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?
PRPs are not species-specific i.e PRPs derived from cow milk works on all mammals .
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 .
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 .
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 . They have also been shown to improve cognitive activity and behavior of old rats, humans, and chickens .
- 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
- 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
- Helper T-cells activate B-cells, another part of the immune system that produces antibodies to fight infections .
- 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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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’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 .
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 .
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 .
While a different study found them to be effective in enhancing pro-cognitive functions in animal models and Alzheimer patients .
PRPs have also shown the ability to improve mood and cognitive abilities in humans .
They delayed the extinction of spatial memory and enhanced long-term memory in rats .
Chicks who had PRP-rich Colostrum injected into a part of their brain responsible for learning showed a marked improvement in memory function .
PRPs could also prevent or decrease the symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, sporadic ALS, epilepsy and post-stroke neurodegeneration .
PRPs have been experimentally shown to provide immunity against several viruses, including:
- Herpes virus [19, 20, 21]
- Epstein-Barr virus 
- HIV 
- Measles 
- Vesicular stomatitis virus 
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].
Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by age-related changes in the immune system . 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 .
Another study of 105 individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s showed that 40% of participants treated with PRPs stabilized or improved .
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 .
6) May Prevent Tumors
7) Prevent Cellular Damage & Slow Aging
PRPs reduce the chance of random mutations and mutations caused by ROS and toxins .
One study found that PRPs can prevent mitochondrial dysfunction and limit brain cell death .
When introduced to a cellular model, PRPs increased lifespan, suggesting that they may delay the development of cellular aging for an organism .
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 .
Proline-rich polypeptides provide protection against dietary tannins .
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 .
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 .
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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