Colostrum: A Natural Gut Healer!

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Interviewer: Doctor, can you explain exactly what colostrum is and looking on your website, there may be some different definitions that you mention, legal versus actual?

Dr. Keech: Yeah, well the actual definition of colostrum is the first food that mammals produce in the first 24 hours after the birth of the calf. Now, mammals have been around for about 265 million years, so it's pretty proven technology. It's, you know, the peptide area that we focus a lot on are the same peptides in [inaudible] mammals. So that's why humans can take milk from cows or sheep or goats, whatever. It's all the same peptides which is interesting. So, we use colostrum, specifically we harvest it from cows because it's the most abundant source, and utilize that to help primarily heal the gut and normalize a systemic immune system in the human body. The colostrum is the first food that we all get when we're born.

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Keech: It's that important; it's full of all sorts of nutrition, nutritional components, vitamins and minerals and small levels of growth factors that actually heal the gut. That's one of the reasons why it's useful in humans, it's to actually repair the gut because one of the major issues that we have in health in this world is we have leaky gut syndrome and if the gut is porous, macroporous, that's when you get bacteria leaking into the body and large macromolecules of food that's undigested in the body, then creating an innate immune response causing allergies against all sorts of foods. So, when somebody's allergic to one kind of food, then more than likely they're allergic to many different kinds of foods. And it primarily stems back to the gut not being sealed. Because the gut is basically a skin. Its 26 feet of tubing which is typically outside of the body. And if that is so porous, and we can't separate the bacteria and the digestive processes and macromolecules of food from the body, then the body just treats it like a foreign pathogen. So, it's really important. The message is to heal the gut. And the medical establishment is starting to get that now. It's been talked about for quite a few years, but now they're really understanding the importance of healing the gut. And, colostrum with the growth factors in it, do actually accelerate that healing process. Because if you look at the small intestinal digestive tract, it's about 26 feet long like I said. And if you lay out that small intestine, it's about 1 square meter of surface area. But when we look at it under a microscope with the villi and microvilli, you get about 300 square meters which is about the size of a tennis court.
Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Keech: So, how can you try to absorb nutrients through scarred tissue of one meter? This is 300 meters. So, you can eat as much as you like, but if your gut is scarred and porous, you're not absorbing the food and getting it broken down.

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Keech: So, you may eat a lot, but you're not absorbing it and utilizing it. So, it's just that important to heal the gut. You do that by taking colostrum. Colostrum contains about 20% of immunoglobulins. These immunoglobulins are used to attach pathogens. They don't attack the probiotics and natural bacteria that humans and mammals have, but they tend to keep a lid on the population of half of the pathogens in the gut. Simply, these immunoglobulins are antibodies that's what they are.

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Keech: And colostrum, taken orally, in the form of cow colostrum actually keeps the level of pathogens down in the gut. So, that's one important component of colostrum. You also have in colostrum about 23% of oils and these oils consist of a whole range of fatty acids. If we take soy bean oil and a lot of those types of oils which are rich in C-16 and C-18, those are specific length fatty acids, whereas cow colostrum contains from C-4 to C-22. This helps in humans and infants as well. It actually helps heal the brain because the brain is 70% fat, and the body needs the C-4, which is the shorter chain fatty acids, up to C-22 to help develop the brain. So, it contains really good nutrients in terms of fatty acids and triglycerides. But, in those are contained fat soluble nutrients as well. You know, there are a lot of fat soluble components that deliver to the body. One of them is leptin. Leptin is a neurotransmitter which is used to regulate or signal to the brain quicker that you're full. With a lot of babies, it takes a while to realize that they have a full stomach . . .

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Keech: . . . so they keep eating and then they spit up because the neurotransmitters haven't been activated yet because they're so young.

Interviewer: Mm.

Dr. Keech: So, by containing leptin, that actually signals to the brain sooner that you're full.

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Keech: But there's all these different things in colostrum like thousands of different components and I have a research lab that I just puts through small sections of colostrum through a mass spectrophotometer and you'll see hundreds of peaks. I mean, colostrum's been around for 265 million years. It's proven technology. And it's a challenge for a scientist to actually go in there and try to figure out what's actually in there and what these things do.

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Keech: And it's difficult because in traditional [inaudible] medications, you have one thing, one molecule that directly affects something in a one dimensional way. But it's difficult for us nutraceutical guys to say what is causing this or that because the body is a multi- dimensional system anyway.

Interviewer: Mmm.

Dr. Keech: So, colostrum contains all these things. It's useful to take it as one whole natural product. We've, you know, been able to separate peptides from colostrum and we know that this peptide fraction directly attach to activated T-cells which regulate cytokine production. And we know that it normalizes the TH-2 and TH-1 immune responses. We know how the immune system works now, over the last few years. Simply normalizing the immune system or balancing it is really important. Now, people talk about the importance of boosting the immune system. Well, why would you want to boost the immune system if you've already got an elevated, overactive or overly sensitive immune system anyway, such as with an allergy or autoimmune disease. Those are overactive, oversensitive states of the immune system. You don't want to boost that further. You need to start talking about immune balancing. Keeping the immune system balanced is very important to our survival. You know, we put less stress on our bodies, we're not symptomatic. Because basically, allergies are a TH-2 response within the immune system. Autoimmune diseases are a TH-1 response. And it's simply where particular stimuli like H1N1 have produced pro-inflammatory cytokine responses. It's simply balancing the production of all of these cytokines and there are 100's of different cytokines in the body. All these are little peptides anyway, which can  communicate with different parts of the immune system. So, it's getting the immune system to communicate and work effectively to balance the system. When people have allergies or autoimmune diseases . . . there are different types of autoimmune diseases, [inaudible] they're the same thing, they just manifest differently in the body.

Interviewer: Mm-hmm. 

Dr. Keech: It can be skin, it can be . . . you know, like Crohn's disease which can be an infection or inflammation of the digestive tract. Multiple sclerosis is an inflammation of the myelin sheath. There are all these areas of the body that cause autoimmune [inaudible] and they're all given different names. Essentially, it's the same thing. It's where the body is producing too many pro-inflammatory TH1 cytokines. How do you stop that? You simply modulate the immune system by taking something like colostrum peptides which then reset the activated T-cells, which are these factories that produce cytokines all the time. Every second of every day it's producing these cytokines, balancing the production, balancing the communication between cells. And by balancing the immune system, we lower the probability of becoming symptomatic.
Dr. Andrew Keech describes exactly what colostrum does and why it's designed to be the first food people and other mammals eat. He describes how colostrum starts signaling a number of different reactions in the body. He also describes the benefit of bovine colostrum for adults

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