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Protein Antisecretory Factor
Protein Antisecretory Factor (Protein-AF) is an endogenous protein found in all cells studied in humans and animals. It plays an important role in regulating the transport of liquid and ions across cell membranes.
When excessive amounts of fluids are secreted, for example in the event of diarrhea, Protein-AF will regulate and normalize the fluid transport across the intestinal wall and subsequently stop diarrhea. Hence the name Protein Antisecretory Factor.
Protein-AF will also bring down pressure caused by excessive amounts of fluids playing an important role for example in connection with Ménière’s disease.
When adding Protein-AF to the body a positive effect can normally be seen within a few hours. When stimulating the body's own production of Protein-AF a positive response can normally be seen after 10-15 days.
The Swedish discovery of Protein-AF was the result of an antibiotic growth promoter ban in feed in 1986. A joint scientific project was initiated, combining expertise from veterinary medicine, microbiology, infectious diseases and immunology. Antibiotic growth promoters effectively prevented post-weaning diarrhea in piglets. The ban resulted in an increased prevalence of diarrhea which increased the deaths among piglets due to diarrhea. Protein-AF was discovered as a direct result of this research.
The first animal feed with Protein-AF was developed to stimulate the piglets’ own production of Protein-AF with the knowledge gained. The use of this new specialized feed proved very effective, resulting in a substantially lowered prevalence of diarrhea and significantly fewer deaths.
As the mechanisms involved are of a general physiological nature, researchers began to develop a similar cereal-based food for humans suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Ulcerative colitis and Crohn´s disease. This resulted in the first-ever approved food for special medical purposes (FSMP) in Sweden in 2000.
It has been shown that Protein-AF inhibits secretion caused, not only by cholera, but also by several other known toxins, i.e. E. coli, Campylobacter, Clostridium difficile and okadaic acid, the blue mussel toxin.