Diabetes and Colostrum

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Colostrum and Diabetes

Dear consumer,

Your question regarding colostrum and its potential benefits for someonewith diabetes has been forwarded to me. I am a business and technology consultant withextensive knowledge regarding the formation and composition of bovine colostrum and itshealth-related applications in humans and animals.

In answering your question about diabetes, it is important to separate which type of diabetes youwish to discuss. Type 1diabetes is the least common form and represents a condition where cellsin the pancreas produce little or no insulin, meaning that the individual has a radically impairedability to metabolize glucose and requires routine injections of insulin. This condition isautoimmune in nature and is definitely genetically linked. Type 2 diabetes, also known asinsulin-resistance, is a condition where the pancreas produces enough insulin, but the metabolicpathway for processing glucose is impaired. This is the most common form of diabetes and isconsidered a metabolic deficiency treatable by exercise, dietary control and supplementation.The tendency toward Type 2 diabetes is also believed to be genetically linked.Although you have not described the nature of your thyroid disorder, most of these conditionsare also autoimmune in origin resulting in impaired production of hormones necessary fornormalmetabolism.

Autoimmune diseases represent an immune system that attacks the bodies own tissue and,therefore, is out of control. As we age, our immune system loses its ability to regulate itselfefficiently, primarily because the thymus, a glandular structure in the upper chest that isconsidered the seat of the immune system, begins to shrink after puberty and almost disappearsby the time we are 50 years old. It has been shown that the thymus can be restored to normalfunction by the growth factors in colostrum. In addition, colostrum contains specific hormones,called thymosins (A & B) that regulate the functions of the thymus and other substances, likeproline-rich peptide (PRP) that help to keep the immune system under control.With regard to the impaired metabolism in Type 2 diabetes. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)and its closely related counterpart insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF-2) are potent hormones thatare found in significant quantities in colostrum and 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 normal metabolism.

Scientific knowledge about the IGFs, what they do and how they act on cells in the body hasdeveloped very quickly during the last 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-1on the cell. In addition, inside the cell there are at least 87 other related proteins either capable ofbinding to IGF-1, altering its actions, or influencing the effects of the IGFBPs. These are calledinsulin-like growth factor binding protein-related proteins (IGFBP-rPs). The entire collection ofthese 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 to be theinteraction of IGF-1 with its specific cell-surface receptor, an event that some of these proteinsregulate.

The multitude of available IGF-1binding 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 celluses glucose and converts it to glycogen is first switched on by the binding of insulin to itsspecific cell surface receptors. Glycogen is stored in the liver and muscles and is the reservesource of readily available energy when the muscles are exercised. The IGFBP Superfamily alsohas a direct role in how the cell uses amino acids to build proteins. As we age, the ability of ourbody to create an adequate supply of IGF-1 is diminished. Thus, by eating a well-balanced dietand maintaining a constant supply of IGF-1 in our body, we can keep the ship moving at theright speed and in the right direction. And when we exercise this becomes even more criticalsince there is an increased demand for glycogen to provide energy to our muscles and thepreference is to build more muscle protein. Even more importantly, as we age the cells in ourbody do not reproduce themselves as well and, since IGF-1 is a primary factor, along withgrowth hormone, in the ability of cells to grow and reproduce, it is highly desirable to have anappropriate level of IGF-1 in the circulation through dietary supplementation to limit the everincreasing rate of celldeath.

Leptin is a small, hormone-like protein that is also present in colostrum. It can suppress appetiteand is involved in regulating the metabolism of fats. Insulin, which is also found in colostrum,and leptin work together. When insulin is present, mature fat cells (adipocytes) in the bodyrelease leptin. It is also believed that the size of the fat cells is a major factor in determining howmuch leptin will be released, small fat cells release more than large fat cells. In addition, thereare sites on the surface of the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin where leptin can attach.Therefore, a close relationship exists between the control of carbohydrate and fat metabolismand a deficiency in leptin may be associated with obesity.

From the above, we can conclude that making sure that we have sufficient quantities of IGF-1and leptin in the bloodstream, as would occur by dietary supplementation with a high qualityfirst milking colostrum, means assurance of more effective regulation of protein, carbohydrateand fat metabolism. When this is coupled with a well-balanced diet and exercise, the end resultwill be more muscle and less fat - a leaner body mass. This becomes even more important as weage since metabolism increasingly slows naturally over the years.

It is also very, very important to recognize that all colostrum products are not the same and,despite the claims made by their manufacturers, they do not all contain every beneficialcomponent at an optimum concentration and, in many cases, they have been manipulated andmay be missing some of the essential components. When choosing a colostrum product, youshould be certain that it is made from only first milking bovine colostrum collected within 6-8hours after birth of the calf and that the colostrum is "complete" and that none of thecomponents have been removed, including the fat. I have personally been responsible for testingof several different brands of colostrum for human use and can attest that the results prove thatthe products distributed by Immune-Tree contain the highest quality complete bovine colostrumavailabletoday.

I hope that this information is beneficial and answers your question.

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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