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Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid produced from the mother's mammary glands during the first 72 hours after birth. Colostrum provides life-supporting immune and growth factors that insure the health and vitality of the newborn.
Colostrum is the first milk your breasts produce in the early days of breastfeeding. This special milk is low in fat, and high in carbohydrates, protein, and antibodies to help keep your baby healthy. It is extremely easy to digest, and is therefore the perfect first food for your baby. It is low in volume but high in concentrated nutrition for the newborn. Colostrum has a laxative effect on the baby, helping him pass his early stools, which aids in the excretion of excess bilirubin and helps prevent jaundice.
Your colostrum provides not only perfect nutrition tailored to the needs of your newborn, but also large amounts of living cells which will defend your baby against many harmful agents. The concentration of immune factors is much higher in colostrum than in mature milk.
Colostrum is a rich source of immune enhancing globulin protein and hormonal precursor. It is full of immune-enhancing antibodies and essential growth factors to insure health and vitality for adults and children.
Colostrum can powerfully support the immune system, accelerate healing of all types of injuries, burn fat and build lean Muscle Enhancement, increasevitality and stamina, create an anti-aging effect.
Research indicates that Colostrum can help:
Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid produced from the mother's mammary glands during the first few days after birth. Bovine colostrum is derived from cows. Colostrum is a rich source of antibodies, growth factors and nutrients for the suckling neonate and may provide passive immunity to the newborn against various infectious microorganisms, particularly those that affect the gastrointestinal tract. It may also have other health benefits.
The protein content of bovine colostrum is three to four times higher—up to 150 grams per liter compared to 30 to 40 grams per liter—than it is in regular cow's milk.
The greater part of this protein is comprised of whey proteins (see Whey Proteins). Immunoglobulins, mainly IgG, make up about 75% of the whey proteins. Other substances found in bovine colostrum include casein, lactoferrin, alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, and the growth factors insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF-2), transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) and epidermal growth factor (EGF). In addition, bovine colostrum contains vitamins, minerals, lipids and lactose. Bovine colostrum may also contain colostrinin, also known as proline-rich polypeptide (PRP), a substance found in ovine (sheep) colostrum.
Bovine colostrum is marketed in several forms. Bovine colostrum prepared by microfiltration is mainly composed of whey proteins and their associated immunoglobulins and the growth factors IGF-1, IGF-2, TGFbeta and EGF.
Substances such as lactose, fats, casein and lactalbumin are significantly reduced in microfiltered bovine colostrum. Hyperimmune bovine colostrum is rich in immunoglobulins of the IgG type, which are protective against such infectious microorganisms as Cryptosporidium parvum (a major cause of AIDS-associated diarrhea), diarrheogenic Escherichia coli strains, Shigella flexneri, Clostridium difficile, and rotavirus, the most common cause of severe diarrhea in young children.
Hyperimmune bovine colostrum is prepared from cows previously immunized with specific antigens. Hyperimmune bovine colostrum IgG concentrate is an orphan drug for the treatment of diarrhea in AIDS patients caused by infection with Cryptosporidium parvum.
ACTIONS AND PHARMACOLOGY
Bovine colostrum may have immunostimulatory and antimicrobial actions. It is reputed to have ergogenic activity as well.
MECHANISM OF ACTION
Hyperimmune bovine colostrum may have antimicrobial activity based on the ability of specific immunoglobulins of the IgG type to react with bacterial, viral and other microbiological antigens in the gut. Bovine colostrum contains a few immunostimulatory substances, including lactoferrin. It may also contain colostrinin or proline-rich polypeptide (PRP), another possible immunomodulatory substance. The combination of specific, as well as nonspecific, IgGs and such immunomodulatory factors as lactoferrin and PRP may afford general antimicrobial protection of the gastrointestinal tract.
Bovine colostrum's putative exercise-performance-enhancment is mainly attributed to such growth factors as IGF-1.
The pharmacokinetics of bovine colostrum, particularly with regard to the immunoglobulins, is unclear. It would be expected that immunoglobulins found in bovine colostrum would be rapidly inactivated by stomach acid and proteolytic action in the small intestine. Enteric coating would protect the proteins from acid in the stomach but not from proteolytic activity in the small intestine. However, following ingestion of bovine colostrum, some immunoglobulins are found to be excreted intact in the feces after a few days. This suggests that some immunoglobulins may be more resistant to degradation in the gut.
Growth factors and other peptides and proteins in bovine colostrum are most likely degraded by proteolytic enzymes and absorbed, distributed and metabolized in the same fashion as similar dietary substances.
INDICATIONS AND USAGE
Claims made for bovine colostrum are mostly unsubstantiated. Some preparations may have some antimicrobial effects. There is no credible evidence to support claims that bovine colostrum burns fat, builds muscle, speeds healing of injuries, regulates blood sugars, improves mood and fights depression or that it has anti-cancer effects.
Well-designed, controlled clinical trials of bovine colostrum are largely lacking. A few small, usually uncontrolled or poorly controlled human studies have suggested that some components of some bovine colostrum preparations have significant antimicrobial activity. Immunoglobulins in colostrum derived from cows immunized against particular pathogens may help protect against those specific pathogens in some instances, but bovine colostrum supplements may vary widely in terms of specific constituents.
A bovine colostrum product derived from cows immunized against Candida albicans was reported to be effective in reducing levels of this fungal pathogen in severely immunocompromised patients. Similarly, AIDS patients with chronic Cryptosporidium parvum diarrhea were said to be helped by a formulation of concentrated bovine immunoglobulins given in dosages up to 40 grams daily.
Some bovine colostrum preparations pooled from many different cows may confer broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, some animal research suggests. Better, designed, controlled clinical testing is needed to determine the safety and efficacy of bovine colostrum supplements.
CONTRAINDICATIONS, PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS CONTRAINDICATIONS
Bovine colostrum is contraindicated in those with hypersensitivity to any component of bovine colostrum-containing products.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid bovine colostrum supplements.
Bovine colostrum contains insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 levels are elevated in prostate, colorectal and lung cancer. Recent studies have found that IGF-1 levels correlate with risk of prostate cancer and colorectal cancer in men, premenopausal breast cancer in women and lung cancer in both men and women. Those with these types of cancer and those at risk for these cancers should exercise caution in the use of bovine colostrum supplements. It is unlikely that the amount of IGF-1 in bovine colostrum would be a problem, but caution should still be exercised.
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