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Colostrum is a very complex mixture containing many substances that have yet to be fully appreciated. Among these substances are a group of low molecular weight peptides collectively referred to as "growth factors". Growth factors are hormone-like peptides that either act alone or in conjunction with other substances to affect the growth (proliferation) and maturation of various cell types. For example some growth factors help epidermal cells (skin and digestive tract) grow faster while other growth factors stimulate muscle and bone cell proliferation and development. Of significant interest is the fact that bovine growth factors found in colostrum are almost identical to that of human in both structure and function In addition to growth factors there are also cytokines present in colostrum. Two of these, interferon and interleukin were also included due to their growth promoting actions.
Growth factors and cytokines present in colostrum and their respective actions are as follows:
Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) Stimulates tissue repair & wound
healing and maturation of the digestive tract
Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) is found in relatively high concentrations in colostrum and is of specific interest in regard to athletic performance and the anti-aging process. Specifically, this growth factor mediates the growth or metabolic effects of Growth Hormone. On a molecular level IGF-1 functions to stimulate muscle and bone cell proliferation and development - helps to build muscle and strong bones. In a recent study it was shown that oral supplementation with bovine colostrum enhances the recovery process following physical exercise or exertion. Thus it allows harder training with improved recovery. Two further studies have shown that bovine colostrum has positive effect on maximal power output - increases vertical jump performance and improves rowing performance in elite female rowers. It has been demonstrated in laboratory studies that IGF-1 can promote an increase of up to 15% in muscle mass and a 14% increase in strength. Further, it has been shown that IGF-1, through its action via growth hormone, can retard the aging process including: decreasing cardiovascular associated mortality, reduce osteoporosis and have a very positive effect on brain function.
Transforming Growth Factor (TGF) and Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) are also found in relatively high amounts in colostrum. Both these growth factors stimulate tissue repair & wound healing. Physical exercise and training cause muscle and tissue damage.The degree of damage and time required for repair depends on various factors, including: physical state, level of stress, dietary and medicinal considerations. Bovine colostrum has been shown to help in this recovery process.
Inflammation is associated with physical exertion and strenuous exercise. Though typically inflammation is centered in the joints it also observed in the digestive tract and in muscle tissue. There are various anti-inflammatory agents available to treat inflammation. Unfortunately there are also potential side effects and adverse reactions associated with these compounds. In fact the adverse side effects associated with certain anti-inflammatory agents limits their use. The most commonly used compounds used to treat inflammation are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as aspirin or salicylates. Commonly observed side effects associated with these compounds include gastric upset and gastric bleeding. It has been observed that the use of bovine colostrum has been proved effective in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders caused by aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID).
GROWTH FACTOR REFERENCES
1. Shing, Y.W. and Klagsbrun, M. (1984) Human and Bovine Milk Contain Different sets of Growth Factors. Endocrinology. 115: 273- 282.
2. Icoppetta. B.J., Grieu, F., Horisberger, M. and Sunahara, G. I., (1992) Epidermal Growth Factor in Human and Bovine Milk. Acta Paediatrica 81: 287-291.
3. Shamay, A., Cohen, N., Niwa, M. and Gertler, A. (1988). Effects of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 on Deoxyribonucleic Acid Synthesis and Galactopoesis in Bovine Undifferentiated and Lactating Mammary Tissue. Endrocrinology. 126: 804-809.
4. Xu,R.J., R. J., Mellor, D. J., Birltes, M. J., Breier, B. H., and Gluckman, P. D. (1994) Effects of Oral IGF-1 or IGF-II on Digestive Organ Growth in Newborn Piglets. Biology of the Neonate 66: 280-287.
5. Braumrucker, C. R., Hadsell, D.L., and Blum, J.W. (1994) Effects of Dietary Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 on Growth and Insulin-Like Growth Factor Receptors in Neonatal Calf Intestine. Journal of Animal Science. 72: 428-433.
6. Braumrucker, C.R., and Blum, J. W. (1993). Secretion of Insulin-Like Growth Factors in Milk and their Effect on the Neonate. Livestock Production Science. 35: 49-72.
7. Braumrucker, C.R., and Blum, J. W. (1994). Effects of Dietary Recombinant Human Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 on Concentration of Hormones and Growth Factors in the Blood of Newborn Calves. Journal of Endocrinology. 140: 15-21.
8. Humbel, R.E. (1984). Insulin- Like Growth Factors, Somatomedins, and Multiplication Stimulating Activity: Chemistry. Hormonal Proteins and Peptides, Edited by Choh,H.L., Volume XII, pg 57 - 72.
13. Xu,R.J., R. J., Mellor, D. J., Birltes, M. J., Breier, B. H., and Gluckman, P. D. (1994) Effects of Oral IGF-1 or IGF-II on Digestive Organ Growth in Newborn Piglets. Biology of the Neonate 66: 280-287.
14. Braumrucker, C. R., Hadsell, D.L., and Blum, J.W. (1994) Effects of Dietary Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 on Growth and Insulin-Like Growth Factor Receptors in Neonatal Calf Intestine. Journal of Animal Science. 72: 428-433.
15. Braumrucker, C.R., and Blum, J. W. (1993). Secretion of Insulin-Like Growth Factors in Milk and their Effect on the Neonate. Livestock Production Science. 35: 49-72.
16. Braumrucker, C.R., and Blum, J. W. (1994). Effects of Dietary Recombinant Human Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 on Concentration of Hormones and Growth Factors in the Blood of Newborn Calves. Journal of Endocrinology. 140: 15-21.
17. Humbel, R.E. (1984). Insulin- Like Growth Factors, Somatomedins, and Multiplication Stimulating Activity: Chemistry. Hormonal Proteins and Peptides, Edited by Choh,H.L., Volume XII, pg 57 - 72.
18. Mero, A., Mikklulainen, H., Riski, J., Pakkanen, R., Aalto, J., Takala, T. (1997). Effects of Bovine Colostrum Supplementation on Serum IGF-1, IgG, Hormone and Saliva IgA During Training. J. Apll. Physiol. 83(4): 1144-1151.
19. Buckley, J. D., Abbott, M., Martin, S., Brinkworth, G., Whyte, P. (1988). Effect of an Oral Bovine Colostrum Supplement on Running Performance. Abstract from: 1988 Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport, Adelaide, South Australia, October, 1988.
20. Buckley, J.D., Brinkworth, G.D., Bourdon, P.C., Gulbin, J., Stilwell, E.J., David,A., Myers, N. (1999) Oral Supplementation with Bovine Colostrum Improves Rowing Performance in Elite Female Rowers. Abstract presented at the 5th I.O.C. World Congress on Sports Sciences, Sydney, Australia. October, 1999.
21. Buckley, J.D., Abbott, M., Brinkworth, G.D., Whyte, P. (1999) Oral Supplementation with Bovine Colostrum Increases Vertical Jump Performance. Abstract presented at the 4th Annual Congress of the European College of Sports Science. Rome, Italy. July, 1999.
22. Barton-Davis, E.R., Shoturma,D.I., Musaro, A., Rosenthal, N., and Sweeney, H.L. (1998). Viral Mediated Expression of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 Blocks the Aging-Related Loss of Skeletal Muscle Function. Proc Natl Aca Sci USA - Dec 22; 95 (26): 15603-7.
23. George-Nascimento, C., Lowenson, Jonathan, Borissenko, M., Calderon, A., Medina-Selby, A., Kuo, J., Clarke, S., Randolph, A. Replacement of a Labile Aspartyl Residue Increases the Stability of Human Epidermal Growth Factor. Biochemistry 29 No. 41(1990) 9584 - 9591.
24. Hammerman M. R., Insulin-Like Growth Factors and Aging. Endocrinology Metabolism Clinician North America (1987) Dec; 16 (4): 995-1011.
25. Cohen P., Ocrant I., Fielder P.J., Neely E. K., Gargosky S. E., Deal C. I., Ceda G. P., Youngman O., Pham H., Lamon G., et al. Insulin-like Growth Factors (IGFs): Implications for Aging. Psychoneuroendocrinology (1992) Aug; 17 (4): 335-42.
26. Swerdloff R. S., Wang C., Hines M., Gorski R. Effect of Androgens on the Brain and Other Organs During Development and Aging. Psychoneuroendocrinology (1992) Aug; 17 (4): 375-83.
27. Hall K., Bang P., Brismar K. Insulin-like Growth Factors. Future Treatment in Catabolism. Lakartidningen (1995) Jun; 28: 92 (26-27) 2666-71.
ã Institute of Colostrum Research 2001
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