as when only the internal organs areinvolved. The exact cause of scleroderma is not known, but it is known that the disease processinvolves an overproduction of collagen, the main support material in the connective tissue.

There are two types of scleroderma. The localized form is more common in children than adultsand usually only affects a few places on the skin or in the muscles. Systemic scleroderma (alsocalled systemic sclerosis) may affect the connective tissue in many parts of the body such as theskin, esophagus, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, kidneys, heart and other internal organs. It may alsoaffect the blood vessels, muscles and joints. An estimated 300,000 Americans have scleroderma,with women being affected four times more frequently than men. The tendency to developscleroderma is usually inherited. It is not contagious or considered malignant in any way.Any autoimmune disease represents an immune system that is out of control. Routine dietarysupplementation with a high quality first milking bovine colostrum, like that used to produceImmune-Trees products, can restore control to the immune system.

First, you need to realize that unless you are 13 years old or less, your body's health supportmechanisms have already begun to deteriorate and they will not get any better unless you dosomething about them. Before puberty, when you were just a young child, the very foundation ofyour immune system was being established by a small gland-like structure in the upper chest, thethymus. It is within this structure that the cells mature that will determine the appropriate type ofresponse that your immune system should mount after an insult and then cells from the samesource will regulate the quality and intensity of that response. After puberty, the thymus beginstoshrink and ultimately almost disappears by age 50-60. So, although the immune system developsmore immunologic memory with time, it gradually loses the ability to efficiently and effectivelyorchestrate and direct the actual immune response itself.

Scientific studies have shown that insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), a major component of highquality bovine colostrum, and the IGF superfamily of proteins can restore and maintain a fullyfunctional thymus, even in adults. In addition, colostrum contains the alpha and beta chains ofthe hormone thymosin that act independently and in concert to regulate the functions ofthe thymus. Further, the proline-rich peptide (PRP) in colostrum is known to down-regulate theimmune system and keep the response to a foreign substance under control. Other studies haveshown that including only small amounts of colostrum in the daily diet of adult animalssignificantly enhances the ability of their white blood cells to respond to infection and destroyinvading bacteria.

Now, let's talk about controlling the deterioration of cells. There are very small quantities ofgrowth hormone in complete first milking colostrum, but growth hormone is an extremely potenthormone and, thus, not much is required. It directly affects almost every cell in the body andsignificantly influences the development of new cells, causing them to generate at a more rapidrate when a sufficient quantity of the hormone is present. Scientific studies have shown that oneof the benefits of ingesting even small amounts of growth hormone is limitation of thedeterioration of cells associated with the aging process. In addition, more recent studies haveshown that small doses of growth hormone can accelerate the repair of damaged tissues.Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and its closely related counterpart insulin-like growthfactor-2 (IGF-2) are potent hormones that are found in association with almost every cell in thebody. IGF-1 is the most potent and best described of this pair. These molecules are present in allmammals and, in every case, have a very similar chemical structure regardless of the species.IGF-1 is absolutely necessary for normal cell growth and for the development of the fetus in theuterus. Both IGF-1 and growth hormone are also required for normal development outside of theuterus and that is why they are both present in colostrum.

Scientific knowledge about the IGFs, what they do and how they act on cells in the body, hasdeveloped very quickly during the past few years. It is now known that there are specific sites,called receptors, on almost all cells in the body capable of interacting with IGF-1. These siteshave a structure that fits perfectly with part of the IGF molecule and this interaction triggers aseries of chemical events within the cell. There are also 6 different proteins present inside thecell and on the surface of the cell that react to the attachment of IGF-1 to its receptor. These arecalled insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) and they control the actions of IGF-1 on the cell. In addition, inside the cell there are at least 87 other related proteins either capableof binding to IGF-1, altering its actions, or influencing the effects of the IGFBPs. These arecalled insulin-like growth factor binding protein-related proteins (IGFBP-rPs). The entirecollection of these proteins is referred to as the Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Protein(IGFBP) Superfamily. The key event that triggers the effects of any of these proteins appears tobe the interaction of IGF-1 with its specific cell-surface receptor, an event that some of theseproteins regulate.

The multitude of available IGF-1 binding proteins and related proteins available in the cell isindicative of the many potential effects that the binding of IGF-1 to its specific cell-surfacereceptor can have on cells. To keep these many effects under control, some of the bindingproteins act as checks and balances, allowing the secondary chemical switches in a cell to beturned on and then turning them off when it is appropriate. Therefore, IGF-1 is like the captainof a ship. When it binds to its specific receptor, the ship can move forward, but there are allkinds of systems in place to keep it moving at the right speed and in the right direction.

The main triggered events include activation of the process by which the cell grows andreproduces itself and maintenance of the metabolic pathways by which the cell converts glucoseinto glycogen and uses amino acids to create proteins. The actual pathway by which the cell usesglucose and converts it to glycogen is first switched on by the binding of insulin to its specificcell surface receptors. Glycogen is stored in the liver and muscles and is the reserve source ofreadily available energy when the muscles are exercised. The IGFBP Superfamily also has adirect role in how the cell uses amino acids to build proteins. As we age, the ability of our bodyto create an adequate supply of IGF-1 is diminished. Thus, by eating a well-balanced diet andmaintaining a constant supply of IGF-1 in our body, we can keep the ship moving at the rightspeed and in the right direction. And when we exercise this becomes even more critical sincethere is an increased demand for glycogen to provide energy to our muscles and the preference isto build more muscle protein. Even more importantly, as we age the cells in our body do notreproduce themselves as well and, since IGF-1 is a primary factor, along with growth hormone,in the ability of cells to grow and reproduce, it is highly desirable to have an appropriate level ofIGF-1 in the circulation through dietary supplementation to limit the ever increasing rate of celldeath.


Ancell CD, Phipps J, Young L; Thymosin alpha-1, Am J Health Sys Pharm 2001; 58(10): 879-85.Aspinal R, Andrew D, Pido-Lopez J; Age associated changes in thymopoesis, Springer Semin Immunopathol 2002;24(1): 87-101.Clark R, et al; Insulin-like growth factor-1 stimulation of lymphopoesis, J Clin Invest 1993; 92(2): 540-8.Fry TJ, Mackall CL; Current concepts of thymic aging, Springer Semin Immunopathol 2002; 24(1): 7-22.Grimberg A, Cohen P; Role of insulin-like growth factors and their binding proteins in growth control andcarcinogenesis, J Cell Physiol 2000; 183(1): 1-9.Hwa V, Oh Y, Rosenfeld RG; The insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) superfamily, Endocrin Rev1999; 20(6): 761-87.Jara LJ, Lavalle C, Fraga A; Immunoregulation and autoimmune diseases, Semin Arhtritis Rheumatol 1991; 20(5);273-84.

I hope that the above information is useful and answers your questions.

To your good health - always.


Alfred E. Fox, Ph.D.

Dr. Alfred E. Fox holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers University in Microbiology (Immunochemistry)and has more than 25 years of senior management experience at Carter-Wallace, Baxter DadeDivision and Warner-Lambert, where he was responsible for research and development andregulatory affairs. He was also the founder and president of two biotechnology companiesfocused on agribusiness and environmental monitoring, respectively. For the past 15 years, Dr.Fox has been the President of Fox Associates, a business and technology consulting firm servingsmall- to mid-size companies in the human and animal healthcare fields. He focuses primarilyon marketing and regulatory issues and for the past 10 years has continuously consulted tobovine colostrum manufacturers, where he has gained regulatory approval for their products,been a technical advisor, helped design and develop marketing strategies and served as anexpert witness in legal matters.

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