Colostrum – The Immune System Book of Secrets

Posted by Lisa Moretti


Nature is on your side -- it knows what it’s doing and it WANTS you to live.  

To ensure our survival, nature gives us a rich source of antibodies and protective proteins for immunity when we are born through our mother’s milk. A unique component of milk is called colostrum. The immune system "codes" we receive in it are like a secret book of information and a veritable blank check when it comes to keeping us alive and thriving. Colostrum also has natural antimicrobial agents that stimulate the protective proteins called antibodies that are produced by the immune system. 

One specialized antibody we can get from a colostrum supplement is secretory immunoglobulin, also called IgA. This antibody protects the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory system, throat, lungs, and intestines – all of our primary, first-line defenses for our bodies to survive and thrive. 

Colostrum is also rich in white blood cells called leukocytes; these protect us from viruses and bacteria. 

And, colostrum contains beneficial flora to balance the digestive tract with probiotics.

How Much Can Colostrum Help?

Humans have used bovine colostrum for hundreds of years for infant development and as a medicinal and longevity resource for adults. Non-pasteurized (raw) milk has been consumed for its health and curative support capabilities; many cultures have made colostrum-based cheeses too, in order to get all the benefits of milk as adults. Unlike “mature milk,” colostrum is the first milk produced; and colostrum is rich in fat, protein, peptides, non-protein nitrogen, ash, vitamins and minerals, hormones, growth factors, cytokines, and nucleotides, but with less lactose. 

We know that colostrum is vital for infant health, but since the 1970s, researchers have been focused on how it helps adults. One study[1] reviewed the effects of bovine colostrum supplementation in rugby players. Rugby is an intense sport! Furthermore, athletes begin training right at the end of the winter season to be ready for competition in spring. This means they start stressing their bodies with intense exercise at the height of “disease season.” High-intensity training can actually compromise the immune system. Rugby players presented a prime group of study subjects for researchers who wanted to determine if colostrum could support immune health and improve exercise performance. 

In previous studies, research had shown that colostrum increases levels of insulin-like growth factor and improves lean muscle mass. Over the course of 12 weeks, the rugby players taking bovine colostrum supplementation increased their lean tissue mass compared with those using whey protein supplementation. The researchers also studied the impacts of colostrum versus milk whey supplementation in men and women over 50 and found similar muscle strength increases. 

What Is It About Colostrum That Makes It So Effective?

The quality of bovine colostrum is affected by many factors like season, environment, feed, stress levels, genetics, and even the time the cow is milked. Most important to note, though, is that colostrum is not milked from cows until after newborn calves have had ample time to consume it from their mothers. The colostrum that is milked afterward for human consumption has been shown to have a dramatic impact on gastrointestinal health, immune support, muscle-skeletal repair, cellular growth factors for muscle and cartilage repair, and wound care.[2]

 

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Some of the key nutrients in colostrum are:

  • Fats:  Colostrum has a higher percentage of fat than regular milk. It contains higher levels of palmitic, palmitoleic, and myristic acids. These fatty acids help with cellular signaling and contribute to the formation of healthy fatty acids in the liver.

  • Vitamins A, D, E & K:  These vitamins are in all forms of milk and are fat-soluble, meaning your body needs fat to break them down and put them to use. Colostrum, however, has high concentrations of retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, retinyl esters, and (as provitamin A) carotenoids. Vitamin D is also found in high concentrations, which helps promote immune health and the uptake of calcium and phosphorus in the small intestines. Tocopherols and tocotrienols – forms of vitamin E – are found in low-density lipoproteins in colostrum. And phylloquinone and menaquinones, which are types of vitamin K are found in greater concentrations in colostrum than in regular milk.

  • Vitamins B & C:  These are water-soluble vitamins that are also found in much higher concentrations than in regular milk.

  • Minerals:  We all know milk is a good source of calcium for our bones and teeth. Colostrum not only contains significant, bio-available sources of calcium but also phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. These minerals work together for strong teeth, bones, and muscles.

  • Proteins:  The complex proteins in colostrum are called immunoglobulins (Igs). There are multiple types of Igs: IgG 1&2, IgA, and IgM. These proteins form antibodies - the fighters in your immune system’s army of protection. Of all of the Igs, IgG is most prevalent in colostrum and is released by cells in the lymphatic system. IgGs bind to sites on viruses, bacteria, fungi, and toxins. Then it helps other cells that eat invaders recognize problem guys and eliminate them.

    Lactoferrin is another protein found in colostrum that binds iron. It has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, antitumor, and anti-inflammatory (immunomodulating) effects. Colostrum-derived lactoferrin can inhibit protozoa, yeast, bacteria, and viruses that can cause diseases in the gut. Lactoferrin prevents pathogens from binding to gut lining cells; it maintains the proper permeability of your intestines while stabilizing the gut’s protective structure. Lactoferrin also helps increase bone-building cells called osteoclasts, releases growth factor that encourages bone growth, and, as we age, bone remodeling.

  • Lactoperoxidase:  Lactoperoxidase is an antibacterial enzyme that helps make our internal environment toxic to terrible pathogens like Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Listeria, Strep, and Staph infection. Your body uses lactoperoxidase for immune defenses that can inactivate polio and HIV.

  • Sugars:   Colostrum is rich in oligosaccharides and glucans. These are sugars that help provide a prebiotic “lunch” for the probiotics in milk, ensuring their survival in your lower gut – the root of your immune health.

  • Proline-Rich Peptides (PRPs):  PRPs are proteins that help regulate how and when your immune system activates killer T cells and macrophages (Pac Man cells that eat up pathogens.) They also help our cells talk to each other at the microlevel; they provide broad communication throughout the body regarding the production of cytokines that start the inflammation process.

  • Growth Factors:  A key to infant survival is lean body mass and muscle. Growth factors for baby animals and baby humans ensure that all aspects of the body multiply rapidly. Growth factors are insulin-like compounds and fall into IGF1 or IGF2 along with transforming growth factor beta 2, which specifically stimulates the growth of the gut. For adults, growth factors can be a source of cellular rejuvenation; they can help restore cells compromised by aging.

Is Colostrum Better Than A Vaccine?

These past few years, we have all learned more about vaccines than we probably ever wanted to! We have all been familiar with the flu vaccine. Flu virus is difficult to fight because it constantly mutates and evolves into different strains. We are limited each year by how many virus strains we can put into one vaccine; consequently, getting your flu shot can be a bit of a hit or miss. 

Vaccine developers watch the various strains and try to determine which ones they think will be most prevalent in the upcoming flu season.

Flu is nothing to ignore. While most of us who catch the flu can recover, the CDC estimates that 12,000 to 52,000 people died from the flu each year between 2010 and 2018[3].

Ayurvedic practitioners have used colostrum for longevity for thousands of years. In the 1970s, Western medicine began to take notice of colostrum and started testing why it worked and how to standardize it. While studying longevity, researchers noted that study participants taking colostrum were healthier, stronger, and had fewer days of being sick. This piqued their interest to see how it might help fight the flu more cost-efficiently, especially since it could be a more easily administered form of treatment.

In 2007, a three-month study was conducted; researchers gave test subjects oral colostrum supplements for two months to see if it would provide protection during flu season as compared to the flu vaccine. After three months, people who hadn’t received the colostrum supplementation and only had a flu shot had three times as many days with the flu. The researchers then followed the same test protocol with 65 people with high-risk cardiovascular issues. Complications and hospital admission were again about 3 times higher in the group that received only the vaccine and did not receive any colostrum supplementation.[4]

In 2010, scientists began cultivating a new super immune boosting colostrum[5] by developing specific kinds of antibodies in cows that could be passed through their milk. Their studies showed that the antibodies were passed on. This meant a more potent form of colostrum could be delivered as a valuable alternative to antiviral drugs.

Colostrum presents a far more broad-based, cost-effective defense for the flu than developing vaccine after vaccine trying to match the right strains of the season. Further, colostrum is a natural alternative for people who are immune-compromised or undergoing life-saving therapies that cannot be vaccinated. They can also mount a strong immune defense without exhausting their immune systems or using up valuable immune system resources!

 

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What Else Can Colostrum Do For Your Health?

The primary health benefit of colostrum (beyond supporting your immune system’s various pathogen-fighting cells) is its ability to help enhance the mucosal linings in your body. Your respiratory system and gut linings are your first barriers of defense against toxins, pathogens, molds, parasites, viruses, bacteria, and fungi. If your first lines of defense are in prime condition, your body can quickly engage your immune system’s Rolodex of fighter cells. Your immune system can activate the antibodies needed to help in a precise recipe for defensive success. This ensures you will be less likely to get sick, or if you do get sick, more quickly recover.

Another benefit of colostrum is that it can help our bodies mediate the damage caused by NSAIDs[6]. Acute and chronic pain, inflammation, and degenerative joint diseases are national problems. Our use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, while helping us get out of pain, presents a danger to our gut health. NSAIDs can cause gastric injury, bleeding, perforation, and inflammation. These can also turn into the dreaded “leaky gut” which falsely triggers the immune system and might be the cause behind some autoimmune diseases. Colostrum protects the gut and reduces the negative effects of NSAIDs. Lactoferrin in colostrum acts as a carrier for the NSAID medications without reducing their efficacy; and, the immunoglobulins help ensure no pathogens take up residence in the injured areas of the gut while it heals.

For people with Ulcerative Colitis[7], an inflammatory disease of the bowel, colostrum is being studied as a way to reduce the painful symptoms people endure. 

A preliminary study of eight patients who received colostrum and six who received a placebo twice a week for four weeks showed that seven of the eight patients who took colostrum saw significant reductions in their symptoms. Researchers are looking to conduct a follow-up study with a much larger sample size.

Traveler’s Diarrhea[8] has been another target for researchers looking to help people with the new hyperimmune charged colostrum derived by developing antibodies within cows. 

Researchers were able to demonstrate that as little as 200 mg of colostrum three times per day gave an estimated 58.3% protection from diarrhea symptoms as compared to the placebo group.

And allergy sufferers[9] may have a new resource for keeping allergies at bay – especially for ragweed and hay fever - by using hyperimmune colostrum.

Putting That Blank Check to Work For You

There are so many great reasons to take colostrum! It truly is nature’s secret code to immune health because it is designed BY NATURE to protect you, build your immune strength, rejuvenate you, and help you combat all the pathogens out there in the world.

Exciting things are happening on the colostrum front. “Golden Colostrum” now offers 30x the immune-supportive benefits of colostrum that have been studied for decades for health and longevity. It binds microbes and toxins, enhances your microbiome, and runs a well-coordinated defense with your immune system. And now, it’s turbo-charged with added immune benefits that prime and protect your immune system. Finally, what a relief for so many to find that colostrum offers a viable alternative to vaccinations – documented by clinical research!

Safe enough for infants but strong enough to help you mount a robust defense against the flu and other types of viruses, using colostrum removes the unwanted triggers of your immune system. 

It’s great for priming your immune system. We all know the best offense is a good defense; having your immune system ready and well-supplied is the smart offensive play. Now with the new iG30 colostrum, you can have your body’s defense playbook in order and your antibodies at full strength. Then, if and when you encounter a virus or need to use NSAIDs to reduce pain, your body is strong and at the ready.

And the best thing about colostrum is its “blank check” of immunoglobulins that can morph to meet whatever challenge you encounter. Unlike any vaccine that needs to be focused on a particular strain of a virus to be effective, colostrum gives you a flexible, robust, and broad-spectrum resource for your health.

Colostrum is an investment in a more powerful you – full of vitality and ready to take on life no matter how old you are. That’s like money in the bank!

Health Direct contains non-GMO iGg30 golden colostrum

 

References:

[1] https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02951923 The Effect of 8-weeks of Bovine Colostrum and Soy Protein Supplementation in Rugby Players

[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0271531702003731 Colostrum and its benefits: a review. Nutrition Research Volume 22, Issue 6, June 2002, Pages 755-767

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html

[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17456621/ Prevention of influenza episodes with colostrum compared with vaccination in healthy and high-risk cardiovascular subjects: the epidemiologic study in San Valentino. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. April 13, 2007 pg 130-136

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2964324/ Prevention and treatment of influenza with hyperimmune bovine colostrum antibody.  PloS one October 2010, vol. 5,10 e13622

[6] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2021.651721/full#B156 Bovine Colostrum and Its Potential for Human Health and Nutrition. Frontiers in Nutrition June 2021

[7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11009042/ The role of aminosalicylates at the beginning of the new millennium in the treatment of chronic inflammatory bowel disease. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. August 2000, pgs. 353-62.

[8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21526980/ Randomized control trials using a tablet formulation of hyperimmune bovine colostrum to prevent diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic escherichia coli in volunteers. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2011 pgs 862–8.

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6024018/#B41  Effects of Bovine Immunoglobulins on Immune Function, Allergy, and Infection. Frontiers in Nutrition June 2018

 These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.