Alternavita Daily – Bovine Colostrum Increases Colonization Of Probiotics 52 Fold

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Alternavita Daily

December 14, 2018©

Daily Reflection:

Patience is the companion of wisdom.

St. Augustine

Bovine Colostrum Increases Colonization Of Probiotics 52 Fold

In a study released in January 2019, researchers tested the hypothesis that bovine colostrum influences the intestinal cell surface and in turn the attachment of commensal organisms and found that bovine colostrum increases all strains of human probiotics significantly while decreasing the adherence of intestinal pathogens. This discovery makes bovine colostrum the ideal prebiotic for both effectiveness and safety.

Probiotics in combination with prebiotics, may become an important means of preventing and treating disease. Several types of diarrhea have been successfully treated with probiotics. This practice may represent only the “tip of the iceberg” because the potential benefits of probiotic therapy promise to be almost limitless.

Some related, though nondiarrheal, situations involving the effects of probiotics on bacterial overgrowth. In patients with chronic kidney failure, there is often a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, resulting in toxins. These toxic compounds were significantly lower in patients treated with 2 strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus, resulting in a significantly better quality of life. Of public health importance, Campylobacter jejuni shedding in broiler chicks was all but eliminated by the administration of L. acidophilus. C. jejuni is often the cause of food poisoning in humans.

In newborns, the colonic microflora can be modified by including probiotics in feeding formulas. Because a largely bifidobacterial flora were observed in breast-fed infants, who show a greater resistance to various infectious diseases than do bottle-fed infants, the desire arose to generate a predominantly bifidobacterial flora in bottle-fed infants. In a 7-d trial, the stool of infants fed an artificial formula containing an inoculum of Bifidobacterium bifidum was compared with that of bottle-fed infants who were fed an artificial formula with no added bifidobacteria, and breast-fed infants. The breast-fed and B. bifidum–fed infants had bifidobacteria in their stools, whereas bottle-fed infants did not. The fecal pH of both the breast-fed and the B. bifidum–fed infants was nearly identical, whereas the pH of the bottle-fed infants was 6.83. In a 2-mo, well-controlled study in which B. bifidumwas also incorporated into an artificial formula, the fecal pH was the same in both breast-fed and B. bifidum–fed infants, whereas it was significantly higher in control infants fed an artificial formula to which no bifidobacteria had been added. One month into the study, colonic colonization by bifidobacteria was significantly higher in the B. bifidum– fed infants than in the control infants, but not significantly different from that of the breast-fed infants.

Research to fully realize this potential must focus on the following areas:

  • the identification of strains of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus that can withstand passage through the gastrointestinal tract
  • the identification of probiotic species and strains that are effective against specific disease processes or for the prevention of disease
  • the investigation of mechanisms of probiotic action
  • the identification of additional compounds that will enhance the growth of probiotic organisms (eg, the development of more effective and safer prebiotics and selection or development of strains that will adhere to the intestinal mucosal cells in the population at large to allow for true colonization and growth

Lactulose has been used clinically to provide symptomatic relief in severe liver disease. Specifically, it lowers blood ammonia concentrations and prevents the development of hepatic encephalopathy. Because bifidobacteria and other colonic organisms metabolize lactulose, colonic contents become acidic, converting NH3 to NH4+, which serves to draw the NH3 from the blood to the colon. NH4+ is then excreted in the feces.

Subjects receiving fructooligosaccharides or inulin per day had higher hydrogen and methane outputs in their breath than did subjects fed sucrose.

Fructooligosaccharides, when incorporated into the human diet, alter both the microbial flora and the metabolic activity of the colon. Subjects receiving 15 g fructooligosaccharides or inulin per day had higher hydrogen and methane outputs in their breath than did subjects fed sucrose. Fecal bifidobacterial counts increased almost 10-fold, whereas those of bacteroides, coliforms, and cocci decreased. Fecal short-chain fatty acid concentrations (eg, acetic, propionic, and butyric acids) did not change significantly. Raffinose ingestion, a naturally occurring sugar consisting of one molecule each of glucose, galactose, and fructose, resulted in a decrease in fecal pH, an increase in the short-chain fatty acid content, and an increase in Lactobacillus ssp. counts in rats.

Bovine colostrum; the ideal prebiotic

An ideal probiotic would be one that can survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract, establish itself permanently in the small intestine and colon, and provide a specific health benefit for the host by eliciting an immune response; secretion, production, and synthesis of compounds such as short-chain fatty acids, lactic acid, and bacteriocins; or another appropriate mechanism. As a source of energy, this probiotic would selectively utilize a prebiotic, would be safe, and would have few, if any, side effects.

Bovine colostrum is a rich source of bioactive components which are important in the development of the intestine, in stimulating gut structure and function and in preparing the gut surface for subsequent colonization of microbes. What is not clear, however, is how colostrum may affect the repertoire of receptors and membrane proteins of the intestinal surface and the post-translational modifications associated with them.

Adherence of several commensal bacteria to the intestinal cells was significantly enhanced, up to 52-fold for all strains tested which spanned species that are found across the human lifespan

Nutritional intake may influence the intestinal epithelial glycome and in turn the available attachment sites for bacteria. In a study released in 2019, researchers tested the hypothesis that bovine colostrum may influence the intestinal cell surface and in turn the attachment of commensal organisms. Human HT-29 intestinal cells were exposed to a bovine colostrum fraction (BCF) rich in free oligosaccharides. The adherence of several commensal bacteria, comprising mainly bifidobacteria, to the intestinal cells was significantly enhanced (up to 52-fold) for all strains tested which spanned species that are found across the human lifespan.

Adhesion of pathogens reduced

Importantly, the changes to the HT-29 cell surface did not support enhanced adhesion of the enteric pathogens tested.

In conclusion

The current findings provide an insight into how commensal microorganisms colonise the human gut and highlight the potential of colostrum and milk components as functional ingredients that can potentially increase commensal numbers in individuals with lower counts of health-promoting bacteria.


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Hyperimmune colostrum is natural bovine colostrum collected from a population of cows immunized repeatedly with a specific pathogen. The colostrum is collected within 24 hours of the cow giving birth. Antibodies towards the specific pathogens or antigens that were used in the immunization are present in higher levels than in the population before treatment. Although some papers have been published stating that specific human pathogens were just as high as in hyperimmune colostrum and natural colostrum nearly always had higher antibody titers than did the hyperimmune version.

IGG is the toxin binder in colostrum. Hyperimmune colostrum has a higher IGG content.

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