ITP Disease and Colostrum

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Colostrum and ITP Disease

Dear consumer,

Your inquiry regarding the potential benefits of routine dietarysupplementation with a high quality bovine colostrum product, like that distributed by Immune-Tree, in a child with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) has been forwarded to me. I ama business and technology consultant with extensive knowledge and experience regarding theformation of bovine colostrum and its applications in humans and animals.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura is an autoimmune disease wherein antibodies generated inthe body attack platelets, the cellular structures in the blood that are involved in clotting. AcuteITP is a very common disease in children ages 2-9. It usually occurs following an acute infectionand symptoms ordinarily disappear within two months. Chronic ITP usually occurs withoutprovocation in adults 20-50 years old and symptoms persist for more than six months.The condition can be very distressing to a parent when it occurs in a young child since blood inthe urine or stool and spontaneous nosebleeds can occur because the normal blood clottingmechanism is temporarily impaired. The parent should monitor the child for symptoms verycarefully while the disease is active and report them promptly to their physician. Of particularconcern are blows to the head or abdomen, where small blood vessels can rupture without beingapparent.

Autoimmune disease represents an immune system that is out of control and the best way to putthings back into phase naturally is via colostrum. As we age, our immune system loses its abilityto regulate itself efficiently, primarily because the thymus, a glandular structure in the upperchest that is considered the seat of the immune system, begins to shrink after puberty and almostdisappears by the time we are 50 years old. In a young child, the immune system has beenoverwhelmed and is operating ineffectively. The thymus is the site where T-cells mature andprepare to defend the body against invading microorganisms. Therefore, as we age, we lose someof our inherent ability to fight off infections. It has been shown that the thymus can be restoredto normal function by the growth factors in colostrum. In addition, colostrum contains specifichormones that regulate the functions of the thymus and other substances, like proline-richpeptide (PRP) that help 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 ofthe hormone is present. Scientific studies have shown that one of the benefits of ingesting evensmall amounts of growth hormone is accelerated development and repair of damaged tissue.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-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 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 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. Thus, by eating a well-balanceddiet and maintaining a constant supply of IGF-1 in our body through routine dietarysupplementation with high quality colostrum, we can keep the ship moving at the right speed andin the right direction.

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. It is ideally suited for consumption by humans since most of itsbiologically active components have essentially the same chemical structure as the samecomponents found in humans and there are no known negative side effects to its routineconsumption other than those that might be experienced by individuals who are sensitive to thelactose (milk sugar) normally found in dairy products.

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 the componentshave been removed, including the fat. I have personally been responsible for the testing ofseveral different brands of colostrum for human use and can attest that the results prove that theproducts distributed by Immune-Tree, contain the highest quality complete bovine colostrumavailable today.


Ancell CD, Phipps J, Young L; Thymosin alpha-1, Am J Health Syst Pharm 2001; 58(10): 879-85.Aspinwall R, Andrew D, Pido-Lopez J; Age-associated changes in thymopoesis, Springer Semin Immunopathol2002; 24(1): 87-101.Binz K, et al; Repopulation of the atrophied thymus in diabetic rats by insulin-like growth factor-1, Proc Nat AcadSci 1990; 87(10): 3690-4.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.Geffner M; Effects of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 on T- and B-lymphocytes and immunefunction, Acta Pediatr 1997; 423: 76-9.Hwa V, Oh Y, Rosenfeld RG; The insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) superfamily, Endocr Rev1999; 20(6): 761-87.LeRoith D, Insulin-like growth factor receptors and binding proteins, Clin Endocrinol Metab 1996; 10(1): 49-73.Pawelec G, et al; T cells and aging, Front Biosci 2002; 1(7): 1056-83.I hope that the above information gives you a better understanding of ITP and the benefits thatcan be realized by routinely supplementing with colostrum.

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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