Colostrum is the first milk produced by female mammals at the end of gestation, just after delivery.
This thick fluid, rich in protein and antibodies, offers multiple benefits for the infant. Because of its unique properties and orangey-yellow colour, it is sometimes referred to as ‘golden milk’ or ‘liquid gold’.
This first milk is only available to human new-borns for 24-48 hours after birth. A mother usually produces 50 ml of colostrum during the first day of her baby’s life.
She will subsequently start to lactate and the colostrum will be replaced by ‘normal’ breast milk.
A powerful anti-infective, colostrum primarily protects the new-born from surrounding germs. In fact, around two-thirds of colostrum cells are white blood cells. (1) These leukocytes produce antibodies responsible for neutralising any viruses and bacteria the baby encounters.
These antibodies or actually immunoglobulins - IgG, IgM and IgA. They will be used for developing the baby’s as yet immature immune system. The type of antibodies present in colostrum depends, understandably, on the infectious agents to which the mother has been exposed during her life.
Colostrum is also ideally suited to the baby’s young digestive system and small stomach. Rich in ‘good’ Lactobacillus bifidus bacteria, it plays an active role in developing a healthy gut microbiota. It also improves digestive function as a whole. (2)
In addition, this ‘golden milk’ has antioxidant properties (3). And to top it all, it also contains:
Colostrum is thus a veritable treasure trove of nutrients and energy. It’s worth noting that normal breast milk contains more sugar, calories and fat, since it’s primarily designed to ensure the baby grows and gains weight.
To begin with, breastfeeding may cause the mother’s nipples to bleed. Fortunately, colostrum also has powerful healing properties, which are perfect for helping cracked nipples to heal. It’s no exaggeration to say that colostrum boasts an extraordinarily diverse range of powers ...
In cattle farming, colostrum is the first milk produced by cows after they have calved. This first milk from dairy cows is in fact particularly rich in protein (14% compared with 3.2 % in ordinary cow’s milk) and antibodies (6%).
This highly beneficial colostrum is also suitable for human ingestion. Indeed, in Eastern Europe, it has long been consumed in its natural state to promote strong immunity.
Nowadays, for reasons of health and practicality, bovine colostrum is normally dehydrated and converted into powder and mostly taken in supplement form.
Bovine colostrum supplements enable adults to rediscover the many benefits they enjoyed as new-born babies … but that’s not all.
Bovine colostrum is actually packed with:
Numerous scientific studies have shown that bovine colostrum is able to stimulate immune defences in humans. One such study in 2015 stated that humans benefit from the many antimicrobial and pro-immunity properties of this extraordinary health food (7).
In addition, several studies have shown that bovine colostrum supplementation helps to fight infections of the upper respiratory tract. (8-9) One Italian study showed that taking colostrum (for a period of two months) helped prevent flu and its complications more effectively than vaccination. (10)
Bovine immunoglobulins have also been shown to prevent infections of the gastrointestinal tract(11). Indeed, in their conclusion, the authors of one study encouraged the use of colostrum-based supplements to combat gastrointestinal problems(12).
Like its human counterpart, bovine colostrum is rich in nutrients and trace-elements. In particular, it contains:
Are you looking for a completely natural substance to help boost your immune defences? When it comes to bovine colostrum, we’d strongly recommend the supplement Colostrum. Standardised to 30% IgG immunoglobulins, this nutritional supplement’s high content of antibodies, vitamins and minerals is guaranteed to deliver satisfaction. You’ll find it invaluable for boosting your immunity.
If you want to focus on a particular component of colostrum, we’d steer you towards lactoferrin, one of the most active compounds in bovine colostrum. As mentioned previously, this compound is able to bind to iron and in so doing, it deprives bacteria and corrupted cells of a crucial source of energy. You’ll find this excellent anti-infective in the supplement Lactoferrin.
Both these supplements will also be effective at helping to stimulate your immune system.
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