Arthritis is a degenerative condition involving degeneration of the joints and connective tissue throughout the body marked by pain and swelling.
Synovial membranes (connective tissue) thickens and joints swell with redness and are tender.
There are numerous regulatory and growth factors present in Colostrum which offer anti-inflammatory protection. This protection may be in part due to the rapid elimination and/or neutralisation of microbial pathogens by defense agents in colostrum.
Anti-inflammatory agents in colostrum are Lactoferrin, Proline-rich Polypeptide (PRP) and Lysozyme and growth factors : TGF-B and IGF-1.
Lactoferrin - modulates cytokine release and its receptors have been found on immune cells including lymphocytes, monocytes, macrophages and platelets.
Proline - rich Polypeptide (PRP) - a hormone that regulates the thymus gland, stimulating an under active immune system or down regulating an over active immune system as seen, for example, with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Scleroderma. PRP appears to act on T-cell precursors to produce helper T-cells and suppressor cells.
Lysozyme - a hydrolysing agent and immune system booster capable of destroying bacterial and viral pathogens on contact.
The above factors have an antimicrobial activity as well.
Colostrum forces the differentiation of certain cells so that rapid onset, severe and extended inflammation do not occur.
TGF-B - has an immunosuppressive effect on cytoxic substances (anti-inflammatory)
IGF-1 - bovine IgF-1 is identical to Human IgF-1.This factor stimulates both muscle and bone growth and repair.
TNF-alpha and IL-6 are two pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in host defence. Under normal conditions the production of these cytokines is important as a first line of defense.
However, overproduction of inflammatory cytokines can be detrimental. Chronic inflammatory diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis and multiple sclerosis are often associated with the overproduction of cytokines and can be prevented by blocking the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines like : TNF-alpha , IL-6 and IL-1.
A study done with bovine Colostrum- at the University of Otago in New Zealand demonstrated that Colostrum may have an immunomodulatory effect by blocking these cytokines.
A further Clinical pilot study is currently in progress by NZDG within a Rheumatology Centre for the evaluation of Colostrum in the reduction of symptoms associated with both Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis.
In the "tight junction" assay, the degree of leakiness is measured in a monolayer of epithelial kidney cells. A normal characteristic of epithelium, like the intestine or kidney, is that they form a tight barrier, but this barrier function is sometimes compromised making the epithelium leaky. This is a model for what happens in inflammation.
In the assay, transepithelial electrical resistance is measured. Negative values are indicators of significant protective activity. The higher the negative reading-the higher is the anti-inflammatory activity.
In this Study the Control gave a reading of +35 which clearly shows no anti-inflammatory activity. Colostrum gave a reading of - 5 which demonstrates an anti-inflammatory action.