The incidence of sepsis is rising in the United States due in large part to increases in the aging population, drug-resistant bacteria, and weakened immune systems. However, bovine colostrum supplementation may help an individual reduce the risk of bacterial, fungal, or viral infections that can lead to sepsis.
What Is Sepsis?
Sepsis refers to a complication that occurs due to the body’s overwhelming response to infection. It occurs when chemicals in the bloodstream combat the infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body. When this happens, it leads to damage to organ systems and may cause organ systems to shut down.
According to Mayo Clinic, the most common types of infections associated with sepsis are pneumonia, abdominal infection, kidney infection, and bloodstream infection. In addition, germs that are commonly linked to sepsis include Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli (E. coli), and some species of Streptococcus.
Typically, sepsis is difficult to diagnose, predict, and treat, and it can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Common symptoms of sepsis include difficulty breathing, abnormal heartbeat, and abdominal pain.
Sepsis patients often face an increased risk of medical complications, along with above-average health care costs and longer healthcare treatments than others.
If sepsis lingers, it may result in septic shock, a life-threatening condition that happens due to a severe localized or system-wide infection.
Septic shock causes an individual’s blood pressure to reach dangerously low levels after an infection occurs. Therefore, those who experience septic shock require immediate medical treatment that may include antibiotics, IV fluids, and other medications.
Are Some People More Likely to Get Sepsis Than Others?
An individual likely will receive a sepsis diagnosis if he or she displays one or more of the following symptoms:
- Body temperature above 101°F or below 98.6°F
- Heart rate that exceeds 90 beats per minute
- Respiratory rate higher than 20 breaths per minute
A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study indicated 70 percent of sepsis patients required healthcare services or were dealing with chronic diseases that required frequent medical support.
CDC found that more than 2.4 million Americans suffered sepsis-related deaths between 1999 and 2014. Meanwhile, a CDC evaluation revealed 90 percent of adults and 70 percent of children who developed sepsis were previously dealing with a health condition that may have put them at greater risk for developing sepsis.
Furthermore, CDC data indicates certain people are more likely to get sepsis than others.
Individuals who are 65 years of age or older and younger than 1-year-old who are suffering from a weakened immune system or dealing with chronic medical conditions, like diabetes, are more likely to get sepsis than others. In some cases, healthy infants, children, and adults have developed sepsis after suffering an infection as well.
How to Treat Sepsis
Sepsis is a medical emergency, and as such, time matters when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.
Healthcare providers play a major role in sepsis diagnosis and treatment.
CDC recommends individuals understand infection control requirements and receive flu, pneumococcal, and other vaccines to reduce the risk of infections that could lead to sepsis.
Other CDC recommendations include:
- Education for sepsis patients and their families about infection dangers
- Conducting tests if sepsis is suspected, and teaching individuals about sepsis signs and symptoms
- Administration of antibiotic therapy for 24 to 48 hours for sepsis patients by a healthcare provider
Various studies have shown that colostrum possesses immunoprotective properties that may help aid in sepsis treatment.
Reuters Health reports a recent study indicated small amounts of colostrum administered to the posterior oropharynx (a section of the human pharynx) improves immune markers and reduces sepsis rates in extremely premature infants.
In the study, Dr. Han-Suk Kim of the Seoul National University College of Medicine examined the immunological effects of instilling 0.2 mL of the mother’s colostrum (versus 0.2 mL of sterile water) into each posterior oropharynx of 48 extremely premature infants (<28 weeks’ gestation) every three hours for 72 hours.
The study showed that urinary secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) and lactoferrin levels were significantly higher after one week in the colostrum group compared with the sterile water group. Moreover, the study revealed the colostrum group’s salivary secretory IgA and epidermal growth factor levels increased after one week.
Many preterm infants cannot tolerate breastfeeding, and these babies do not receive maternal colostrum or milk, according to the study. As a result, this may raise infants’ susceptibility to various infectious and inflammatory conditions, including sepsis.
Malnutrition causes the interior walls of the intestines to break down and allows bacteria to move from the gut into the bloodstream. This often leads to sepsis and a weakened immune system.
If an individual has been suffering from malnourishment for an extended period of time, starting to eat food once again may be insufficient to minimize the risk of illness and diarrhea.
After a person takes bovine colostrum, however, his or her digestive system will be able to bind to toxins produced by sepsis-causing, gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli.
Researchers also have stated that they believe bovine colostrum can help trauma and burn patients, i.e. those who may be more susceptible to sepsis than others.
Sovereign Laboratories offers Colostrum-LD®, a bovine colostrum supplement that has been shown to facilitate cellular growth and repair and offers advanced infection protection for people of all ages. This bovine colostrum supplement may even help an individual win the battle against sepsis.
Colostrum-LD® features an advanced liposomal delivery (LD) system that helps make the supplement at least four times more effective than most traditional colostrum products. With the LD system, colostrum quickly dissolves in liquids and bypasses digestion and remains biologically active at the cellular level for optimal effectiveness.
Bovine colostrum supplementation may reduce an individual’s risk of sepsis. With daily bovine colostrum supplementation like Colostrum-LD®, an individual can more easily and effectively fight off infections that otherwise could result in sepsis.