Forty years ago in Poland, scientists isolated an unusual immune modulating substance derived from colostrum. It seemed to be potent at fighting infection, but equally potent at calming inflammation. At the time the researchers simply called it colostrinin, but after a sequence analysis of its peptides (short chains of amino acids bound by peptide bonds), they concluded that colostrinin contained at least 32 different peptides, many of which were rich in proline.

Can proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs) protect your brain and even boost brain function? Studies in vitro on animals and humans support that idea. The neuro-protective cytokines in PRPs have a remarkably stabilizing effect on cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease patients. In vitro studies show that PRPs inhibit fibrils and amyloid plaques.[1] PRPs also modulate intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), by regulating glutathione metabolism and antioxidant enzymes.[2] Gene expression analysis found that PRPs down-regulate genes involved in inflammatory pathways and increase levels of an Amyloid-beta (Aβ) hydrolyzing enzyme.[3] When given orally to mice, PRPs improve motor and sensory activities.[4] When mice are given either PRPs or plain colostrum, the PRP supplemented mice swim faster to a hidden platform.[5] PRPs also improve spatial learning and memory in older rats.[6]

The microbiome is one of the most exciting discoveries of 21st century biomedicine, and scientific heavyweights as prominent as Craig Ventner, whose company sequenced the human genome, are now sequencing the microbiome. The microbiome is the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space–the mass of trillions of microbes that live on and in your body. Most of them are in your large intestine, but they thrive in your mouth, on your skin, and even in your bloodstream. The human gut contains on average: 40,000 bacterial species, 9 million unique bacterial genes and 100 trillion microbial cells. These hundred trillion microbes render us a walking, breathing ecosystem–more microbe than man.