E Coli 0157:H7 is the latest scourge to hit our food supply. When this bacterium (and other pathogens like it) attack us, it must first attach to our intestinal tissue. That is the first stage of the process of infection.
Clinical studies recently completed by the Department of Microbiology at Otago University, New Zealand, show clearly that colostrum helps prevent infection in two ways – first by inhibiting this intestinal attachment and second, by killing the bacteria themselves. Colostrum has been proven to destroy many different bacteria, including Campylobacter, E.Coli, Helicobacter pylori, Listeria, Streptoccocus (5 different varieties) Staphlococcus and Salmonella.
The studies also show how different types of colostrum are more effective than others in performing this beneficial function. Colostrum was collected from healthy, non-immunized animals. Two different types of colostrum, each with different concentrations of the immunoglobulins IgG and IgG1 were analyzed, as it has been surmised that these immunoglobulins are effective in preventing the adherence of the micro-organism to the intestinal wall. Skim milk powder was used as the control.
The results of this experiment showed that skim milk has a very low ability (less than .02%) to attach to the E.Coli to prevent its attachment to the intestinal tissue and thus prevent infection. Also interesting was the difference between the two types of colostrum. A colostrum with a 15% immunoglobulin content was compared with a colostrum with a 25% immunoglobulin content. Results showed that both colostrums were extremely effective at preventing the binding of E.Coli with the intestinal tissue but that the colostrum with a lower immunoglobulin content was 1/12 to 2 times more effective in preventing attachment than the colostrum with the 25% immunoglobulin content.
With the increasing use of colostrum in medicine, there has been some discussion among those who deal with the substance (whether doctors, distributors or retailers) as to the relative importance of the immunoglobulins we discuss above. Some manufacturers make claims that their colostrum has higher levels of immunoglobulins than others – and they usually have tests that prove this.
To understand this controversy, however, we must go back to the origin of the young industry that has grown to supply colostrum. Before colostrum was used much for humans, the veterinary industry supplied colostrum for use by dairy farmers for their calves. This continues today. And most of the colostrum sold for human consumption today is still from these sources intended originally for cows. On the farm, it is used when mother cows aren’t producing enough colostrum, or are ill, or simply as "insurance" to protect the newborn calf. Because bovine colostrum is highest in IgG, veterinarians and veterinary scientists assumed (although virtually no research has been done to prove this), that this is the most important immunoglobulin for a calf. Therefore, when these manufacturers test for immunoglobulins, they almost invariably test for IgG alone. To test for all five immunoglobulins would be prohibitively expensive.
So, when manufacturers of colostrum claim that their brand has a certain percentage of immunoglobulins, they almost always mean that it has that percentage of IgG.
Others point out that human colostrum is higher in IgA than bovine colostrum and lower in IgG. Therefore, they say, IgA must be more important for humans and IgG more beneficial for baby calves. So, if you get a colostrum product that is high in IgG, that’s great – if you’re a calf!
And, in light of the research outlined above, higher immunoglobulin levels are not a positive attribute.
This is yet another example of the relative complexity of information about the effectiveness of nutritional supplements. Nutrition and natural healing is a complex area and if you are to purchase the food supplements which are most effective, it is necessary to be educated about those substances to a certain extent. CNR is dedicated to helping you discover what you need to know in order to make informed choices.
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.