Study Title:

Bovine Colostrum Stabilizes Immune Cell Function in Athletes

Study Abstract

Bovine colostrum has been shown to influence the cytokine production of bovine leukocytes. However, it remains unknown whether processed bovine colostrum, a supplement popular among athletes to enhance immune function, is able to modulate cytokine secretion of human lymphocytes and monocytes. The aim of this investigation was to determine the influence of a commercially available bovine colostrum protein concentrate (CPC) to stimulate cytokine production by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Blood was sampled from four healthy male endurance athletes who had abstained from exercise for 48 h. PBMCs were separated and cultured with bovine CPC concentrations of 0 (control), 1.25, 2.5, and 5% with and without lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (3 microg/mL) and phytohemagglutinin (PHA) (2.5 microg/mL). Cell supernatants were collected at 6 and 24 h of culture for the determination of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interferon (IFN)-gamma, interleukin (IL)-10, IL-6, IL-4, and IL-2 concentrations. Bovine CPC significantly stimulated the release of IFN-gamma, IL-10, and IL-2 (p < 0.03). The addition of LPS to PBMCs cocultured with bovine CPC significantly stimulated the release of IL-2 and inhibited the early release of TNF, IL-6, and IL-4 (p < 0.02). Phytohemagglutinin stimulation in combination with bovine CPC significantly increased the secretion of IL-10 and IL-2 at 6 h of culture and inhibited IFN-gamma and TNF (p < 0.05). This data show that a commercial bovine CPC is able to modulate in vitro cytokine production of human PBMCs. Alterations in cytokine secretion may be a potential mechanism for reported benefits associated with supplementation.

Study Information

Shing CM, Peake JM, Suzuki K, Jenkins DG, Coombes JS.
Bovine colostrum modulates cytokine production in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide and phytohemagglutinin.
J Interferon Cytokine Res.
2009 January
School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

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