Derived from eggs.
Dr. Michael Ruscio: Hi, this is Dr. Ruscio, and let’s discuss egg-derived immunoglobulins. You may have heard in the past we’ve discussed bovine-derived immunoglobulins and the very exciting research there. However, for those who want to adhere to a vegetarian diet, thankfully, there is also a vegetarian compliant egg-derived version of immunoglobulins.
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What are Immunoglobulins?
Now what do immunoglobulins do, and what are they? Well, immunoglobulins are what you have already in the lining of your intestinal tract that help to bind, neutralize, and deactivate irritants and toxins. This is also known as the mucous membrane of your gut. It’s composed of various immunoglobulins:
What we can do with supplemental immunoglobulins is give you some additional support as your existing mucous membrane already does in helping to protect your immune system from getting triggered from these various irritants. In effect, by binding to and deactivating irritants like bacterial fragments and toxins, we can reduce inflammation, reduce leaky gut, and therefore lead to an improvement in symptoms.
Also, remember that two things are crucial for a healthy gut:
- A healthy gut microbiota or the population of fungus and bacteria in your gut, and
- A healthy immune system status, meaning the immune system is not overzealous or too quick to respond to things that it shouldn’t.
This is really where the immunoglobulins come in to help attenuate what could be an otherwise overzealous immune system response that locks one in this kind of cascade of inflammation, leaky gut, reactivity and thus thwarts healing.
What Do Immunoglobulins Do?
- Bind to irritants and toxins in the gut – thus reducing inflammation, leaky gut and symptoms
- 2 things are crucial for a healthy gut
- Health balance of bacteria and fungus (healthy microbiota)
- Healthy immune system function (not an overzealous immune system)
Who can Immunoglobulins Help?
Who can immunoglobulins help? Really almost anyone. Not to paint it as a panacea, but what’s really exciting here is the observation and the published data really by Weinstock. Now, this was used with the bovine immunoglobulins, but it would be suggested that this hopefully could apply to both iterations of the immunoglobulin, whether it’s derived from bovine or from egg. What Weinstock published was that in patients who had not responded to other therapies, they were actually able to see response from immunoglobulins. And why this is so exciting is because it tells you that even if you’ve gone through some of the gamut of available supports, this support may actually benefit you.
SIBO and IBS
The mention of Weinstock is a good transition into what does the evidence show? I’ll put a summary note up here on the screen. Essentially what Weinstock published was that in patients who are diagnosed with either SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), IBS, or both, and in these patients who are offered a few various treatments (low FODMAP, Rifaximin), and didn’t really notice a response. These are patients who are trying to improve their IBS, trying to improve their SIBO, they’re being treated with various therapies and not seeing any improvement. Then they are given immunoglobulins and a 75% response rate was noted. Now again, I want to be careful to be clear that this was using the bovine-derived immunoglobulins. We don’t have this type of study yet published with the egg-derived, but if you’re unwilling to use the bovine-derived, then it certainly seems logical to give a trial to the egg-derived.
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Leaky Gut, Histamine and H. Pylori
Now continuing with the research, here is what has been published specifically with the egg-derived immunoglobulins, as in our Intestinal Support Formula Vegetarian. A pilot study of 13 arthritic patients showed improvements in arthritis and joint pain. Now the second study here is a small pilot study. I want to be careful because this was published by the manufacturer. So I always take these results with a grain of salt, so a little asterisk of caution here, but here’s what they found.
- Reduced leaky gut, in fact, zonulin, a marker of leaky gut, was decreased by 95%
- As a byproduct of reducing the gut, one would expect to see reduced inflammation, as they saw here in this study.
- There was an increase in beneficial flora or bacteria, which makes sense knowing that inflammation tends to be poisonous to healthy bacteria. If we reduce inflammation, we create a healthier environment for the microbiota to grow and flourish.
This is a key concept and one of the reasons why it’s important not to solely focus on treating the bacteria and fungus in the gut. Yes, we want to do that, but also look at the immune system. The immune system is one of the things that creates the environment, either inflammatory or not ensconced in inflammation, which dictates what populations of bacteria will either grow or dwindle. A little bit more of an advanced concept here, but they showed the ability to lower histamine. Histamine is part of the immune and inflammatory response. The good news here is that this study is showing that as we start to improve the health of your gut, a litany of cascading factors also improves:
- reduction of leaky gut
- reduction of inflammation
- reduction of histamine
- a flourishing of beneficial populations in the gut
One study found that a combination of probiotics and immunoglobulins actually suppressed H. pylori infections, so even more good news there.
What Does the Evidence Show?
- In a study by Weinstock: 
- Patients were diagnosed with either SIBO, IBS or both
- Then offered a few different treatments
- In those who did not respond to any treatment, they were given immunoglobulins
- A 75% response rate was noted
- A pilot study of 13 arthritis patients found improvement in arthritis symptoms and no adverse side effects 
- A small pilot study by a company that produces egg-derived immunoglobulins showed that immunoglobulins can :
- Reduce leaky gut. In fact, Zonulin levels (a marker of gut permeability) decreased by 95%
- Decrease inflammation
- Increase beneficial flora
- Lower histamine levels
- One study successfully used a combination of probiotics and immunoglobulins to suppress H. pylori infections.
How Do You Use Immunoglobulins?
Here’s what I’d recommend from some of the research that has tried to look at responses symptomatically over time and charted these out. Essentially by the second or third week on immunoglobulins, you should be able to notice either a difference or no difference at all. That’s your first re-evaluation time point. Patients tend to plateau and realize all of their improvements around the eighth or ninth week. Again, these aren’t hard-set observations, but they give you some general guideposts to look for along your trial of immunoglobulins. So two to three weeks, eight to nine weeks, and then once you’ve hit your plateau. I would recommend maintaining the protocol that you’re using for one to two months to ensure that your new improvements are consistent. Then work to find the minimal effective dose over time.
Gradually wean yourself off and find the minimal effective dose. Remember that if you come off and you’re feeling great for a number of months and then you have a flare, you can revisit this therapy to help calm down that flare and get you back to your new peak level of improvement.
How to Use?
- Initial assessment: 2-3 weeks
- Plateau around 8-9 weeks
- Maintain plateau for 1-2 months
- Then attempt to wean off or find minimal effective dose
- Can be repeated in time of flare
Okay, so that’s the short synopsis on immunoglobulins. I’m very happy to announce that, to my knowledge, we are the only company that offers both the bovine-derived and the egg-derived because it’s really important to me that patients who want to improve their gut health have all the tools at their disposal in one place. While the bovine-derived immunoglobulins are one option, for those who want to comply with the vegetarian diet, we now offer the egg option. Not as much research behind it, but certainly worth a trial to see if you notice the same level of benefit that has been more robustly documented with the bovine-derived.
Okay, this is Dr. Ruscio. That is the synopsis on immunoglobulins. I hope you try them and benefit from this immune-attenuating, anti-inflammatory therapy that can be very helpful for some.
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