Why is colostrum so important?
Colostrum is a milk secreted during the first 3 days after calving, the first mammary secretion. Previous studies showed colostrums has a critical role in post-neonatal health as an immune booster. In cows, it is called bovine colostrum. Its properties are highly beneficial for health, growth, development and immune system functions. Bovine colostrum is nearly identical to human colostrum and can benefit growth and immunity, muscle mass development and bone and joint health in children and adults of all ages.
Recent research has focused on the many beneficial factors in colostrum and milk of a number of species, which promote both intestinal protection and development and the development of other neonatal tissues. Bovine colostrum has been found to be richer in certain factors than milk. In addition to nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fat, vitamin and minerals, bovine colostrum contains various bioactive components such as growth and anti-microbial factors. Bovine colostrums has much higher amounts in immunoglobulins, growth factors, cytokines and nucleotides than are found in milk. Bovine colostrums have oligosaccharides, antimicrobials and immune-regulating factors.
Gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, particularly in persons with immune-deficiency syndromes or those who have been on heavy antibiotic regimens can benefit from consuming Colostrum. Anti-microbial factors in bovine colostrum include immuoglobulins, lactoferrin, lysozyme, and lactoperoxide. The ancient Egyptians reportedly used colostrums to treat eye infection; in more recent times, hyperimmune forms of colostrums and specific preparations of colostral immunoglobulins have been used to treat viral infections and parasitic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
Bovine colostrum is also an extremely important source of immunoglobulins; the concentrations of IgG, IgM and IgA are 100-fold higher than in normal milk. Bovine colostrum have been used as a health food supplement for humans. It improves diarrhea in patients suffering from immunodeficiency syndromes, non-anti-inflammatory steroidal drugs-induced inflammatory colitis and acutephase-responses to surgery.
A recent study had shown amyloid A3 was consistently present in equine colostrum and early milk and may have protective effects in the neonatal intestine. The finding recognizes that colostrum contains growth factors that can stimulate protein synthesis and growth in the skeletal muscle of neonatal animal. Colostrum also contains natural anabolic agents such as insulin-like growth factors which have been found to be important for promoting physiological improvements in muscle mass and composition. Colostrum is an excellent nutritional supplement especially for the elderly who need to counteract the immune-suppressing effects of stress, illness and too much “prepared” food in the diet.
Bovine colostrums does contain high concentrations of epidermal growth factors, which is a string mitogenic regulator of skin growth. Besides, colostrums is the only natural source of two major growth factors namely, transforming growth factors alpha and beta (TGF-A and B) and insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGF-1 and 2). These growth factors have muscle and cartilage repair characteristic that are biochemically outstanding. TGF-A and B are involved in normal cell activities, such as embryonic development, cell proliferation and tissue repair. IGF-1 has pronounced anabolic and wound-healing characteristics. Moreover, colostrums contains a large amount of hepatocyte growth factors (HGF) produced by macrophages and this HGF induces the growth of intestinal cells. HGF is regulating the growth of intestinal cells in neonates after birth. Finding attest that colostral growth factors enhance DNA and protein synthesis and nutrient uptake, particularly in the muscle and cartilage.
In 2002, research showed that 8 week of bovine colostrum supplementation can increase repeat sprint ability in elite field hockey players, it means changes in buffer capacity are generally associated with increased protein accretion in fast-twitch muscle fibers. Feeding colostrum has been shown to stimulate skeletal muscle protein synthesis in neonatal animals and these findings suggest that bovine colostrum can elicit similar effects in adult humans.
Colostrum is a rich source of nutrients and contains several biologically active molecules and essential for specific functions. The desirable properties of colostrums derivatives can be concentrated to enhance positive effects.
1. Strengthen cells and immune system
a) Proline-rich Polypeptide (PRP) is a hormone that helps regulate the thymus gland, stimulating an under active immune system or subduing an overactive immune system in cases where it has begun to attack the tissues of the body.
b) Colostrum contains all 5 Immunoglobulins (known as antibodies) that support the human immune system:
IgA : neutralizes toxins and microbes
IgM : destroys bacteria
IgE and IgD : highly antiviral
IgG : helps against invading pathogens
c) Lactoferrin has been shown to contain antiviral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an iron-binding protein with therapeutic effects in cancer, HIV, cytomegalovirus, herpes, chronic fatigue syndromes, candida albicans, and other infections. Lactoferrin helps deprive bacteria of the iron they require to reproduce and release iron into the red blood cells enhancing oxygenation of tissue.
2) Natural Growth Factors
The biologically active growth factors in bovine colostrum protect the body against diseases and assist the body in the following processes:
- Stimulates cellular and tissue growth.
- Repairs and helps reverse the damage done by disease and the natural aging process.
- Increase metabolism.
- Reduces fat and increase muscle mass.
- Involved in regeneration of the heart, lung and liver tissue, plus other organs and tissues throughout the body.
- Stimulates protein synthesis, which is critical for the renewal of skin and bones.
- Affects neurotransmitters in the brain, improving moods and mental acuity.
The regenerative effects of colostrum extend to nearly all the body's structural cells. This makes colostrums invaluable in the quest to prevent premature aging.
3) Metabolism Factors
Leptin is a small hormone-like protein found in colostrums. It can suppress the appetite and assist in body weight reduction. Insulin in colostrums helps the body convert glucose (blood sugar) to glycogen a great energy source.
4) Essential Factors contained in Colostrum
The essential of glyconutrients facilitate cell to cell communication, support the immune systems and promote proper functions of the nervous and endocrine system. They also are important factors in keeping the cardiovascular system functioning at an optimum level.