Weird medical ‘food’ could be best treatment for gut conditions

As a former ulcerative colitis patient, I am very interested in ways to restore intestinal health.

In 1997, my entire large intestine and rectum were surgically removed for this condition. That was before I was aware of anything outside of what mainstream medicine offered to prevent my condition from getting so bad.

I’d like to be able to help others improve their intestinal health, so they can forego such drastic surgery.

And that’s why I’m excited to share some information about a medical food that reverses intestinal inflammation and restores intestinal barrier function. It’s called serum-derived bovine immunoglobulin.

Serum-derived bovine immunoglobulin

Serum-derived bovine immunoglobulin (SBI), also known as “supplemental IgG or bovine IgG” is a medical food that is specially formulated to significantly reduce this intestinal inflammation.

It does so by directly damaging the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) membrane (which is an endotoxin) of gram-negative bacteria and other bacterial antigens that are toxic to the intestinal lining.  These LPS endotoxins directly damage the intestinal lining in many cases of intestinal disease, and bovine IgG significantly reduces this endotoxin-induced gut inflammation.

Serum-derived bovine immunoglobulin was first unexpectedly discovered to reverse severe inflammatory diarrhea in animals.

Read: Natural ways to reverse ulcerative colitis

It was then found to be safe in children. It has been available as a medical food and regarded to be safe for human use, as it carries an FDA GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) status since 2008.

Apparently, these bovine immunoglobulins are not harmed by stomach acid. They are then able to pass through the intestines without being absorbed. This was proven when orally ingested bovine IgG was found in feces in levels up to 50 percent of the ingested IgG.

Therefore, it passed through and is therefore functionally active throughout the gastrointestinal tract with a therapeutic effect inside the intestinal lumen where toxic bacteria reside.

Let’s look at a few of the studies that have proven its effectiveness…

Studies on serum-derived bovine immunoglobulin

In one open-label trial of eight participants with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) enteropathy, all eight experienced profound symptom improvement. Bovine immunoglobulin 2.5 grams daily were ingested for 8 weeks. They all had significantly reduced daily bowel movements (P = 0.008) and stool consistency (P = 0.008).

Moreover, SBI significantly increased intestinal mucosal CD4+ lymphocyte counts, an important marker of immune health for patients suffering from HIV.  SBI improved duodenal function, lead to the restoration of mucosal immunity, and improved gastrointestinal function.

This HIV population was studied because they likely have underlying disturbances in their gut microbiome composition as a cause for their intestinal symptoms.

In this SBI study among HIV patients, researchers point out that increased intestinal permeability is only one reason for inflammation. They state, “Other conditions, such as bacterial overgrowth syndrome, demonstrate increased bacterial antigen translocation with normal intestinal permeability. This report suggests that the mechanisms behind bacterial translocation in HIV patients are due to pathways other than increased macromolecule permeability.”

I bring this up because you probably know about leaky gut (intestinal hyperpermeability). This has been considered a major cause of chronic illness, in which unwanted proteins are allowed to pass through the mucosal barrier into your bloodstream and then trigger immune system hypersensitivity.

Measuring leaky gut is still far from being an exact science, although the concept is correct. Now we see that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) membrane (endotoxin) of gram-negative bacteria and other bacterial antigens are toxic to the intestinal lining, with or without increasing mucosal permeability.

Another study that is promising to those with inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease) is this one in mice with colitis. Both genetically modified mice for colitis and mice with spontaneous colitis had colonic barrier alterations resolved when given serum bovine immunoglobulin/protein isolate (SBI). The mice were fed diets supplemented with SBI (2 percent) or milk proteins (control diet), for 35 days, and then various markers of intestinal lining inflammation were measured. Across the board, there was a significant reduction in the severity of colitis.

I will begin to recommend this therapy for the management of acute ulcerative colitis flare-ups.

SBI has been shown to reduce pain and diarrhea in adults with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome. A study in children with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome showed a similar effect when given serum-derived bovine immunoglobulin supplementation. Fifteen patients who completed the study were given SBI 5 grams twice daily or placebo for 3 weeks. The researchers report that “Scores for pain, discomfort when eating, diarrhea, worry about stomach aches, and communication, improved significantly in the SBI group, but not in the placebo group. No serious adverse events occurred.”

In my next article, I want to tell you about the effect of SBI on immune function, allergy, and infection, and how to use it and other valuable medical foods that are known to heal the intestinal lining.

To healing and feeling good,

Michael Cutler, M.D.

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    1. Bacterial outer membrane — Wikipedia
    2. Lipopolysaccharide — Wikipedia
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Dr. Michael Cutler

By Dr. Michael Cutler

Dr. Michael Cutler is a graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine and is a board-certified family physician with more than 20 years of experience. He serves as a medical liaison to alternative and traditional practicing physicians. His practice focuses on an integrative solution to health problems. Dr. Cutler is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on experiencing optimum health through natural medicines and founder of the original Easy Health Options™ newsletter — an advisory on natural healing therapies and nutrients. His current practice is San Diego Integrative Medicine, near San Diego, California.