Dr. Alejandro Nitsch, M.D. & Dr. Fabiola Nitsch, M.D.

5. ave. 15-45 z. 10 Centro Empresarial, Tower 1, Office 405

Guatemala City, Guatemala, Central América



Mankind has always agreed on the importance and nutritional value of milk. Colostrum, the first milk produced by mammals after parturition, has been thoroughly studied on recent years, after confirming its superior nutritional and protective value when compared to milk. Initially, colostrum was used clinically as a vehicle for passive immunity transfer. It is now known colostrum contains Cytokines and other protein compounds of very low molecular weight that can act as Biologic Response Modulators (BMR's), which intervene locally in most biological processes. This article reviews the composition and current clinical use of colostrum, and describes the use of a colostral derivative in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis.

Milk has always been considered a very important food - worldwide, especially because it supplies multiple important nutrients, other than carbohydrates, proteins and fat, that contribute to the well-functioning of the body. No one has ever doubted that maternal milk, in comparison to formula milk, has a far superior nutritional value. Colostrum has a well acknowledge crucial value for the survival of the animal species that cannot receive immunoglobulins through the placenta (1).

In recent years, due to the favorable effects of colostrum ingestion in newborn infants and animals, there has been a growing interest in determining the composition of this naturally occurring substance and determining its clinical use, in animals and humans as well. Much has also been investigated about the composition of human colostrum, and it is interesting to note the similarity in elements and functions with those of bovine colostrum. This review will specifically address data on the contents of human and bovine colostrum that constitute the basis for their immunomodulatory capacity, the current use of colostrum, and will described a "new" derivative of colostrum and its clinical use.

HUMAN COLOSTRUM is known to be highly immunoreactive, both in the humoral and cellular systems. In 1993, Grosvenor et al stated "many hormones, growth factors and bioactive substances present in the maternal organism are present in colostrum and milk, often exceeding concentrations that occur in maternal plasma" (2).

The presence of immunoglobulin containing neutrophils and macrophages (especially IgA, and lesser amounts of IgM and IgG), and peroxidase activity identical to serum myeloperoxidase was documented recently in human colostrum (3,4). It is known that secretory IgA (sIgA) purified from human colostrum caused in vitro inhibition of local adherence of enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) to Hep-2 cells because sIgA responds to a plasmid-encoded outer membrane protein implicated as the EPEC adherence factor acting as a receptor analogue (5). Thus, colostrum provides passive immunity for the newborn.

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