What is colostrum?
Colostrum is the milky liquid produced by the mammals like humans, cows, elephants and dolphins etc during the first few days of postpartum. It is said that the colostrum contains high nutrient content and also contains high content of antibodies which may help them to fight against various bacteria or infections. It is also believed that colostrum is the nectar fed to their infants in order to keep them active and healthy.
The colostrum is produced in the initial days of the baby’s birth i.e, just before the production of breast milk begins in the mother. It is clear and quite yellow in shade when compared to the breast milk. It is also thick in consistency and low on fat and carbohydrates. Colostrum produced by mammals are considered as “liquid gold” due to its immense benefits and uses.
Benefits of colostrum
Colostrum is loaded with immunity
The young ones do not have a well developed immune system. Thus, it becomes essential to provide immunity for the newborn in order to adjust itself to the outer environmental temperature as well as infections. The colostrum is loaded with immunity that helps the newborn to fight against infections and bacterial or viral agents.
The consumption of colostrum motivates metabolic syndrome by healing liver damage, regulates the fatty acids level, increases the level of insulin and also regulates elevated glucose levels.
Acts as an antimicrobial agent
Researchers have found out that the colostrum is responsible for protecting the newborn from fatal or any kind of serious infections such as Salmonella, coli, acinetobacter, Pseudomonas aeruginosa etc. The antimicrobial peptides defends the gut and the lungs from bacterial rush as it emphasizes the surveillance as well as detects the pathogens. Some of the T-cells exhibits antimicrobial activity and attacks the pathogenic bacterial overgrowth.
It is a nutrient source
As the colostrum is produced by the mother in order to feed her young one, it has all the nutrients essential for her young ones whose immune system is not well developed. It also considered to be the most nutritional source for the young ones. May it be humans or animals but feeding the newborn with colostrum is one of the most essential way by which the newborn can be benefited with its benefits.
It reduces inflammation
The specific and essential compound in colostrum is lactoferrin. Lactoferrin is a protein that is critical in the metabolism of iron. It inhibits autoimmune responses that tend to trigger the inflammatory conditions. It also plays an important role in activating the T-cells as well as by activating the ability of enzymes to be functional. When the lactoferrin circulation decreases in the body, it increases the risk of cancer and autoimmune diseases. It also prevents the invasive agents from being pushed into the lymph nodes.
What is colostrum powder?
Colostrum powder is the powdered form of the colostrum being produced from liquid form. The cow colostrum powder is used as a supplement in order to relish its benefits. Usually, the cow colostrum powder is taken from cows which is popularly known as cow colostrum or bovine colostrum.
Benefits of colostrum powder
The cow colostrum powder benefits are based on the cellular responses in the body which supports the immune system. There are a few number of studies and researchers which includes the use of cow colostrum powder benefits the individual as supplement to improve metabolism, act as an antimicrobial and detoxifying agents etc to name a few. The benefits are mentioned here for you.
- Colostrum is rich in proline rich polypeptides (PRPs), that has immune regulatory properties which appears to restore the balance as well as cellular functions.
- PRP has a regulatory activity in cytokine induction and inhibits the overproduction of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide.
- The presence of lactoferrin in cow colostrum plays a vital role on the development of inflammation. This protein plays a crucial role to inhibit autoimmune responses that trigger inflammation.
Allergies or infections
- Bovine IgG is functionally active throughout the intestinal tract that helps to prevent gastrointestinal tract infections and lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation.
- IgG present in cow colostrum binds to human pathogens and allergens, by neutralizing the infection and limiting gastrointestinal inflammation.
- Researchers theorize the immunoglobulins that may be a promising approach to support immune function and reduces the allergic reactions.
- Colostrum growth factors heals and prevents the damage to the gastrointestinal lining by maintaining tight junctions between the cells.
- Cow Colostrum helps to reduce symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.
- The antibodies and lactoferrin helps to maintain a healthy microbiome which is largely responsible for your overall health and wellness.
- Lactoferrin also acts as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of specific good bacteria.
- The combination of inhibiting autoimmune responses, reducing inflammation in the gut and reducing infections is part of the process.
- Bovine colostrum activates the production of GcMAF, that is responsible for repairing of tissue damage and prevention of the growth and spread of cancer.
- There are various studies and researchers which show that bovine colostrum are prefered by athletes to improve body mass as well as exercise performance.
- The cow colostrum milk powder also helps them to reduce oxidant-induced damage that benefits the skeletal muscle tissue at times.
- Bovine colostrum powder benefits as it aids tissue repair in the skin due to its growth factors.
- It also acts as a healing property and heals burns, cuts or surgical wounds.
- It also helps to improve skin health with its benefits like – Improve skin elasticity, accelerates production of human growth hormone, limits skin inflammation and redness, stimulates collagen production, minimizes wrinkles and other signs of aging, eliminates dangerous skin microbes.
Though there are a few studies and researchers, there are more researchers and studies to be conducted at a larger rate.
Dosage of bovine colostrum
You can start with ¼ th teaspoon of bovine colostrum and further increase the quantity to 1 teaspoon. Whereas, for an athlete it said to take about 20-60 gms.
The bovine colostrums or the cow colostrum are available in powdered form, capsules, frozen form and gel caps as well.
Not effective for?
The bovine colostrum powder is not beneficial and effective for those with lactose intolerance. As the bovine colostrum powder also contains lactose in it, the individual may suffer with adverse effects.
Bovine colostrum: an emerging nutraceutical
Nutraceutical, a term combining the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceuticals”, is a food or food product that provides health benefits as an adjuvant or alternative therapy, including the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases in children and adults. There is emerging evidence that bovine colostrum (BC) may be one of the promising nutraceuticals which can prevent or mitigate various diseases in newborns and adults. Immunity-related disorders are one of the leading causes of mortality in the world. BC is rich in immunity, growth and antimicrobial factors, which promote tissue growth and the maturation of digestive tract and immune function in neonatal animals and humans. The immunoglobulins and lactoferrin present in cow colostrum are known to build natural immunity in newborns which helps to reduce the mortality rate in this population. Also, the side-effect profile of colostrum proteins and possible lactose intolerance is relatively less in comparison with milk. In general, BC is considered safe and well tolerated. Since colostrum has several important nutritional constituents, well-designed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies with colostrum products should be conducted to widen its therapeutic use. The objectives of this review are to create awareness about the nutraceutical properties of colostrum and to discuss the various ongoing alternative treatments of colostrum and its active ingredients as well as to address colostrum future nutraceutical and therapeutic implications in humans.
The benefits of bovine colostrum may seem to be as beneficial as the human colostrum, to adults. But the human colostrum is the one much more effective to the humans than any other colostrum.
Every individual’s diet differs from the other. All kinds of diet can not benefit an individual everytime. You must understand your body’s requirements and choose your diet plan wisely. Any supplement will not benefit you as well as your body until and unless you maintain a good and healthy diet plan. When you embrace a healthy diet you can surely relish the benefits of consuming the bovine colostrum powder benefits as a supplement.
Taking the bovine colostrum as a supplement is completely your choice. But pregnant women and lactating women can avoid taking it. If not, consult your doctor before hand. As mentioned above that there are more number of studies to be done and prove its benefits officially. You can take suggestions from your doctor before you start taking it as a supplement on a daily basis. It is better you prefer taking colostrum powder from a A2 grass fed cow as the quality of the colostrum also depends on the environment in which the cow has been growing.