Hemochromatosis and Colostrum

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Colostrum and Hemochromatosis

Dear consumer,

Your inquiry regarding hemochromatosis has been forwarded to me.

I am a business and technology consultant with extensive knowledge regarding the formation ofbovine colostrum and its human and animal applications, including its use in diverse medicalconditions.

Hemochromatosis is a condition in which the body accumulates excess amounts of iron. It is oneof the most common hereditary diseases in humans and it is estimated that as many as onemillion Americans have the disease and up to one in every ten people carry the gene for thedisorder. Symptoms of hemochromatosis most often appear in middle age, although some peoplemay develop symptoms earlier. The most common early symptoms of the disease includefatigue, heart palpitations, joint pain, non-specific stomach pain, impotence and loss of menstrualperiods. Later disease symptoms include gray or bronze skin pigmentation, joint disease, chronicabdominal pain, severe fatigue and other, more serious complications.

The degree of organ damage from iron overload when the condition is first diagnosed is a majordeterminant of a person's prognosis. For a person who has no evident tissue or organ damage,proper disease management can result in a normal long-term outcome and life expectancy.It would not be surprising to me that the inhaling of fumes from fuel and exhaust wouldaccentuate the fatigue and stomach discomfort associated with this condition.

In my opinion, routine dietary supplementation with a high quality first milking colostrum, suchas that distributed by Immune-Tree, would be very beneficial to this individual for the followingreasons.

1. High quality bovine colostrum contains a substantial quantity of lactoferrin and, to a lesserextent, transferrin. Both of these substances are very efficient binding agents for iron and would,thus, help to capture dietary iron in the gut, preventing it from entering the bloodstream.2. All hereditary metabolic disorders, such as hemochromatosis, represent a metabolic systemthat is out of control. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and its closely related counterpartinsulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF-2), are potent hormones that are found in association withalmost all cells in the body. IGF-1 is the best described and most potent of this pair. Thesemolecules are produced by all mammals and, in every case, have a very similar chemicalstructure regardless of the species. IGF-1 is essential for normal cell growth and is an essentialfactor in maintaining metabolic control.

Scientific knowledge about the IGFs, what they do and how they act on cells in the body hasevolved very rapidly during the past few years. It is now known that there are specific receptorson almost all cells in the body capable of interacting with IGF-1 and triggering a series ofchemical events within the cell. There are also 6 different proteins present inside the cell and oncell surfaces that control the actions of IGF-1 on the cell after it binds to a receptor. These arecalled insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs). In addition, there are at least 87other related proteins either capable of binding to IGF-1, altering its actions, or influencing theeffects of the IGFBPs. These are called insulin-like growth factor binding protein-relatedproteins (IGFBP-rPs). The entire collection of these proteins is referred to as the insulin-likegrowth factor binding protein (IGFBP) superfamily. The key event that triggers the effects ofany of these proteins appears to be the interaction of IGF-1 with its specific cell-surface receptor,an event that some of these proteins regulate.

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 areall kinds of systems in place to keep it moving at the right speed and in the right direction. Themain triggered events include activation of the process by which the cell grows and reproducesitself and maintenance of the metabolic pathways by which the cell converts glucose intoglycogen 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 main 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. In addition, as we age the cells in our body do not reproducethemselves as well and, since IGF-1 is a primary factor in the ability of cells to grow andreproduce, it is highly desirable to have an appropriate level of IGF-1 in the circulation throughdietary supplementation to limit the ever increasing rate of cell death.


Brock J; Lactoferrin: a multifunctional immunoregulatory protein, Immunology Today 1995; 16(9): 417-9.Hwa V, Oh Y, Rosenfeld RG; The insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) superfamily, Endocrin Rev1999; 20(6): 761-87.Keely KW, Arkins S, et al; Growth hormone, growth factors and hematopoesis, Horm Res 1996; 45(1-2): 38-45.Lonnerdal B, Iyer S; Lactoferrin, molecular structure and biological function, Ann Rev Nutrition 1995; 13: 93-110.I hope this answers you question and that you find the information useful.

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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