Colostrum is a milk like substance secreted by the mammary glands of all mammals during their late pregnancy. It is also known as beestings or bisnings, colloquially. It is yellowish in color and rich in nutrients, containing various growth factors as well as over 37 different substances that provide immunity to the newborn.
The nutritious milk like substance is also obtained from cattle which is considered to be effective for human beings as well. The molecular structure of the substance does not vary greatly from mammal to mammal and this fact has created a market for bovine colostrum supplements which are rich in protein and low in fat content. They are also believed to contain cytokins which are essential for cellular growth. Sports persons and body builders regularly use it to augment their diets. The supplements are also considered to be beneficial for aged individuals and children alike, however, clinical evidence to back up the claims made by the supplement producing companies are limited.
The supplements are available in the form of chewable pills, powders, tablets, and capsules. The powdered form can be directly sprinkled on irritable and itchy skin and on the inflamed gums to combat the infection successfully. It is frequently mixed with gargle-water in order to heal sore throats.
Bovine colostrums are the only source of commercially available supplements, although, there are plans to commercialize the first milk available from goats as well.
History of Colostrum Use
The first milk was utilized for treating a number of disorders and used for promoting general well being from the ancient period. The ancient Indian medical scripture, Ayurveda recommends consuming it for preventing infections.
Spolverini advised using colostrums in 1920 by adding it to powdered infant milk in order to protect the newborns against diseases common to bovines and human beings.
Albert Sabin first isolated the anti-polio antibody from bovine colostrum before developing the polio vaccine.
- Hyper-immunized colostrums was first created in 1963 by Campbell and Peterson.
Different Types for Maximizing Colostrum Benefits
Bovine- The substance is isolated from grass fed cows and contains numerous immunoglobulins, which have proved to be effective against the human pathogens. They are also used by sportspersons for increasing muscle strength. It was the primary substance utilized for preventing immunity before the use of antibiotics became wide spread.
Hyperimmune Variety- This form was created by immunizing the cattle with a specific type of antigen before it gave birth. The first milk collected from the cow had antibodies that could prevent specific diseases. However, the effectiveness of this kind of colostrum remains controversial.
- Proline-Rich Polypeptides (PRP)- Individual peptides with immune boosting capabilities have been isolated from the colostrums and are mentioned by their generic names which include CLN, Colostrinin, Transfer-factor, and PRP. They are believed to be effective against tuberculosis, Candida infections, and asthma apart from other autoimmune diseases.
- The fat and protein ratio of the substance helps in improving the body fat to muscular tissue ratio.
- It boosts the immune system of the body and helps in preventing infections.
- It can destroy all types of pathogen including bacteria, viruses and fungi.
- It is highly effective as a Candida cleanse.
- It can enhance the mood and counteract depression.
- It is used to prevent food allergies.
- It has a rejuvenating effect on the skin tissue.
- It can help to stabilize the blood glucose levels.
- It helps the intestinal flora to flourish thereby preventing gastro-intestinal diseases.
- It can heal cuts, abrasions, and wounds successfully.
- It can promote the development of lean tissue making it an ideal weight loss product.
- It is highly effective in increasing general stamina and the capacity for endurance.
Colostrum Side Effects
The supplements are available in various forms but do not vary widely in composition. The bovine variety is generally thought to be beneficial for human beings and there have been no serious side effects associated with it. However, it is advisable to take precautions in certain cases. They are:-
Allergies- Bovine colostrums can trigger cow milk allergy symptoms in patients who are prone to it. Lactose intolerant patients can, however, take the supplements without experiencing any ill effects.
Pregnancy & Lactation- There has been no clinical evidence of the first milk being harmful during pregnancy. It is advisable to take professional medical advice in such cases.
Influenza- Transfer- factor derived from colostrum molecules can result in fever and body aches that closely mimic influenza like symptoms.
- Pain- Transfer-factor injections often cause pain and inflammation at the site of the injection.
There can be no overdosing with Colostrum as it is a food and not a medicine.