Vital Health News

Keeping Your Immune System Healthy

Illness

New drug-resistant bacteria, deadly diseases like AIDS and bird flu, viruses – the threats to our health seem everywhere. The promise of medicine triumphant against infectious disease seems now like an empty promise. If a cold virus strikes you or your family, what can you do? Over-the-counter medicines only mask the symptoms without getting at the underlying cause. Natural products derived from plants that stimulate the immune system can sometimes have dangerous side effects.

Antibiotics are useless against viruses, yet doctors continue to routinely prescribe them for viral infections. What is the answer?

Medicine in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has been confronted with a disturbing dilemma – the appearance of new diseases and new strains of pathogens which defeat the best efforts of medicine to combat them. From AIDS to autoimmune diseases, new challenges keep appearing for which medicine has no good answers.

The failure of pharmaceutical responses to these challenges has been particularly unsettling. In the mid-20th century it seemed that medicine had diseases on the ropes. Vaccines had all but eliminated many ancient killers, such as smallpox and polio, and it seemed an end to all disease could only be a matter of time. The appearance of AIDS in the 1980s brought an end to this period of optimism. It appeared seemingly out of nowhere and killed nearly everyone who contracted the virus. Other pathogens appeared that had apparently discovered our Achilles heel – our immune systems – and developed ways to defeat it, such as so-called bird flu, which kills by defeating the normal feedback loop that holds the immune system in balance. And the old antibiotics were not effective against resistant new bacterial strains.

Meanwhile, other diseases that were virtually unknown 100 years ago have begun to increase, slowly at first, then more rapidly. Many of these are autoimmune diseases or chemical sensitivities that indicate immune systems out of balance and unable to cope in an environment tainted with pollution and chemical toxins. The incidence of autism has dramatically increased in the last 30 years. Treatments for these exotic diseases is either lacking or ineffective, the cure often worse than the disease.

These developments have sent medical scientists back to the drawing boards to come up with new treatments. Some have stayed with the old solutions, trying to come with better vaccines and pharmaceutical drugs to counter the new threats. Others have begun to think outside the box and have sought to come up with new solutions. One particularly fruitful line of investigation has re-examined old remedies to see if the answer might have been there all along.

One natural alternative that has received a lot of attention over the past 15 or so years is colostrum, a baby's first food in life, and an ancient remedy for all sorts of ills. In Ancient Egypt, colostrum was considered to be the nectar of the gods, the elixir of immortality that Horus suckled from Hathor, the Mother Cow goddess. It was widely used as a topical treatment for wound healing, for example. Other cultures have also valued colostrum throughout history as a tonic that bestows health on the young and sick. Before the invention of antibiotics, it was widely used as a treatment for infectious diseases. But then it was largely abandoned, pushed aside by the shiny newcomers.

Colostrum has proven its worth since its rediscovery as a wellness maintenance dietary supplement. Taking colostrum regularly, usually in a dried state as a capsule or powder, has been found to maintain gastrointestinal health, prevent Leaky Gut Syndrome, counteract the destructive effects of NSAIDs and other drugs on the intestinal lining, heal damaged tissues rapidly, build up your stamina and strength, and perhaps most important of all, maintain a healthy, smoothly functioning immune system that is able to respond to all sorts of threats, whether it be pathogenic or chemical.

But scientists did not stop there. They have begun to look more closely at the "biologic soup" of components that make up colostrum, everything from immunoglobulins to growth factors and hormones. Colostrum is packaged by nature to provide everything the newborn, whether it be calf or human, needs to survive in its first few days of life and create a robust immune system of its own. It turns out that what works for the newborn also works for everyone else. And by a quirk of nature, bovine colostrum actually works better for humans past the newborn stage as it has a predominance of immunoglobulin G (IgG), whereas humans, with their more permeable placentas, have mainly immunoglobulin A (IgA) in their colostrum. IgG is better for older humans because it provides systemic immunity rather than local immunity, which is what IgA provides.

While examining the incredibly rich composition of colostrum, scientists found several very interesting substances – a protein called Lactoferrin and small peptides called Proline-Rich Polypeptides (PRPs). These substances are unique in their ability to modulate the immune system, stimulating it in the case of an underactive system, such as is the case in an infection like AIDS, or suppressing it in the case of an overactive system, such as is the case in autoimmune diseases where the body makes antibody against itself. These two substances, Lactoferrin and PRP, known collectively as Lactopeptides®, are the main ingredients of Viralox®, an oral spray product designed to keep your immune system healthy and responsive to threats.

Let's take a look at just what these compounds do in the body.

PRPs are a family of closely related peptides – short strings of amino acids, smaller than a protein, with no tertiary (three-dimensional) structure – which function as molecular signaling devices. They are found throughout the body and have different functions, but the ones derived from colostrum function mainly as immunomodulators. Lactoferrin, on the other hand, is a large protein originally discovered in milk (hence the "lacto" in the name), closely related to transferrin, a molecule which transports iron ("ferrin" refers to iron) in the body. Lactoferrin also has the ability to bind iron and other heavy metals, and it does apparently participate maintaining iron homeostasis in the body. It makes use of this ability as the principal component of the innate immune system that provides non-specific protection against a broad range of pathogens. Lactoferrin has a host of other functions as well, including anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activity, as an analgesic, regulator of bone metabolism, reproductive functions, and embryonic development. What is important for our purposes here, though, is that both PRPs and Lactoferrin act as immunomodulators, substances which fine tune the immune system, stimulating it when it is under-performing (such as during an infection), or suppressing it when it is over-performing (such as in autoimmune diseases). Thus the name "Lactopeptides", which reflects the synergy the two compounds demonstrate when used together. In other words, both together are more effective than either separately.

Lactopeptides increase the numbers of and activity of both T and B lymphocytes and Natural Killer (NK) cells, a type of lymphocyte which hunts down and destroys pathogens and cancer cells. They also influence the maturation of undifferentiated T lymphocytes into either helper (CD4+) or suppressor T cells Helper T cells activate B lymphocytes by presenting an antigen, such as a viral protein, to the B cell, which then produces antibodies to that protein. Helper T cells also help produce memory T cells which retain the "memory" of the antigen to shorten the response time in the case of reinfection. Suppressor T cells deactivate other lymphocytes, which effectively turns off the immune response. This is important to prevent damage to healthy tissue following an infection or other challenge.

PRPs have been shown to be a potent stimulator of NK cell activity. Dr. Daryl See, MD, Director of the Bioassay Laboratory at the Institute of Longevity Medicine, conducted a comparative study of 196 dietary supplements which claimed immune system enhancement, broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity and antioxidant action, bovine colostrum was shown to promote significant NK cytotoxicity . Later studies by Dr. See showed that transfer factor (PRPs) increased NK cell cytotoxicity by up to 400%. Among other natural products which increase NK cell cytotoxicity, none exceeded a 50% increase. Another study by Dr. See showed that a combination of nutraceutical products, including transfer factor (PRPs), increased the cytotoxic activity of NK cells in patients with late-stage cancer.

Lymphocytes are the basic cells of the adaptive immune system, but other cell types are also important in the immune response, and Lactopeptides help control these cells as well. They are known to affect the differentiation and maturation of monocytes and macrophages, cells which scavenge the connective tissues to destroy invaders, and by doing so regulate the inflammatory process. As well, they are able to increase the phagocytic activity and cytotoxicity of monocytes and macrophages6. They also promote the proliferation of white blood cells, which perform a similar function in the blood as well as peripheral tissues . Lactopeptides directly stimulate the production of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, small peptides which stimulate or suppress the immune response, another way in which they are able to modulate the immune response.

Lactopeptides are effective in a wide variety of disorders, showing potent antimicrobial activity against viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoan parasites, as well autoimmune disorders.

 

Lactopeptides and the Overactive Immune System

Immunomodulatory means that Lactopeptides can not only turn up the activity of the immune system when the body is being challenged by pathogens or toxins, but also turn down the activity when the immune system is overactive, which is the case with allergies, asthma and autoimmune disorders.

Lactopeptide has been shown to inhibit autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis . Lactoferrin reduces the effect and duration of allergy and asthma attacks in several ways. Through its iron-binding ability, it can prevent the formation hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and hydroxyl radicals from superoxide anion which is generated when the NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) in pollen grains comes into contact with mucosal surfaces of the respiratory tract. Hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals act to irritate the lining of the respiratory tract to produce airway inflammation. Lactoferrin also binds certain oligonucleotides produced by certain bacteria that also cause airway inflammation.

 

Synergistic Actions of PRPs and Lactoferrin

While similar in action in many ways, PRPs and Lactoferrin also have activity which is not common to both substances but which do enhance their synergistic effect.

PRPs aid in the inflammatory process by increasing the permeability of blood vessels in the skin, allowing the passage of blood cells and cytokines into the connective tissue to fight infections.

Lactoferrin can increase the production of certain cell receptors on target cell surfaces involved in the immune response. Since PRPs function as molecular signaling devices that interact with these same cell receptors, it follows that increasing the number of receptors would increase the effect of PRPs.

 

Antimicrobial Activity of Lactopeptide

Both Lactoferrin and PRPs are potent antimicrobials in their own right. PRPs, in their role as an immunomodulator and molecular signaling device, stimulate the immune system to develop immunities to pathogens, while Lactoferrin, as a protein and vital component of the innate immune system, is able to actually attack and kill pathogens using a variety of methods of attack.

Lactoferrin and PRPs are two of the principal immune factors in whole colostrum. In a study in Italy, oral colostrum supplementation was compared to flu vaccination in the prevention of influenza. Colostrum was found to be 3 times more effective than vaccination in preventing influenza. It should be pointed out that subjects in the study included both healthy and high-risk cardiovascular patients, which illustrates the safety of colostrum and colostrum products. As Lactoferrin and PRPs are much more concentrated in Viralox®, it follows that Viralox® may be even more effective in preventing influenza than whole colostrum.

PRP supplementation has been shown to produce immunity to viruses, including herpes viruses, Epstein-Barr and human herpes virus-6, (viruses implicated in chronic fatigue syndrome), HIV, measles, vesicular stomatitis virus (a close relative of the rabies virus), and others. In its immunomodulatory role, PRPs may also help quell the "cytokine storm" that often proves fatal to those infected with avian (bird) flu.

Lactoferrin interferes with viruses in a number of ways to prevent infection. One of its principal methods is to compete for binding sites with viruses on target cells. By blocking these binding sites, Lactoferrin effectively blocks infection and viral replication. It is known to block bind sites for rotavirus (primary cause of diarrhea in young infants), herpes simplex virus 1 and 2, canine herpes virus, feline herpes virus, echovirus (most common cause of aseptic meningitis in children), enterovirus (includes polio virus and other similar viruses), human papilloma virus (implicated in cervical and other human cancers), polio virus, adenovirus (responsible for about 10% of acute respiratory infections in children and often cause diarrhea), hanta virus (cause a deadly disease spread by rodents), respiratory syncytial virus (most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia among infants under 1 year old), and alpha (Sindbis and Semliki) viruses (RNA viruses which can cause rashes, arthritis and encephalitis in humans and other animals).

Lactoferrin also binds directly to the structural proteins of certain viruses, inactivating them. It is known to do this with enterovirus 71 (cause of severe neurologic disease, such as paralysis, meningitis and encephalitis), adenovirus, and hepatitis C virus. It also interferes with hemagglutination (clumping of red blood cells) by influenza viruses. Finally, it inhibits certain viral enzymes required for viral replication, including the reverse transcriptase enzyme of HIV-1 and cysteine protease, an enzyme common to a number of viruses and bacteria.

In addition to its actions by itself, Lactoferrin also acts synergistically with a number of important antiviral drugs, including zidovudine (used in the treatment of AIDS), cidofovir (an anti-cytomegalovirus drug), and acyclovir (used in the treatment of herpes infections). The effective doses of both Lactoferrin and the antiviral drugs can be reduced significantly, which is important in terms of side effects of the drugs.

Finally, PRPs as immunomodulators have proven very promising in the treatment of AIDS. Studies in Africa have shown that use of a PRP spray boosted T cells levels from well below normal to normal or near normal levels, and also remission of AIDS symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea) within two days of start of treatment. This is a very strong indication that Lactopeptide acting as an immunomodulator can restore balance to the immune system to the point where the body can fight off infections such as HIV on its own. Note that Viralox® does not have specific immunity against HIV or anything else. Rather it works to help the immune system do its job much better.

Viralox® comes in a spray mist form which means that it immediately is absorbed into the bloodstream when sprayed into the back of the mouth. As PRP is composed of peptides, it is readily absorbed through the gastrointestinal lining. It can even be absorbed through the skin. Other products must be absorbed through the gut, where much of the product is digested before it does any good. Only Viralox® has the technology to get relief into your bloodstream rapidly, avoiding digestion in the gastrointestinal tract.

So the answer of what to do in the face of new challenges from superbugs and viruses, it is clear that Viralox® provides the key. Its unique immunomodulators keep your immune system functioning at optimum levels to meet any challenge while keeping it in balance and avoiding the dangers of an under-performing or an over-performing immune system. Its safety record is unmatched by any natural or pharmaceutical product, and it is easy to use and cost effective to boot.

Sovereign Health Initiative

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The Sovereign Health Initiative is committed to the belief that each person holds sovereignty over his or her body. We further support the principle that in order to take ownership of one’s health, it is necessary to make informed decisions through self-education. To this end, it is our aim to offer critical information to educate the public on how to live a lifetime in optimal health.

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