The Center for Nutritional Research http://www.icnr.org/
(NaturalNews) People seeking to push the boundaries of longevity or enjoy the benefits of a highly functioning immune system are looking for ways to counter the natural decline associated with aging. There are some astonishing facts associated with the declining function of the thymus gland that illustrate the important role this gland plays in the aging process. Fortunately, there is a natural way to restore this key glands` functioning to a more youthful time.
The thymus gland
The thymus gland is located in front of the heart and behind the sternum, or breastbone, and is part of the endocrine system. This gland is sometimes referred to as the center of youth and immunity. It produces white blood cells called T-Lymphocytes, or T-cells. The main function of T-cells is to ferret out, attack, and destroy abnormal cell growth, bacteria, fungus, or any other types of disease-causing foreign bodies that attempt to take hold and proliferate in the body. Important in the development of T-cells is a hormone produced by the thymus gland called thymosin. Thymosin stimulates the activation, development, and maintenance of the immune system. With age comes an increasingly less effective T-cell response from the thymus gland. Since the thymus gland is a key component to a properly-functioning immune system, perhaps this explains why many health problems seem to correlate with aging.
At birth, the thymus gland is half the size of the lungs. But it begins to atrophy around the time of puberty and slowly shrinks over the course of a lifetime. By age 40, it is typically only ten percent the size it was at birth. At its peak at the time of puberty, the thymus gland can weigh as much as 40 grams. By age 70, it can be as little as 5 grams. During a typical lifetime, the thymus gland essentially goes from the size of an orange to a pea. Interestingly, the glands` productive capacity is directly proportional to its size. As it shrinks, so does its ability to deliver a strong immune response. Worse yet, it is replaced with fat. In the end, you are left with a pea-sized gland encased in a glob of fat.
Female mammals produce colostrum immediately prior to giving birth to their young. Bovine colostrum has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It is the “first milk” produced by cows just prior to and after birth. If the newborn calf does not get colostrum from its mother within the first week, it will die. Unlike in humans, there is no placental transfer of antibodies in cows, so the calf must get it all from the colostrum. This factor may elevate colostrum`s potential in human supplementation.
The spectrum of potential health benefits associated with the consumption of colostrum is innumerable. Research has shown that regular consumption of colostrum can help the thymus gland re-grow to its youthful size. Of primary consideration for rebuilding the thymus gland are the numerous immune and growth factors contained in colostrum. They are known to promote healing, slow down cellular breakdown, and accelerate tissue growth. It is these growth factors that may be capable of restoring the thymus gland and actually returning it to youthful function and proportions. Colostrum also contains a hormone called Proline-Rich Polypeptide (PRP), also known as thymulin. It is essential for optimal functioning of the thymus and helps to establish homeostasis, regulating the gland and immune system up or down as needed.
Look for colostrum from grass fed, pasture raised, humanely treated cows. Only the excess made available after the calves get their share should be consumed.
About the author
William Rudolph is a natural health enthusiast who enjoys researching and learning about natural health approaches and strategies, longevity techniques, and natural ways of achieving peak performance.