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.
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.
Goat’s milk has also been used for treatment of ailments by Chinese physician as far back as 2000 over years. It had been recorded in the Chinese epic during the Ming dynasty and many other traditional Chinese medicinal literatures. Till now, Chinese believe goat’s milk to be an excellent beverage to general health, and it was employed to address conditions of the throat and windpipe. In 1970, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization published “Observations on the Goat,” a book that provided many useful insights into the history and benefits of goat’s milk.
Goat’s Milk Health Benefits
Goat Milk is as close to perfect food as possible in nature. Its chemical structure is amazingly similar to mother’s milk. It is a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids without the heavy fat content and catarrh (mucus) producing materials of cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is not only non-mucus forming but also helps to neutralize mucus.
Goat’s Milk and Digestibility
Goat’s milk offers superior digestibility to cow milk, due to the following factors:
1. Size of fat globules: The fat globules of goat’s milk are finer than those of cow milk, allowing for a greater surface to volume ratio for enzymatic attack. This enables the fat of goat’s milk to be broken down and digested more easily.
2. Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT): Goat’s milk has more MCT's than cow’s milk. Lipases attack the ester linkages of the shorter-chain fatty acids more readily, enabling more rapid digestion. MCT's are metabolically unique in that they can be absorbed by a simpler mechanism than other fatty acids. MCT's, which are higher in goat’s milk than cow’s milk, have a unique ability to provide energy to the human metabolism, as well as an ability to lower, inhibit and dissolve cholesterol deposits.
3. Curd strength. Goat’s milk casein forms a less tough and more friable curd than the casein of cow’s milk. This means the digestive enzymes can break it down more rapidly. Alpha-S1 casein is the main casein in cow’s milk and this contributes to the firmer curd; goat’s milk contains low levels of alpha-S1 casein.
The lactase enzyme provides for the digestion of lactose, or milk sugar. Persons who do not possess this enzyme are lactose-intolerant. Goat’s milk contains less lactose than cow’s milk, and people can generally tolerate goat’s milk better than cow’s milk.
Goat’s Milk and Allergies
Whether goat’s milk can be tolerated better than cow’s milk, will depend on the specific protein involved in the allergy. Most people with a cow’s milk protein allergy are allergic to b-lactoglobulin. This protein is also present in goat’s milk and does not offer these people an alternative. It is worth, however, trying goat’s milk as an alternative to cow’s milk, in consultation with your doctor.
Goat’s Milk and Respiratory Complaints
Drinking goat’s milk results in the production of less mucus than when drinking cow’s milk. This can provide relief to people suffering from respiratory complaints.
Goat’s Milk and Strong Bones
Goat’s Milk is a very good source of calcium. Calcium is widely recognized for its role in maintaining the strength and density of bones. In a process known as bone mineralization, calcium and phosphorus join to form calcium phosphate. Calcium phosphate is a major component of the mineral complex (called hydroxapatite) that gives structure and strength to bones. A cup of goat’s milk supplies 32.6% of the daily value for calcium along with 27% of the DV for phosphorus. In comparison, a cup of cow’s milk provides 29.7% of the DV for calcium and 23.2% of the DV for phosphorus.
Building bone is, however, far from all that calcium does for us. In recent studies, this important mineral has been shown to:
- Help protect colon cells from cancer-causing chemicals.
- Help prevent bone loss that can occur as a result of menopause or certain conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Help prevent migraine headaches.
- Reduce PMS symptoms during luteal phase (second half) of the menstrual cycle.
Calcium also plays a role in many other vital physiological activities, including blood clotting, nerve conduction, muscle contraction, regulation of enzyme activity, cell membrane function and blood pressure regulation. Because these activities are essential to life, the body utilizes complex regulatory system to tightly control the amount of calcium in the blood, so that sufficient calcium is always available. As a result, when dietary intake of calcium is too low to maintain adequate blood levels of calcium, calcium stores are drawn out of the bones to maintain normal blood concentrations.
Goat’s milk is a good source of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since a cup of goat’s milk contains 498.7mg of potassium and only 121.5mg of sodium, goat’s milk may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against arteriosclerosis.
Goat’s Milk and Energy Producing Riboflavin
Goat’s milk is a very good source of riboflavin, a B vitamin important for energy production. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) plays at least two important roles in the body’s energy production. When active in energy production pathways, riboflavin takes the form of flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) or flavin mononucleotide (FMN). In these forms, riboflavin attaches to protein enzymes called flavoproteins that allow oxygen-based energy production to occur. Flavoproteins are found throughout the body, particularly in locations where oxygen-based energy production is constantly needed, such as heart and other muscles.
Riboflavin’s other role in energy production is protective. The oxygen-containing molecules the body uses to produce energy can be highly reactive and can inadvertently cause damage to the mitochondria (the energy production factories in every cell) and even cells themselves. In the mitochondria, such damage is largely prevented by a small protein-like molecule called glutathione. Like many “anti-oxidant” molecules, glutathione must be constantly recycled, and it is vitamin B2 that allows this recycling to take place.
The composition of goat’s milk does not differ greatly from that of cow’s milk. Both kinds contain about 13% dry solids. Milk sugar, also known as lactose, is the main constituent of goat’s milk. The other main ingredients of goat’s milk are milk fat, protein, and minerals. One hundred ml of goat’s or cow’s milk has a calorific value of about 280kJ (67 kcal). The composition of the milk depends largely on the breed of goat and the season. In the summer the milk yield is high, and the fat and protein contents are low. Conversely, in the winter the milk yield is low, and the fat and protein contents are higher.
Lactose is the most important carbohydrate present in milk. The lactose content of goat milk is about 10% lower than that of cow milk.
Milk protein is comprised of about 80% caseins and 20% whey proteins. This is applicable to both cow’s milk and goat’s milk. The caseins are present in the form of micelles: these are large aggregates of protein and calcium phosphate. The number of small micelles is much greater in goat milk than cow milk.
The fatty-acid composition of goat’s milk exhibits substantial differences from that of cow’s milk. Goat’s milk fat contains a considerable amount of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids. The seasonal variation in the fatty-acid composition is lower than that of cow’s milk. This is due to the relatively consistent diet fed to goats. Goat’s milk contains a far larger number of small fat globules than cow’s milk.
Goat’s milk has a cholesterol content of between 10 and 15 mg/100 g milk (depending on the fat content), comparable to the levels in cow’s milk.
Goat’s milk contains more vitamin A and D than cow’s milk. The folic acid and vitamin B12 content is lower than that of cow’s milk.
The composition of minerals in goat’s milk and cow’s milk are different in a few ways. The potassium, copper and manganese content of goat’s milk are a little higher than those in cow’s milk. Goat’s milk contains a little less zinc than cow’s milk.
Interesting Facts on Goat’s Milk
Bioorganic sodium is known in Naturopathic Medicine as the youth element. Arthritis does not come with old age. It is lack of this essential mineral that brings on the symptoms of old age. The highest source of bioorganic sodium is found in goat’s milk. It is the sodium that keeps the goats young, active, flexible, and limber all of their lives. There are no old goats in the human sense. They can climb, jump, leap, and walk all their lives because bioorganic sodium is the joining mobilizing material that makes this possible.
Goat’s milk is one of the best food medicines for rebuilding the brain, nervous system, and mental faculties. Goat’s milk is one of the finest foods for generating the cells of the body and bringing a person back to health.