Colostrum is the pre-milk breast fluid produced from a mother's mammary glands of mammals (humans, cows and other mammals) immediately after birth. It is extremely nutritious containing high levels of antibodies and growth factors to ensure life-supporting immune and growth function for the health and vitality of a newborn.
Commercially available colostrum is mainly produced by cows, known as bovine colostrum. Bovine colostrum has become very popular in recent years as it is rich in nutrition and beneficial for promoting immunity, fighting infection and improving intestinal health.
Bovine colostrum contains high levels of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins (A, B groups, C, E, etc.), minerals, digestive enzymes, etc., the most powerful health enhancing compounds within bovine colostrum are lactoferrin, antibodies (immunoglobulins) and growth factors.
Bovine colostrum contains high level of lactoferrin which is a protein involved in the body’s immune response to infections caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses. High levels of immunoglobulins including IgA, IgG and IgM are also found in bovine colostrum which are used by immune system to fight infections. Bovine colostrum also contains high level of growth factors including IGF-1 and IGF-2 that stimulate growth.
Studies revealed that immune-boosting effects of colostrum are mainly related to its high concentration of antibodies IgA and IgG.
Bovine colostrum can also strengthen the proper function of the intestinal tract and fight infections in the digestive tract due to its antimicrobial properties. These benefits of bovine colostrum are linked to the variety of antibodies and lactoferrin in the product.
Additionally, bovine colostrum has been thought useful and recommended for accelerating the healing of insect bites, wounds, warts, and surgical incisions in pets.