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10 Health Benefits of Proline Rich Polypeptides (PRP)

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Reviewed by Genius Labs Science Team | Last updated:
Jonathan Ritter
Medically reviewed by
Jonathan Ritter, PharmD, PhD (Pharmacology) | Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Reviewed by Genius Labs Science Team | Last updated:

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Proline Rich Polypeptides (PRP)

Proline-Rich Polypeptides (PRPs) are important parts of the immune and nervous systems. They are crucial for the development of newborns and are equally beneficial for the health of the elderly. In this article, we will explore 10 key, scientific reasons why PRPs are an important addition to your supplement toolkit.

What are Proline-Rich Polypeptides?

Proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs), also known as Colostrinin, are derived from Colostrum – the milk given to a newborn mammal as its first nourishment [1].

PRPs are not species-specific i.e PRPs derived from cow milk works on all mammals [2].

Since the immune system of a newborn is not fully developed, PRPs play an important role in immunity; showing antiviral, antibacterial, anti-tumor, and immunoregulatory activity [1].

PRPs could be important, not only for the development of the immune and nervous systems of newborns but also in improving the health status of elderly persons [1].

As we will discuss, PRPs influence a wide variety of biological functions, such as the regulation of cell and tissue processes and the interactions of signal and regulatory proteins [1]. They have also been shown to improve cognitive activity and behavior of old rats, humans, and chickens [1].

Snapshot

PROs

  • Improves brain function and memory
  • Mitigates food sensitivities by binding to tannins
  • Great immune system booster
  • Powerful anti-viral properties
  • Limits allergies
  • Protects the brain from toxins
  • Has anti-tumor properties

CONs

  • Can cause mild insomnia and anxiety
  • Colostrum may cause a reaction in some with dairy intolerance
  • Not recommended for pregnant women

Benefits of Proline-Rich Polypeptides (PRPs)

1) Regulate the Immune System

PRPs encourage the growth of white blood cells before stimulating the white blood cells to become either helper T-cells or suppressor T-cells [3, 4].

  • Helper T-cells activate B-cells, another part of the immune system that produces antibodies to fight infections [5].
  • Helper T-cells also help produce memory T-cells, which help the immune system react quickly when new infections occur.
  • Suppressor T-cells turn off the immune response to avoid damage to healthy tissue [6].

Administration of PRP to AIDS sufferers was effective at returning T-cell (CD4+) count to normal or relatively normal levels. Within just a couple of days, the patient’s symptoms (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea) had decreased dramatically [7].

PRPs promote appropriate responses to microbial invaders, toxins or allergens by regulating the immune system and natural killer cell activity [8].

PRPs behave like hormones in the thymus gland by stimulating young lymphocytes to grow into either helper T-cells or suppressor T-cells, depending on what is needed [9].

The net immune system effect of PRPs depend on the actual state of the animals studied. But broadly speaking, PRPs seem to restore the balance in cellular immune functions [10].

2) Regulate Inflammation

Chronic inflammation that we might get from food intolerance or exposure to constant stress is a bad thing. However, sometimes inflammation is a healthy response – as is the case with an infection.

PRPs can stimulate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, like TNF-a and Interferon-gamma (Th1 cytokine), in white blood cells, peritoneal cells, and placental and amniotic membranes [11, 12, 13].

PRP can increase the production of IL-6 and IL-10 in blood cell cultures [14].

PRP’s raise the permeability of blood vessels in the skin in order to allow the passage of blood cells and cytokines into the infected area in which they are needed – this is a vital step in the inflammatory response [15].

PRPs are able to stimulate the production of inflammatory cytokines by peripheral blood cells. PRPs will stimulate different cytokines depending on whether the immune system is underactive or overactive.

PRPs decrease the severity of inflammatory diseases by altering genetic expression [16].

In a study on Alzheimer’s patients, PRPs defended against oxidative stress and lowered the expression of inflammatory chemokines and cytokines – thereby interrupting the processes that precede Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

3) Good for Cognition and Mood

One study discovered that PRPs had beneficial effects on the cognitive functioning of older rats [10].

While a different study found them to be effective in enhancing pro-cognitive functions in animal models and Alzheimer patients [17].

PRPs have also shown the ability to improve mood and cognitive abilities in humans [10].

They delayed the extinction of spatial memory and enhanced long-term memory in rats [17].

Chicks who had PRP-rich Colostrum injected into a part of their brain responsible for learning showed a marked improvement in memory function [18].

PRPs could also prevent or decrease the symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, sporadic ALS, epilepsy and post-stroke neurodegeneration [16].

4) Antiviral and May Treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

PRPs have been experimentally shown to provide immunity against several viruses, including:

Of particular note is PRPs ability to inhibit the replication of the Epstein-Barr virus and the human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) – both of which have been linked with autoimmune conditions and chronic fatigue syndrome [26, 27].

5) May Prevent Age-related Loss of Brain Function

Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by age-related changes in the immune system [1]. A hallmark of the disease is the formation of amyloid plaques in the patient’s brain. PRPs have been shown to prevent the formation of these destructive brain plaques [17, 28].

One study showed that orally administered tablets containing PRP prevented overproduction of nitric oxide and improved the outcome of patients with Alzheimer’s disease [10].

Another study of 105 individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s showed that 40% of participants treated with PRPs stabilized or improved [29].

One study gave PRPs to rats. The aged rats showed improved spatial learning. The young rats (<3 months) did not show the same benefits suggesting that PRPs are most beneficial for the elderly brain [30].

6) May Prevent Tumors

PRPs Stimulate the activity of natural killer cells, the cells that actually attack and kill pathogens, as well as cancerous cells [31].

They also stimulate the production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), which causes cell death and prevents the formation of tumors [32].

7) Prevent Cellular Damage & Slow Aging

PRP acts as an antioxidant [33, 34].

When studied in mice, PRPs lowered reactive oxygen species (ROS), which cause cellular stress and damage [17].

PRPs reduce the chance of random mutations and mutations caused by ROS and toxins [35].

PRPs are important for suppressing uncontrolled activation of cells [1, 17].

One study found that PRPs can prevent mitochondrial dysfunction and limit brain cell death [29].

When introduced to a cellular model, PRPs increased lifespan, suggesting that they may delay the development of cellular aging for an organism [36].

8) Prevent Allergic Responses

PRPs decreased the immune response, airway constriction, mucus production and hypersensitivity caused by pollen and dust mites.

9) Protect Against Tannins

I believe tannins are second to lectins when it comes to harmful food agents that contribute to autoimmunity.

Tannins are found in many plant foods and are considered anti-nutritional because they can cause problems with digestion and absorption of nutrients [37].

Proline-rich polypeptides provide protection against dietary tannins [38].

10) Can Protect the Brain Against Toxins

One experiment showed that PRPs possessed neuroprotective properties in mice with aluminum toxicity or neuronal damage from venom and toxins [39].

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Only one study reported any adverse side effects of PRP supplementation. These included very mild anxiety, excessive talkativeness, and insomnia that only lasted for 3 to 4 days [17].

During pregnancy, the mother’s immune system is in a very delicate balance. She shifts to TH2 dominance to stop her immune system from overreacting to the unfamiliar DNA of the child growing inside her. Because PRPs have such a dramatic impact on the immune system I recommend that pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant should avoid PRP products, or at least ask their doctor first.

Buy Proline-Rich Polypeptide Supplements

One of the best ways to get PRP is by taking whole colostrum products.

Want More Targeted Ways to Combat Inflammation?

If you’re interested in natural and more targeted ways of lowering your inflammation, we at SelfHacked recommend checking out this inflammation wellness report. It gives genetic-based diet, lifestyle and supplement tips that can help reduce inflammation levels. The recommendations are personalized based on your genes.

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About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen won the genetic lottery of bad genes. As a kid, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, anxiety, depression, and other issues that were poorly understood in both conventional and alternative medicine.Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a journey of self-experimentation and self-learning to improve his health--something that has since become known as “biohacking”. With thousands of experiments and pubmed articles under his belt, Joe founded SelfHacked, the resource that was missing when he needed it. SelfHacked now gets millions of monthly readers.Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is the CEO of SelfHacked, SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer.His mission is to help people gain access to the most up-to-date, unbiased, and science-based ways to optimize their health.
Joe has been studying health sciences for 17 years and has read over 30,000 PubMed articles. He's given consultations to over 1000 people who have sought his health advice. After completing the pre-med requirements at university, he founded SelfHacked because he wanted to make a big impact in improving global health. He's written hundreds of science posts, multiple books on improving health, and speaks at various health conferences. He's keen on building a brain-trust of top scientists who will improve the level of accuracy of health content on the web. He's also founded SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer, popular genetic and lab software tools to improve health.

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