POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANT FOUND IN COLOSTRUM
Colostrum is the most significant food in the world. It
was designed by natural to to protect the newborn. The significance
of colostrum and the role it plays is best illustrated in the
typical farm animal. Take the horse, cow, sheep, goat, cat, dog
- unless these and most other animals receive colostrum in the
first day or two of life they have a very significant chance not
This phenomenon is due to a wonderful mechanism by which the mother
can pass on her complement of antibodies on to her newborn and
is known as passive transmission of immunity. Because of this
significance and the role that colostrum plays in the newborn
some other very important actions or properties associated with
the biological function of colostrum have been over-looked.
One of these properties is the fact that Colostrum, in addition
to all its other benefits, is a source of a wide range antioxidants.One
such antioxidant - Glutathione - has been described as the "Ultimate
Antioxidant". It is very well documented that glutathione
and it's precursors are present in colostrum in relatively high
levels. In this capacity glutathione and glutathione precursors
play an important part in colostrum's role in overall health.
also referred to, as GSH is a naturally occurring peptide or small
protein, which has a primary function as an antioxidant. Linus
Pauling was a leading advocate of antioxidants and their respective
role in prevention of disease and the promotion of overall good
health. Antioxidants for the most part are naturally occurring
compounds that possess the ability to neutralize unstable "free
these free radicals have been linked, at least in part, as the
causative agents of a number of disease conditions including cancer,
heart disease, stroke, and improper nervous & immune system
A growing number of scientific and medical research studies have
successfully shown that that antioxidants can deactivate free
radicals and thus limit the spread of certain disease states.
Basically antioxidants act as free radical scavengers and thus
removing them from the body before they can cause their harmful
foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and oils contain vitamins
and minerals that have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A, C &
E, carotenoids, and flavonoids are probably the best known antioxidants.
The growing body of scientific and medical research substantiates
the significance glutathione and other antioxidants play in sustaining
health and combating the disease state.
mountain of evidence suggests that by simply increasing one's
cellular levels of glutathione a corresponding increase of overall
good health can be envisioned.
development of cancer and disease for the most part is a long
and slow process. One exception are childhood cancers, which are
usually attributed to, inherited defective genes.
cells in adults contain a large number of mutations acquired over
a lifetime's exposure to environmental carcinogens, toxins, and
free radicals. These substances damage the bodies DNA - the blueprint
of life. Antioxidants have been shown to protect the DNA from
excessive damage and help in the synthesis and repair. In fact
the cellular level of glutathione has been described as predictive
factor in determining our life expectancy. Glutathione regulates
the actions of other less effective antioxidants such as vitamins
C & E.
It has been reported that low levels of cellular glutathione are
associated with liver and immune system malfunction, heart disease,
premature aging, and death.
it has been reported that glutathione functions in not only detoxification
of toxins but of also neutralizing carcinogens.
has also been described as having potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial
properties. Glutathione has also been shown to have a wide variety
of functions that help boost the immune system.
Lymphocytes (T cells and B cells), so vital in the immune response
have been shown to be dependent on glutathione for proper function.
As we age our cellular levels of glutathione drop and it is these
lower levels of glutathione that have been implicated in diseases
associated with aging. Finally, glutathione has been shown to
enhance athletic performance by increasing muscle strength and
an antioxidant glutathione helps protect the overall integrity
of every cell and tissue against damage caused by free radicals
and disease. Acting as a scavenger of free radicals glutathione
helps to protect us from pollutants and other disease causing
is a trimer composed of three amino acid precursors - glycine,
glutamic acid and cysteine. Though free glutathione is surely
of benefit the main benefit comes from the internalization of
it's precursors and subsequent assembly and action within the
cell. In fact a recent investigation involving piglets it was
revealed that intercellular glutathione was most exclusively from
dietary consumption of glutathione precursors.
are a number of products available that contain glutathione and
it's precursors. For the most part they are derived from colostrum,
milk, and or whey. They are typically referred to as whey protein
isolates. A number of these are marketing the fact that their
respective products are significantly higher in glutathione and
fact is that in relation to New Zealand colostrum (low temperature
processed) these products do not have significantly higher levels
of either glutathione, glutathione precursors or other bioactives
present in properly processed colostrum. In fact it has been recently
reported that antioxidant activity of bovine colostrum is significantly
greater as compared to number of such products, including whey
protein hydrosylates. Figure 1 illustrates that lack of any significant
difference between a whey protein isolate glutathione enriched
product and a quality produced colostrum.
special significance are the glutathione precursors Glycine, Glutamic
Acid, and Cystine (2 linked Cysteine molecules) and the relative
values found in the respective products.
composition of a commercially available whey protein isolate which
is reportedly enriched with glutathione & it's precursors
and a quality processed New Zealand colostrum product.
Acid Whey Derived Product NZ Colostrum 20% Ig's
Glycine 20mg/g protein 18.1 mg/g protein
Glutamic Acid 201 126.3
Cystine 24 16.8
Lactoalbumin 9.7% 2%
lactoglobulin 59.1% 19%
lactoferrin 0.14% 0.15%
Total Immunoglobulins 24.6 25%
A 100 IU/100g
B1 1.5 - 2.0 mg/60g
B2 1.7 - 2.2 mg/60g 1.12 mg/100g
B6 0.03 mg/100mg
B12 13.6 ug/100g
C 2.5 mg/100g
D < .2ug/100g
is of interest that the whey protein isolate which is reportedly
enriched with glutathione and it's precusors does not contain
a significantly greater amount of glutathione precursors as compared
to the quality colostrum product. This is also true of other constituents
that make up the composition of the respective products. It is
of interest that Cysteine has been reported to be a rate limiting
amino acid for the biosynthesis of glutathione.
fact that lactoglobulin and lactoalbumin are a rich source of
this essential amino acid and they are found in relatively high
amounts in colostrum should be noted.
Of outmost importance is the simple fact that if there is a substance
that can improve the quality of life then this information should
be available to and shared by everyone. The scientific and medical
evidence generated from producers of whey protein isolate products
is significant. However most if not all their claims based on
their findings can and for the most part have been attributed
to the same claims generated from investigations centering on
the process of manufacturing whey protein isolated products for
the most part includes ultrafiltration or microfiltration of raw
material in order to concentrate the various constituents responsible
for bioactivity. Typically this requires that this material is
subjected to filtration through 10,000 molecular weight (Dalton)
many small molecular weight molecules are removed from solution.
These include many growth factors that are involved with the healing
and recovery process, including growth factors and cytokines which
have a wide variety of biological functions. This is most probably
indicated by the fact the manufactures of whey protein isolates
who claim enriched glutathione levels typically do not include
growth factor and cytokine levels as part of their respective
is a magical substance composed of many, many substances that
work together in a synergistic manner in such a way that the overall
effect of colostrum is greater than the individual components.
In regard to whey protein isolated products they have attributed
the action to one constituent - glutathione. This is only part
of the answer as many other bioactive molecules are involved -
antibodies, immune factors, growth factors, cytokines, etc. In
reality it is an "Ever Ending Story" with only part
of the answer on how colostrum and in fact it's derivatives, such
as whey protein isolates, actually function and work only partly
known. The wonderful thing is that they actually do work and that
this is backed by scientific and medical evidence.
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