What are Allergies?
Allergies are considered an autoimmune condition because they are caused by an overreaction of the immune system whereby the body produces an overabundance of antibodies in its effort to neutralize an antigen. When an individual suffers with allergies, his or her immune system mistakenly identifies an otherwise harmless substance (i.e., pollen, dust) as a threat. The body releases histamine to attack the substance. Histamine produces many of the common symptoms associated with allergies (i.e., symptoms that affect the eyes, nose, or skin).
Seasonal allergies produce an over-reactive immune response to environmental antigens such as ragweed, grasses or trees, thereby resulting in the bothersome allergic symptoms such as sneezing, wheezing, nasal congestion, eye irritation, inflammation and hives or other skin irritations. A food allergy is a similar immune system response that can affect the skin (i.e., eczema and hives), respiratory system (i.e., asthma and mucus production), gastro-intestinal system (i.e., cramps, bloating and gas), or cardiovascular system. Often an individual does not attribute these annoying symptoms to a particular food.
Is a leaky gut causing your allergies?
Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS), also known as intestinal permeability, is a serious health condition that doctors believe is a major player in the escalating prevalence of allergies and other autoimmune conditions. And the lifestyle choices we make are the primary culprits in irritating the G.I. lining to the point at which it becomes ‘leaky’. The worst offenders are oral antibiotics and pain medications, both over-the-counter (i.e., aspirin, ibuprofen) and prescription (i.e., Vicodin, OxyContin) versions. Steroids, birth control pills, acidic beverages, highly refined sugars, GMOs, pesticide-laden foods also damage the gut lining.
Everyone has LGS to some extent; estimates range from 70-90% of the population. So what exactly is LGS? It’s a condition in which the intestinal lining is more permeable than it should be, and allergens and illness-causing pathogens gain access to the rest of the body by going through the “holes” in the G.I. lining. You can think of it as the “brown river” (the G.I. contents) flowing into your “red river” (the bloodstream).
"Leaky gut can cause food allergy, and food allergy can cause the leaky gut," says Dr. Sherry Rogers, M.D., in her book Wellness Against All Odds. The relationship between food sensitivities and leaky gut is both complex and circular. According to Dr. Leo Galland, M.D., intestinal permeability sharply increases following exposure to allergenic foods. The release of atopic mediators (such as histamine and serotonin) from mast cells is responsible for the increase in permeability .
So if LGS leads to allergies, what is a natural remedy for LGS, and by extension, a natural remedy for allergies? Bovine colostrum is the ideal solution for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s the only substance, natural or man-made that has been clinically proven to heal and prevent Leaky Gut Syndrome. Colostrum with liposomal delivery is capable of reaching the gut with its immune and growth factors intact and viable. The growth factors have anti-inflammatory action and help repair damaged cells in the G.I. lining; this closes the “holes” and thus, prevents further leakage into the bloodstream. Second, the immune factors, including immunoglobulins (antibodies) can attack the offending pathogens in the intestines and prevent them from causing damage. Cows build up antibodies to many common allergens that affect humans, and these antibodies are transferred through the female cow’s colostrum. Individuals consuming bovine colostrum can experience a minimized allergic response . Third, lactoferrin and proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs) can interfere with bacterial colonization and prevent antigen penetration in the gastrointestinal tract . The PRPs, also known as colostrinin or transfer factor, are also powerful immune system modulators that can help tone down the overactive immune response that leads to allergies.
In an effort to get rid of allergies naturally, many allergy and asthma sufferers are self-medicate with herbal supplements. This is cause for concern. If people are allergic to inhalants, such as grasses and weeds, they may in fact be taking the very same substances that their herbal remedies. For example, the popular herbal supplement Echinacea comes from a plant that is closely related to ragweed, a common allergy trigger. Additionally, herbs can contain mold spores which seriously affect people with certain allergies. On the other hand, bovine colostrum provides the safest and most effective natural remedy for allergies and allergic asthma.
PRPs: The power to kick allergies
Proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs) from colostrum can function as a regulator of the thymus gland. Research has demonstrated that PRPs can eliminate or improve the symptoms of allergies, as well as other autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus .
PRPs have the ability to regulate the activity of the immune system. This means that PRPs can activate an underactive immune system, helping it move into action against disease-causing organisms. This also means that it can suppress an overactive immune system, as with allergies and all other autoimmune disorders, thereby preventing the immune system from reacting to harmless substances. Scientists believe that PRPs’ ability to regulate the immune system is due in part to its ability to inhibit the overproduction of lymphocytes and T-cells. PRPs actually aid in producing helper T-cells and suppressor T-cells. Various studies also identify that PRPs is highly anti-inflammatory .
Because PRPs are one of the most powerful components found naturally in colostrum, they are the one of the safest and most logical natural remedy for allergies.
Immunoglobulins & Antibodies
Bovine colostrum contains antibodies that work against specific allergens affecting humans. Female cows build up antibodies to the environmental allergens that they are exposed to, generally those allergens found in the soil and air. The antibodies are then transferred through the colostrum. Individuals who supplement with bovine colostrum receive the benefit of the antibodies, such that their allergic response is minimized.
Researchers at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, determined that bovine milk and colostrum contains antibodies directed against ryegrass pollen, dust mites, Aspergillus mold, and wheat proteins, which are common allergens to humans . Numerous other antibodies are present in colostrum which cross-react with allergens of importance to humans, as well as antibodies against pathogenic invaders, such as E. coli, Candida, H. pylori, salmonella, just to name a few.
The IgE (immunoglobulin) and IgE inhibitors found in colostrum are believed to be responsible for regulating the allergic response . It's hypothesized that together they inhibit the allergic response by limiting the histamine response.
With all the immune components in colostrum, it’s no wonder that supplementing with colostrum helps your immune system maintain a healthy balance. In addition to PRPs’ known benefits for allergies, studies indicate that colostrum from dairy cows also contain a variety of antibodies directed against allergens that commonly affect humans. Choose Colostrum-LD™ as your go-to natural remedy for allergy relief. If you need a little extra help when your allergies are acting up, add an oral spray with concentrated PRPs such as IRM™ - Immune Response Modulator.
1. Galland, L. Leaky Gut Syndromes: Breaking the Vicious Cycles. Townsend Letter for Doctors. 62 (1995, Aug/Sept).
ABSTRACT: Toxins of many kinds can increase intestinal permeability. These include alcohol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, arthritis medications, and many others), cytotoxic drugs used to treat cancer, corticosteroid drugs, and, by their action on bowel flora, antibiotics.
2. Collins AM, et al. Bovine milk, including pasteurised milk, contains antibodies directed against allergens of clinical importance to man. International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology. 96(4):362-7 (1991).
ABSTRACT: Pasteurized and raw bovine milk and bovine colostrum samples were assayed by enzyme-linked immunoassay for the presence of antibodies directed against a selection of allergens of importance in human atopic disease. Samples were tested for the presence of antibodies directed against or cross-reacting with ryegrass pollen, house dust mites, Aspergillus mold and wheat proteins. Antibodies of each specificity were detected in every sample tested.
3. Walker, WA. Pathophysiology of intestinal uptake and absorption of antigens in food allergy. Annals of Allergy. 59(5 Pt 2):7-16 (1987).
ABSTRACT: An important adaptation of the gastrointestinal tract to the extrauterine environment is its development of a mucosal barrier against the penetration of proteins and protein fragments. To combat the potential danger of invasion across the mucosal barrier, the infant must develop within the lumen and on the luminal mucosal surface an elaborate system of defense mechanisms that act to control and maintain the epithelium as an impermeable barrier to the uptake of macromolecular antigens. Fortunately, nature has provided a means for passively protecting the vulnerable newborn against the dangers of a deficient intestinal defense system: mother’s colostrum and milk. It contains not only antibodies and viable leukocytes, but many other substances that can interfere with bacterial colonization and prevent antigen penetration.
4. Rona, ZP. Bovine Colostrum Emerges as Immunity Modulator. American Journal of Natural Medicine. March, 1998.
ABSTRACT: PRP from colostrum can work as a regulatory substance of the thymus gland. It has been demonstrated to improve or eliminate symptomology of both allergies and autoimmune diseases (MS, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and myasthenia gravis). PRPs inhibit the overproduction of lymphocytes and T-cells and reduces the major symptoms of allergies and autoimmune disease: pain, swelling, and inflammation.
5. Staroscik,K, et al. Immunologically active nonapeptide fragment of a proline-rich polypeptide from ovine colostrum: amino acid sequence and immuno-regulatory properties. Molecular Immunology. 20(12):1277-82 (1983).
ABSTRACT: Small peptide chains in colostrum called proline-rich polypeptides (PRP) have the same ability to regulate the activity of the immune system as the hormones of the thymus gland. PRP activates an underactive immune system, helping it move into action against disease-causing organisms. PRP also suppresses an overactive immune system such as is often seen in the autoimmune diseases. PRP is highly anti-inflammatory and also appears to act on T-cell precursors to produce helper T-cells and suppressor T-cells.
6. , H. Attainments in atopy: special aspects of allergy and IgE. Advances in Pediatrics. 49:273-97 (2002).
ABSTRACT: Allergy is characterized by elevated levels of specific IgE in the blood, called “atopy”. Therapy with anti-IgE has shown promise in inhibiting early- and late-phase allergic reactions and asthma. [Colostrum contains both IgE and IgE-blockers.]