Microbiome-related gut issues can be tricky to treat. (Check out our last blog, “Is My Microbiome Imbalanced,” to learn more). Are antibiotics the solution? What about addressing vitamin deficiencies or trying digestive enzymes? Maybe trying a new diet is the key. Sound familiar? The list can go on and on. 

All of these strategies can be helpful. Sometimes, they can make a big difference. But, you might wonder – are there any bigger guns? Such as a product that removes any bad actors in the microbiome while supporting the beneficial microbes you already have?

Meet your microbiome’s new best friend: IgY Max. Today, we’ll take a look at the results of an IgY Antibodies Study on IgY Max.

Recap: What are IgY Antibodies?

Antibodies are components of animals’ immune systems that bind to and help to kill invaders. 

For example, after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, humans develop antibodies specialized to kill COVID-19. That way, the next time they are exposed to the virus, their immune system can defend the body from it more easily. 

IgY antibodies are a specific type of antibody that can be used to help kill specific pathogens living in the human gut

But what exactly are they? Hang in there with us through a short bit of science to find out how IgY antibodies are made:

IgY technology harnesses natural passive immunity processes to develop antibodies for human use. Passive immunity is the transfer of antibodies from one organism to another. This transfer occurs naturally in mammals through breastfeeding. Avian organisms such as chickens transmit antibodies to their young through the yolks of their eggs. 

This transfer fortifies the offspring’s immune systems with already responsive antibodies, which the mother has developed in response to her prior exposure to pathogens.

For example, if a mother chicken gets sick with the avian flu, she will develop antibodies to it and pass them on to her offspring through the yolks of her eggs. 

Scientists can incorporate naturally-made antibodies of their choosing into medications or supplements by vaccinating mother hens with pathogens of choice. These antibodies can be used to kill pathogens in humans. Chicken antibodies, called IgY, work just as well in humans as in chickens.

After allowing the hens time to produce and transmit antibodies in their yolks, scientists extract them from the eggs. After this extraction procedure, the antibodies are ready for use as a medication or supplement. The only ingredient is, well, egg yolk (without the shell)!

Doctors have been enhancing immune responses through artificial passive immunity for decades. IgY antibodies are used in antivenom medications, diagnostic procedures, pediatric norovirus medication, and more. These antibodies have been studied for their use in other applications, such as HIV-induced cachexia, cystic fibrosis, and fibromyalgia. 

IgY Max: IgY Antibodies for Dysbiosis

Scientists at IgY nutrition realized that IgY antibodies could be used to address dysbiosis by killing well-known bad actors in gut microbiomes. So, they created IgY Max. 

IgY Max is a specifically immunized egg-based supplement containing antigen-specific antibodies that target and neutralize 29 dysbiotic pathogens commonly found in the human gut microbiome, including Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella, various strains of Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, and more. 

In non-science speak: IgY Max is a supplement (made of only egg yolk) containing antibodies that kill off pathogens living in the gut. These pathogens could contribute to your digestive symptoms if you have them. 

Upon consumption, IgY Max antibodies exert their anti-pathogenic activity

throughout the entire length of the gastrointestinal tract. They have a high pathogen-antibody affinity and inhibit bacterial adhesion, suppress colonization, and neutralize each targeted pathogen thoroughly. Neutralized pathogens are expelled from the gut through the stool (your poop!).

The product’s elimination of pathogens allows beneficial microbes to flourish, which may help to restore microbial diversity to the microbiome and rebalance it. This positive shift in microbiome composition reduces dysbiotic pathogens’ initiation of gastrointestinal damage and amplifies healthy flora’s conferral of gastrointestinal benefits.

What the IgY Antibodies Study Says

As part of IgY Nutrition’s ongoing commitment to research, an open-label pilot study was recently conducted to explore the effects of eight weeks of IgY Max supplementation on microbial diversity and on biomarkers of gut wall integrity in subjects reporting mild to moderate GI complaints.

The IgY antibodies study, titled “IgY 26: A Powerful Tool in Gut-Based Inflammatory Conditions,” measured subjects’ counts of beneficial flora and markers of gut permeability, such as zonulin, DAO, and histamine, before and after the eight-week consumption period. 

Zonulin is a regulator of intestinal permeability and can therefore be a biomarker of impaired gut barrier function. Histamine, produced by mucosal mast cells, acts as a proinflammatory mediator in the intestine and modulates intestinal permeability. DAO, diamine oxidase, is the enzyme made by the microvilli that degrades histamine. Low levels of DAO and elevated levels of histamine have been implicated in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Improvement of these markers is associated with improved GI function, intestinal wall integrity, and levels of inflammation.

The study found that “IgY 26, given to subjects, resulted in improvement of markers of gut distress such as zonulin, DAO, and histamine… beneficial flora were tracked. When the quantitative value of the flora was summed, there was an increase overall.” In addition to the objective results, subjects also had improved quality of life measures and reported noticing a decrease in gas and bloating as well as feeling more energized.

Though the study is small, the positive results are promising. More data needs to be collected on IgY Max, but one thing is certain: it is safe. That’s because its only ingredient is eggs. The worst thing that could happen if you take IgY Max is that it doesn’t work. But since it’s safe, there’s no harm in giving it a try. So if you’re looking for a supplement that may help you feel better, IgY Max is worth a shot.

Have you tried IgY Max for your digestive symptoms? Let us know in the comments on Instagram @igynutrition. See you next time!