Bovine colostrum is the milk mammals produce after giving birth of a baby. Production begins a few weeks before delivery while the pregnant female’s mammary glands start to create it in tiny amounts. Colostrum is loaded with antibodies and various other immune boosting co-factors that protect a newly born mammal from the infection.
Like breast milk, colostrum indications a degree of flexibility to the needs of the baby and can even change over time. Note, but, that “time” is short when it comes to colostrum. Cows and humans produce it for only two to three days!
For newly born, colostrum is a perfect superfood. Research and studies show it has all kinds of benefits that no substitute can match. It holds a host of beneficial enzymes, antibodies, and growth factors made explicitly for the baby. Lactoferrin, a multi-functional protein that is an essential component of the human immune system. It is highly antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal, but quickly destroyed by heat.
Interestingly, some of these beneficial stuffs do not continue to look in mammalian milk in the rest of lactation. For this reason, some individuals consider colostrum as a superfood supplement
However, most best colostrum on the market is from cows, some companies and farms also deliver goat colostrum. Just like with fluid and several other milk products, some individuals tolerate dairy from certain animals better than others.
If you do not do well on bovine milk either from A1 or A2 cows, then try to find goat milk based supplements.
Many feel that Fresh Colostrum is Perfect
Given the fragile nature of the most beneficial components of colostrum, if it is somewhat you want to try, know that fresh and raw is perfect. But be ready to pay for it, fresh colostrum is costly! Also, fresh colostrum is very hard to source and only available at some certain times of the year.
Cows do not make much of it, and they do not make it for long. Good and experienced farmers know that they can only take a litlle amount away from the calves without harming them. Fresh frozen is also a very good option if you have a condition that something like colostrum might help.
Any way, almost all types of quality colostrum fresh, frozen, dried, and powdered all are expensive. Expect high-quality supplements to set you back $50 to 100 per pound.
What Conditions Can Colostrum Benefit?
The study that colostrum may be helpful for resolving some circumstances. One that appears especially promising is helping the digestive tract get back on track, say after antibiotics or other disruptive events. This includes dealing with diarrhea and other gastrointestinal distress.
However, the research is mixed on colostrum and supplements made from it. The small research provide contradictory outcomes and marginal benefits.
Note that numerous companies claim that studies support their health claims for colostrum, but when you go look for any supporting studies, they do not seem to be saying what the companies think they are saying! This is a most common pitfall to watch out for in supplement marketing material.
From a medical perspective, respected practitioners such as Chris Kresser also report underwhelming results.
Drawbacks of Colostrum Supplementation
Some scientists raise legal concerns about some components of colostrum. The substances that are beneficial for newly borns might be problematic for older children and adults.
The research in this area is meagre, but some scientists point out that a digestive system neutralizes a lot of the fast growth factors and various other beneficial substances present in colostrum before they are absorbed. Possibly this is why Mother Nature wisely provides this food for a short period and only for newborn mammals with immature digestive systems.
Adults with compromised immune or digestive function, the same individuals who would most benefit from colostrum, also face the highest possible risk. This might indicate why many researchers have seen poor medical consequences with colostrum for most patients. The useful compounds never make into the small intestine where they can be absorbed into our bodies.