Are you looking to support your immune system with mother nature’s perfect immunity booster? A colostrum supplement may be just what you need. If you have never heard of the health benefits of colostrum, you are definitely missing out!

Not only is colostrum an amazing superfood but it also offers a lot of incredible benefits for health. As you learn more about mother nature’s amazing first superfood, you’ll find that adding a colostrum supplement to your diet can go a long way towards keeping you healthy and your immune system strong.  Want to find out more? Read on to find out about all the benefits of colostrum…

WHAT IS COLOSTRUM?

Before we get into the health benefits of colostrum, we need to take a closer look at what a colostrum supplement really is.

Colostrum is a thick substance, the pre-milk that is produced by all mammals and human mothers. It is the stuff that all newborn mammals feed on the first few days of life before the breast milk comes in. It provides newborns with all the nutrients and antibodies they need while they are still incredibly young.

When animals are born, they have not been exposed to any of the diseases, bacteria, or germs that an adult has been exposed to over their lifetime. This means that they have no immune system of their own. If a newborn had to develop its own immunity to every potential pathogen, they would have a difficult time surviving the first few weeks of life. Colostrum helps increase their chances of fighting infections or illness.

With colostrum the mother passes on all of the important nutrients and immunity that she has built up over her life, providing a jump start for the immune system of the newborn.

Benefits of Colostrum:

  • Passes on antibodies, immune factors, hormones, growth factors and nutrients that keep infants healthy as they begin to develop their own immune system.
  • Provides large amounts of necessary fat and protein needed for infants to develop healthy bones and muscles.
  • Contains special adaptogenic properties, which help infants produce the cells that eventually become the foundation of their own immune system.
  • Increases the white blood cell count of an infant, helping them fight off infection and disease.
  • Provides healthy bacteria to colonize a newborn’s digestive tract in order to create its own microbiome for the purpose of optimizing digestion.

As you can see, colostrum plays an important part in the growth and health of a newborn, for both animals and humans. It has a central role in the new baby’s development and long-term health. For a mammal, receiving colostrum during the first few days of life can give the newborn a fighting chance against infections and illness.

Although it is fascinating that the immunity of the mother can be passed down to her offspring, what does this have to do with the adult immune system?

TYPES OF COLOSTRUM

There are no different “types” of colostrum, what differentiates colostrum is the source of where it came from. All mammals produce colostrum, but not all are used for dietary supplements. The two types of colostrum you might hear about are:

  • Human colostrum — This is the colostrum produced by human mothers which serves as a precursor to breastmilk and is provided to babies during their first breastfeeding session. It is not commonly used as a dietary supplement and is usually reserved for human babies.
  • Bovine colostrum — This is the colostrum that comes from cows, which is the type most commonly used for colostrum supplements. It contains many of the same nutrients found in human colostrum, but it has a higher fat and protein content. It is higher in carbs, vitamins, and minerals when compared to cow’s milk, and provides a rich source of immune boosting protein fractions immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, growth factors, and antibodies, which is the reason why it is such a powerful supplement for immunity.

Although there are other animal sources for colostrum that could be used in dietary supplements, bovine is the most common and backed by research.

BENEFITS OF COLOSTRUM SUPPLEMENT

There are a surprising number of colostrum uses and benefits for health, including improving gut health and supporting immune function.

Colostrum Supplement Benefits for Gut Health

Your gut or digestive tract is responsible for the breakdown and absorption of food, as well as the elimination of waste products. It also detoxifies your body removing any undesirable waste products before they can enter the bloodstream. Additionally, about 80% of your immune activity happens in your gut. Basically, your digestive tract does way more than breakdown food, it is one of the most important systems in your entire body.

Several studies and clinical trials suggest a positive impact on gastrointestinal health as a result of Bovine Colostrum supplementation. Results showing reduction in leaky gut damage and improved intestinal lining health can serve to get your intestinal function back on track–leading to improved immune function, digestion, elimination, detoxification, and better health in general.

The beneficial effects of colostrum supplements on the gut are likely due to components such as lactoferrin and growth factors. Studies have found that regular supplementation with bovine colostrum can decrease intestinal permeability by up to 80%. It has also been found to decrease symptoms of colitis, or inflammation of the colon.

Good health starts with good digestion. Maximizing your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food and optimizing your digestive tract’s ability to shield you from pathogens and other toxins is crucial to achieving good health and decreasing vulnerability to disease. Colostrum supplements can help repair and maintain gut health and the whole body will benefit.

Colostrum Supplements Can Boost Immune Function

Bovine colostrum has many benefits for immune function due to the impact it has on the gut and the immune boosting proteins it contains.

Did you know that colostrum contains about 80 times the immunoglobulin proteins as regular milk does? That means you get about 80 times more of the immune-fighting cells, boosting your immune system drastically!

Not only do you get more disease-fighting cells, but you get a lot of the antibodies and transfer factors that will “teach” your body how to recognize and fight disease more effectively.

Colostrum basically works like the master key to your immune system and will help boost its disease-fighting “skills” in order to support immune response, ensuring that your body can recognize destroy threats.

For those who are suffering from autoimmune disorders (specifically those in the intestines), colostrum can help reconfigure your immune system to assist with distinguishing healthy from abnormal body tissue.

This can help to reduce your body’s tendency to attack itself, reducing the severity of autoimmune disorders. It may not be the ultimate treatment, but it can help to make the autoimmune disorder a bit easier to manage.

To get a little more specific about how colostrum works, there is an immunoglobulin protein called sIgA (secretory IgA) that plays a central role in the health of your immune system. Low sIgA levels has been linked to:

  • Chronic intestinal problems
  • IBS
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Candidiasis

People suffering from these diseases tend to have low levels of this important protein and therefore have overall poor immune function.

However, taking a colostrum supplement is one of the best ways to increase sIgA levels in your body. Colostrum will help to balance your immune system, reduce the inflammatory cytokines in your intestines, and even repair the damage that has already been done to your gut by the disorders listed above.

If you have a hyperactive immune system, quite common with autoimmune disorders, colostrum supplements can help to normalize it and calm it down. This can increase the efficiency of your immune system and will make it easier for your body to fight the actual invaders without attacking healthy tissue.

Colostrum is not only for those who are sick, it can also help for maintenance of good health. Much of the research on colostrum has been on the impact of its supplementation for athletes. Elite athletes are prone to respiratory illnesses due to the inflammation and immune suppression caused by demanding training schedules.

The high concentration of the IgA and IgG antibodies in colostrum has been found to protect athletes against illness. Taking colostrum supplements can increase the amount of IgA antibodies by up to 79% in athletes. It does so by enhancing the body’s immunity and lowering the risk of respiratory infections. This is significant for keeping athletes healthy and helping them reach peak performance.

Finding the Best Colostrum Supplement

Pretty amazing stuff, isn’t it? You will find that colostrum is one of the best supplements to take for your immune system. The immune-boosting benefits of colostrum are numerous, and just the fact that it will repair gut damage and improve intestinal health is reason enough for you to consider taking colostrum.

Want to find a top-notch, high quality colostrum supplement? Well Wisdom has an excellent supplement containing Bioactive Colostrum, which provides a minimum of 20% IgG content and is sourced from pasture-fed cows that are free of hormone-treatment, antibiotics, and BSE.

Bioactive Colostrum provides the vital nutrients necessary to stimulate your immune system as well as moderate an overactive immune response. It is a powerful supplement that can help you deal with several health situations–making it a great choice for improved overall health!


References

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  2. McGrath BA, Fox PF, McSweeney PLH, Kelly AL. Composition and properties of bovine colostrum: a review. Dairy Sci Technol. 2016;96(2):133-158.
  3. Caysido ECL. The Effect of Bovine Colostrum on the Absolute Neutrophil Counts of Pediatric Patients with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Undergoing Chemotherapy: A Double Blind Randomized Placebo Controlled Study. J of Ped Neo Bio. 2019;4(3).
  4. Malmuthuge N, Chen Y, Liang G, Goonewardene LA, Guan LL. Heat-treated colostrum feeding promotes beneficial bacteria colonization in the small intestine of neonatal calves. J Dairy Sci. 2015;98(11):8044-8053.
  5. Godhia ML, Patel N. Colostrum – its Composition, Benefits as a Nutraceutical – A Review. Current Research in Nutrition and Food Science Journal. 2013;1(1):37-47.
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  7. Ulfman LH, Leusen JHW, Savelkoul HFJ, Warner JO, van Neerven RJJ. Effects of Bovine Immunoglobulins on Immune Function, Allergy, and Infection. Front Nutr. 2018;5:52.
  8. Blais A, Fan C, Voisin T, et al. Effects of lactoferrin on intestinal epithelial cell growth and differentiation: an in vivo and in vitro study. Biometals. 2014;27(5):857-874.
  9. Playford RJ, Macdonald CE, Johnson WS. Colostrum and milk-derived peptide growth factors for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;72(1):5-14.
  10. Filipescu IE, Leonardi L, Menchetti L, et al. Preventive effects of bovine colostrum supplementation in TNBS-induced colitis in mice. PLoS One. 2018;13(8):e0202929.
  11. Marchbank T, Davison G, Oakes JR, et al. The nutriceutical bovine colostrum truncates the increase in gut permeability caused by heavy exercise in athletes. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2011;300(3):G477-G484.
  12. Crooks CV, Wall CR, Cross ML, Rutherfurd-Markwick KJ. The effect of bovine colostrum supplementation on salivary IgA in distance runners. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006;16(1):47-64.

Jaime Rangel, RD

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