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ME/CFS Australia Ltd
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ME/CFS South Australia Inc supports the needs of sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and related illnesses. We do this by providing services and information to members.


ME/CFS South Australia Inc aims to keep members informed of various research projects, diets, medications, therapies, news items, etc. All communication, both verbal and written, is merely to disseminate information and not to make recommendations or directives.

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Talking Point
December 1999
In this issue:
Improved services
Colostrum study
Recent papers
Notice to vendors

Colostrum study shows possible benefits

By Anne Tichborne

In a trial of colostrum as a dietary supplement, athletes were better able to cope with lactic acid build-up, according to a report by Tanya Denver in The Advertiser on November 12, 1999. Colostrum is obtained from the first milk produced by cows to feed their newborn calves. In Adelaide it is produced by the Northfield laboratories and packed in powder form under the label Intact.

At the International Olympic Committee world congress in sports science in Sydney, Adelaide researcher Jon Buckley gave a paper detailing the benefits of colostrum for muscle performance in athletes. The supplement was used by elite women rowers in a controlled study where half the group took a whey protein placebo. The study found that colostrum users could keep on rowing longer and could tolerate higher levels of lactic acid in their muscles. This is of interest to CFS patients, since studies by another South Australian, Professor Garry Scroop, have shown higher levels of lactic acid in persons who suffer from the illness.

“The subjects who rowed could tolerate higher levels of lactic acid in their blood before they stopped,” Buckley told The Advertiser. “They became more tolerant of lactic acid accumulation because it improved their buffer capacity. It enabled them to get more energy from anaerobic means which is more important near the end of the race when you are really slogging it and accumulating a lot of lactic acid.”

A previous study in Finland suggested that consuming colostrum increased levels of the insulin factor hormone IGF-1, but the Adelaide study did not show higher levels.

Buckley told The Advertiser, “It could be [that] there is something in colostrum we don’t know about or it could be [that] the IGF-1 in the substance is acting locally in the gut and improving the function of the gut which then improves absorption of nutrients from food which results in better nourishment and then better performance.”

The Adelaide research will now move into the next stage, combining the blood of research subjects with antibodies to try and determine how colostrum affects muscle performance.

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