Herpes and Colostrum

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Colostrum and HerpesDear consumer,

Your inquiry regarding the use of high quality bovine colostrum inassociation with recurrent herpes infection has been forwarded to me. I am abusiness and technology consultant with extensive knowledge regarding the formation andcomposition of bovine colostrum and its health-related applications in humans and animals.

It is not clear from your inquiry whether your brother has an annual recurrence of a genital ororal herpes infection. However, since the event seems to be seasonally-related, I presume that itis genital herpes since oral herpes recurrences usually happen more randomly. In either case, theresponsible virus is the same or is related.

Various herpes viruses infect man, including herpes zoster, which causes chicken pox andshingles; herpes keratitis, which infects the eye and can cause blindness; and herpes simplex,which infects the oral cavity and the nose (fever blisters) or the genitals. There are two closelyrelatedtypes of the herpes simplex virus, so-called types 1 and 2. Type 1 is responsible for about90% of oral infections and approximately 10% of those affecting the genitals, while type 2 isresponsible for about 90% of genital infections and 10% of oral infections. Both of these virusesare sequestered during asymptomatic periods, type 1 being harbored in a nerve ganglion at thebase of the brain and type 2 being harbored in a nerve ganglion at the base of the spine.Individuals that have been infected harbor the virus for life and may shed and transmit it evenduring asymptomatic periods, but do so most frequently through contact with infected secretions.It is estimated that more than 50% of genital herpes infections are asymptomatic and that 1 in 6infected individuals shed the virus without symptoms. It is also estimated that an uninfectedindividual has about a 75% chance of contracting herpes during intimate contact with someonewho is shedding the virus. Infected individuals should also be aware that they can spread thevirus to other parts of their own body by touching an area shedding virus and then touching,scratching or rubbing another susceptible part of the body. Towels are especially conducive tothis type of transfer and self-inoculation. Infection with herpes simplex is generally notdangerous, but it is a nuisance and can be emotionally traumatic, particularly since there is noknown cure.

I doubt that anything that might be suggested will rid your brother of his herpes infection, butthere are things that he can do that will minimize the impact on his body and help it to keep thevirus in check.

First, it is important to understand that, because the virus is sequestered within cells in the body,the immune system does not have an opportunity to mount a humoral response against it.Therefore, the immune system of infected individuals does not make antibodies against the viruslike it does against most pathogens. Instead, the immune system defends the body against thistype of infection via cell-mediated immunity, where the defense is almost exclusively throughvarious types of white blood cells.

The problem is that at about age 13, the body's health support mechanisms began to deteriorate.Before puberty, the very foundation of your immune system was being established by a smallgland-like structure in the upper chest, the thymus. It is within this structure that the cells maturethat will determine the appropriate type of response that your immune system should mount afteran insult and then cells from the same source will regulate the quality and intensity of thatresponse. Cells from this gland also scan the blood for abnormal cells and remove them. Afterpuberty, the thymus begins to shrink and ultimately almost disappears by age 50-60. So,although the immune system develops more immunologic memory with time, it gradually losesthe ability to efficiently and effectively orchestrate and direct the actual immune response itself.When dealing with any type of infection and, particularly one where the defense is based almostwholly on cell-mediated immunity, it is wise to recognize that the best defense is founded on agood offense. Scientific studies have shown that insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), a majorcomponent of high quality bovine colostrum, and the IGF superfamily of proteins can restore andmaintain a fully functional thymus, even in adults. In addition, colostrum contains the alpha andbeta chains of the hormone thymosin that act independently and in concert to regulate thefunctions of the thymus. Further, the proline-rich peptide (PRP) in colostrum is known to downregulatethe immune system and keep the response to a foreign substance under control. Otherstudies have shown that including only small amounts of colostrum in the daily diet of adultanimals significantly enhances the ability of their white blood cells to respond to infection anddestroy invading bacteria and viruses.

Thus, routine dietary supplementation with a high quality first milking colostrum, like that fromImmune-Tree, will strengthen and support the immune system and help your brother to keep theherpes virus in check or, at a minimum, reduce the impact of the active infection periods. Iwould suggest that he routinely consume 5-6 500 mg capsules or the equivalent powder dailyand that he attempt to increase this to 8-10 capsules daily during the summer months when heordinarily would experience a relapse.

I hope that the above information gives you a better understanding of your brother's conditionand the benefits that can be realized by routinely supplementing your diet with colostrum.


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.

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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