This contains excerpts from an interview with veterinarian Stephen R. Blake that first appeared in the Center for Nutritional Research’s Vital Health Newsletter. For the full interview, click here.
Q: How long have you been a veterinarian and what brought you to alternative medicine?
I’ve been practicing veterinary medicine for over twenty-five years, and I’ve spent the past twenty years practicing alternative forms of medicine. My reason for choosing alternative medicine is because of my own ill health as a result of pesticides I used on the animals. My special interests have been in classical homeopathy, acupuncture, nutrition, glandular therapy, aromatherapy, Bach flowers and massage.
Q: How did you learn about colostrum and what made you a believer?
A: I had known about colostrum for nearly thirty years, but had never thought about it as something I would use in my general practice. Colostrum contains all the immune factors necessary to protect and build the immune system, and it provides all of the growth factors that the body needs to develop and repair itself. One interesting fact I came across was that the bovine is the only species that is a universal donor for colostrum. This means that all mammals can benefit from bovine colostrum. Colostrum research is so extensive that one could spend many years just reading all the data that has been gathered on the subject. The use of colostrum in medicine goes back thousands of years, and its uses are well documented throughout history.
Q: What is the rationale for using colostrum in your practice?
A: As animals age, there is a decrease in their ability to produce immune factors and growth factors, resulting in an increase in disease, both acute and chronic. The toxic environment we live in is also contributing to the ill health of animals. Colostrum aids the body by strengthening the intestinal tract so that these toxins are not allowed into the body. It’s been well documented that over ninety percent of all toxins, viruses, bacteria, parasites and yeast are absorbed through the gut wall. This is referred to as Leaky Gut Syndrome and accounts for most every disease condition. By strengthening the gastrointestinal tract, we potentially could eliminate over ninety percent of all diseases, and this one fact is what got me so interested in this particular nutritional supplement.
Q: Were you ever a skeptic?
A: I was very skeptical that colostrum would not meet my expectations, even though I had done a great deal of research. So as always, I tried colostrum on myself and my family. My rule has always been that if it isn’t safe for me, it isn’t safe for my patients. I was amazed at how much better my eleven–year-old basset hound Elmo and I felt. His cataracts of seven years began to clear and his arthritis improved dramatically. My excitement also came from the knowledge that he had been on a natural diet, filtered water, classical homeopathic care, aromatherapy, no pesticides and glandular therapy and that by adding only the colostrum it improved even more, allowing me to cut back on his natural therapy.
Q: Why does colostrum work better than herbal remedies?
A: The beauty of colostrum, in comparison to herbs and other plant supplements, is that plants do not have immune factors and growth factors that mammals have. Colostrum contains lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, lysozymes, immunoglobulins and proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs) which plants do not contain. All of these powerful immune factors in colostrum can kill harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungus and destroy toxins. It can help with autoimmune conditions. It controls the thymus gland which is the master gland for the immune system. It helps boost an under-active thymus and reduces a hyperactive one. The growth factors in colostrum help bone growth, skin healing, gums, gastrointestinal problems, ulcers, gas, skin tone and elasticity and help with the balancing of neuro-transmitters which affect pets’ moods. All of these benefits without any side effects and the possibility of helping our pets lead happier, healthier lives just isn’t possible with plant-based products.
Q: What has been your patients’ response?
A: As I started using colostrum more and more in my patients, I started hearing all of the good results my clients were getting. I’ve seen countless dogs with chronic allergic conditions who had been prescribed prednisone and essentially had no energy to play. After taking bovine colostrum, their allergies disappeared and they returned to their normal active selves. I have used colostrum topically on surgical and non-surgical wounds, and seen them heal fifty percent faster than with antibiotics or calendula. I mix the colostrum powder with a small amount of water and then have the owner massage it into their pet’s skin one to four times per day as needed. I also pack the powder into abscesses after cleaning them, and they heal in three days, without antibiotics. For very ill pets, I have [fed via a tube] with a liquid colostrum (a blended mixture of the powder and water), and seen them regain their strength at a maximum potential of healing. Dogs who have picky appetites begin to eat better while taking colostrum because their gastrointestinal systems are working more efficiently. With a healthier gut, there is less inflammation and discomfort with eating. I treat all acute and chronic diarrheas with colostrum and find that within three days or less, these pets are back to their normal diets. Just like humans, many pets experience the discomforts of arthritis as they age. When glucosamine sulfate isn’t working as well as it did, I mix the colostrum with the glucosamine, and arthritic animals begin to respond again.
Q: What oral dosages and timing do you recommend?
A: I have found that the most effective way to use colostrum is to feed the powdered colostrum either dry or with an ounce of water at least one-half hour before feeding. I recommend the powder which is dosed at 1/3 teaspoon per 25 pounds of weight. I suggest pets be given colostrum the first thing in the morning. Wait thirty minutes and then feed as usual. If you do not get any results in three days time, increase the dose by 1/3 teaspoon for up to three days until your pet shows improvement. I recommend you stop increasing at this point and stay at this dose until they are well. Then start cutting back until you reach a point where you are comfortable with their health. This is an excellent preventative nutritional supplement which can potentially aid both the gastrointestinal and growth factor dependent aspects of healing the body.
Q: What do you recommend for topical application?
A: Colostrum can be applied topically. Dilute powder in water and apply to skin or dab a small amount of powder directly. Of all the natural products I have tried for wounds, rashes, hot spots and psoriasis, this is the best I’ve ever seen. It has the potential for reducing healing time by fifty percent. I put warm water in my hands and a small dab of the powder together and massage the diluted colostrum in the areas of inflammation. I do this three to four times a day depending on the response of the animal.
Q: Do you have any final comments?
A: I have found that bovine colostrum complements any other medical modality whether it is conventional or alternative. Colostrum is essential for repairing the body and establishing homeostasis in our beloved pets. Pets bring us immense joy, and it’s our responsibility to care for them with the most non-toxic modalities we can.
The interviewer, Douglas Wyatt, is the Director of Research for the Vibrant Life Initiative (formerly the Center for Nutritional Research). Wyatt spent years researching the multiple health benefits of colostrum after his wife became gravely ill. He pioneered the development of a highly bio-available liposomal colostrum supplement based on his years of research. You can learn more about him and his research at www.vibrantlifeinitiative.org
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This information is not medical advice and is certainly not intended to replace the advice or attention of your personal physician or other healthcare professional. Therefore, consult your doctor or healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or starting a supplement program.
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