The application of ostrich antibodies to human health and well-being is based on the work of Dr. Yasuhiro Tsukamoto. He is currently Dean of the Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences at Kyoto Prefectural University in Japan, and will become President of the University in April, 2020. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Tsukamoto and his team have focused on the development of antibodies from ostrich eggs against various pathogens, allergens, other substances. An example is OstriGen’s new product, OstriGrow, which employs a combination of four antibodies to combat male and female pattern baldness.
Over its 23 million years as a species, the ostrich has developed the most powerful immune system on the planet. Ostriches react to a wider range of antigens and produce a meaningful level of antibodies (IgY) in their blood within two weeks of antigen immunization. Within 4 to 6 weeks of immunization, the IgY appears the yolk of their eggs. A hen ostrich will produce up to 4 grams of IgY per egg, so over her 55 year productive lifetime, she will produce an average of 22 kilograms of antibodies.
Another important property of ostrich IgY is that it is essentially impervious to digestive acids and enzymes, opening up exciting possibilities for these antibodies to be used orally in food supplements and in treatment of enteric disease.
Because of the broad spectrum of potential disease targets for ostrich antibodies, OstriGen is committed to teaming with physicians and scientists that have the greatest knowledge of the pathology of these diseases.
The hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and the catalyst 5α-reductase play very important roles in the hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Ostrich antibodies against DHT and 5α-reductase have been produced and combined with antibodies against harmful skin bacteria to restore normal hair growth in AGA cases.
Two studies have been performed with both male and female participants. A simple-to-use alcohol-based formulation achieved excellent results, and OstriGen is proceeding to product development. Learn more at the OstriGrow web site.
Ostrich antibodies against five digestive enzymes have been tested and shown to reduce the digestion of sugar, starches, and fats that are eaten. Weight loss, along with reductions in blood sugar and triglycerides, has been demonstrated.
Human testing is underway to optimize the formulation of a dietary supplement.
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University has provided us with two experimental cholera vaccines, and we have produced ostrich antibodies against cholera bacteria.
The antibodies have been tested successfully with mice, and the mechanism of action of the antibodies has been determined to be the reduction of the motility of the bacteria. This prevents the production of the toxin which causes the disease.
The next step will be human studies.
Zonulin (haptoglobin 2 precursor) is a protein that is unique to humans. It modulates the permeability of the tight junctions of the cell walls of the digestive tract. It plays a role in the onset of autoimmune diseases like celiac disease and type 1 diabetes.
We are working with Dr. Alessio Fasano, the discoverer of zonulin, and his team at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Ostrich antibodies to zonulin have been produced and have been tested successfully at MGH. The antibodies are currently being evaluated for inclusion in a zonulin diagnostic.