Colostrum is the first milk produced by female mammals shortly after delivery. Colostrum is very beneficial to newborn mammals as it immediately strengthens their immune system, offers them growth factors, and other protective factors needed by their immature and delicate systems. Basically, colostrum is the mode of transfer of passive immunity from the mother to her newborn. Colostrum ranges from orange to yellow in colour and contains large quantities of carbohydrates, protein, antibodies, and small amount of fat. The most common colostrums are the human colostrum and the bovine colostrum. Bovine colostrum and human colostrum have similar properties but bovine colostrum is produced in larger quantity than that of human colostrum. Human colostrum is very limited and its quantity can be measured by teaspoons instead of ounces.
Colostrum is not only favourable to a mammal’s newborn. Colostrum has the general ability to revitalise the health of children, adults, and even the elderly. Also, it has been used in different countries for a long time because of its healing abilities. According to researches, colostrum can improve the symptoms of many conditions that include:
- Gastric ulcers
- Thyroid problems
- Chronic pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Gouty arthritis
- Nerve injuries
Indeed, colostrum provides an impressive list of health benefits. These colostrum benefits are derived from some very important component of colostrum. Each component has a specific function to promote health. These components aren’t just found in raw colostrum milk but are also present in colostrum supplements.
- The antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antaparasitic qualities of colostrum are attributed to Lactoferin (LF). LF also protects the intestines from infections and promotes bone growth.
- Proline-rich Polypeptides (PRP) in colostrum enhances immune function because it promotes the maturation of T-cells and prevents the development of autoimmune disorders like lupus, type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and many more.
- Colostrum can prevent blood clotting within the blood vessels. This antithrombotic ability of colostrum is due to it having Glycomacropeptide (GMP).
- Colostrum can help in alleviating stress because it has Alpha-Lactalbumin (LA).
- Colostrum prevents dental caries and tooth decay because it contains a substance called Hamlet, which is a complex of Alpha-Lactalbumin and oleic acid.
- Colostrum’s rich antioxidant contents helps in protecting the body from free radicals and slows the aging process. Colostrum vitamins are A, C, and E while colostrum minerals are copper, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
- For athletes and body builder, colostrum aids in achieving a leaner and muscular body. Colostrum has IGF-1, a substance that burns fat to create energy.
Colostrum side effects
Human colostrum is totally safe and has no side effects. On the other hand, bovine colostrum has a side effect known as the “healing crisis”. Healing crisis occurs when the cells release toxins stored in them. Symptoms of healing crisis include headache, upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, cough, rash, mild fever, and bloating.