Leukemia and Colostrum

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Colostrum and LeukemiaDear consumer,

Your inquiry regarding the use of high quality bovine colostrum, such as thatdistributed by Immune-Tree, for leukemia has been forwarded to me. I am a business andtechnology consultant with extensive knowledge regarding the formation and composition ofbovine colostrum and its health-related applications in humans and animals.

As you may be aware, leukemia is a cancer of the blood and, unlike other cancers, does notproduce tumors, but results in the overproduction of white blood cells. Although leukemia isoften thought of as a disease of children, it actually affects far more adults. It is more common inmen than women and in Caucasians than other ethnic groups.

In healthy individuals, billions of new blood cells are produced in the bone marrow every day,most of them red blood cells. In people with leukemia, the body starts producing more whiteblood cells than it needs, most of which do not mature normally. Despite their vast numbers, theleukemic cells are unable to fight infection the way normal cells do. If left unchecked, theyaccumulate and interfere with vital organ functions, including the production of healthy bloodcells. Eventually, the body may not have enough red cells to supply oxygen, enough platelets tosupport blood clotting or enough white cells to fight infection.

Leukemias are classified as acute or chronic. While the acute forms usually develop very rapidly,the chronic forms, and particularly chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), progress slowly andare the most benign. The chronic forms tend to affect middle-aged adults. CLL is the mostbenign of the chronic forms and can be controlled effectively with medication.

No one knows exactly what causes leukemia, but some people seem genetically predisposed tothe disease. Chromosome abnormalities are associated with the disease and are neither inheritednor passed on to one's children. Environmental factors seem to influence the risk of developingthese abnormalities. Tobacco smokers are more prone to certain leukemias than nonsmokers.Research also suggests that prolonged exposure to some chemicals, radiation and low-frequencymagnetic fields may be associated with disease development, but there is no definitive scientificproof of this.

There is no way to substantiate that the increase in the number of white blood cells observed inyour circulation recently was a response associated with your use of colostrum and an associatedattempt of your body to deal with the disease. However, I strongly doubt that this is the case andbelieve that the observed increase was a direct manifestation of the disease itself. Since CLL canbe controlled with medication, I urge you to follow your doctor's advice and to faithfully followthe drug regimens that he prescribes.

However, I also urge you to continue routinely supplementing your diet with colostrum. Thereare several important considerations that apply.

First, the medications prescribed to abate malignant diseases are all inhibitors of normalmetabolism. The result is that individuals receiving such treatment tend to lose weight and easilybecome fatigued. In leukemia, this is accentuated because the generation of red blood cells islimited, which restricts the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to the tissues. The IGF-1 in highquality colostrum is the primary metabolic driving force behind the derivation of metabolicenergy in the body. It acts in concert with insulin such that when these hormones bind to thereceptors on cells in the body, they trigger the conversion of glucose (blood sugar) to glycogen,which is stored in the muscles and liver as a major energy source to be delivered on demand.Further, the binding of IGF-1 to a cell surface receptor also directs the assembly of amino acidsinto proteins. Routine use of colostrum not only provides the body with an excellentsupplementary source of IGF-1 and insulin, but the casein in colostrum is a major resource forthe eight essential amino acids that the body needs to assemble key proteins, but cannot make itself.Second, at about age 13, your body's health support mechanisms began to deteriorate. Beforepuberty, when you were just a young child, the very foundation of your immune system wasbeing established by a small gland-like structure in the upper chest, the thymus. It is within thisstructure that the cells mature that will determine the appropriate type of response that yourimmune system should mount after an insult and then cells from the same source will regulatethe quality and intensity of that response. Cells from this gland also scan the blood for abnormalcells and remove them. After puberty, the thymus begins to shrink and ultimately almostdisappears by age 50-60. So, although the immune system develops more immunologic memorywith time, it gradually loses the ability to efficiently and effectively orchestrate and direct theactual immune response itself.

Scientific studies have shown that insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), a major component of highquality bovine colostrum, and the IGF superfamily of proteins can restore and maintain a fullyfunctional thymus, even in adults. In addition, colostrum contains the alpha and beta chains ofthe hormone thymosin that act independently and in concert to regulate the functions of thethymus. Further, the proline-rich peptide (PRP) in colostrum is known to down-regulate theimmune system and keep the response to a foreign substance under control. Other studies haveshown that including only small amounts of colostrum in the daily diet of adult animalssignificantly enhances the ability of their white blood cells to respond to infection and destroyinvading bacteria.


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.

I hope that the above information gives you a better understanding of your condition and thebenefits that can be realized by routinely supplementing your diet 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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