Hairy Cell Leukemia and Colostrum

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Colostrum and Hairy Cell LeukemiaDear consumer,

Your inquiry concerning hairy cell leukemia and colostrum has beenforwarded to me. I am a business and technology consultant with extensive knowledge about theformation of colostrum and its applications in humans and animals.

Leukemia is characterized by the overproduction of immature, atypical white blood cells, whichcan be detected in the circulation. The white blood cells, called leukocytes, are producedprimarily in the bone marrow and the spleen. The exact cause of most leukemias remainsunknown, but it is known that exposure to high-energy ionizing radiation can cause the diseaseand continuous exposure to certain chemicals, such as benzene, may also be responsible. HumanT-cell leukemia is known to be caused by two different viruses and certain genetic abnormalitieshave also been implicated. Recent research has identified a gene responsible for some acuteleukemias in children. The gene changes places with a gene on a different chromosome and theresulting combination forms a protein that converts normal white blood cells into cancerouscells. This gene is involved in about 90 percent of acute leukemias in infants and about 40percent of acute leukemias in older children.

Colostrum is an amazing resource of substances necessary to support the development and repairof cells and tissues, to assure the effective and efficient metabolism of nutrients and maintain ahealthy immune system. This is not completely surprising when we consider that it is intendedfor consumption by a newborn calf that has received none of the substances in utero that will berequired for its proper development outside of the uterus and that its growth will occur at a veryrapid rate, creating a huge demand for energy. In addition, it is ideally suited for consumption byhumans since most of its biologically active components have essentially the same chemicalstructure as the same components found in humans and there are no known negative side effectsto its routine consumption other than those that might be experienced by individuals who aresensitive to the lactose (milk sugar) normally found in dairy products.

Routine utilization of a high quality colostrum product as a dietary supplement should provevery beneficial to an individual with any form of leukemia. The condition has an impact on theability of the immune system to respond to a variety of infections since the tendency is toproduce immature, non-functional white blood cells. In addition, since there is usually anassociated anemia and the disease itself places energy demands on metabolism, there is usually alarge energy drain on the body. If the individual is receiving chemotherapy, the energy drain isusually significantly amplified since most chemotherapeutic agents ordinarily interfere withcarbohydrate and protein metabolism.

As we age, our immune system loses its ability to regulate itself efficiently, primarily becausethe thymus, a glandular structure in the upper chest that is considered the seat of the immunesystem, begins to shrink after puberty and almost disappears by the time we are 50 years old.The thymus is the site where T-cells mature and prepare to defend the body against invadingmicroorganisms. Therefore, as we age, we lose some of our inherent ability to fight offinfections. It has been shown that the thymus can be restored to normal function by the growthfactors in colostrum. Inaddition, colostrum contains specific hormones, called thymosin subunits (alpha & beta) thatregulate the functions of the thymus and other substances, like proline-rich peptide (PRP) thathelp to keep the immune system under control.

In addition, there are very small quantities of growth hormone in complete first milkingcolostrum, but growth hormone is an extremely potent hormone and, thus, not much is required.It directly affects almost every cell in the body and significantly influences the development ofnew, healthy cells, causing them to generate at a more rapid rate when a sufficient quantity of thehormone is present. Scientific studies have shown that one of the benefits of ingesting even smallamounts of growth hormone is accelerated development and repair of damaged tissue. It isbelieved that this occurs through the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor axis.

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. It is now known that there are specificsites, called receptors, on almost all cells in the body capable of interacting with IGF-1. Thesesites have a structure that fits perfectly with part of the IGF molecule and this interaction triggersa series 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 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. Thus, by eating a wellbalanceddiet and maintaining a constant supply of IGF-1 in our body, we can keep the shipmoving at the right speed and in the right direction.

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 colostrumavailable today.

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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