Colostrum (also known as beestings or first milk) is the primary form of milk that is generated by the mammary glands of buffalos, bison, cattle and most especially, cows immediately after the birth of a newborn. This breast fluid contains a plethora of health benefits, and we shall be discussing them extensively.
More so, colostrum is the first food that every newborn mammal digests. This is because its composition is different from regular milk. It contains a stronger concentration of proteins, vitamins, minerals, immunoglobulin, fats, and other growth factors.
Yes, all mammals produce colostrum, and they have a lot of health benefits, but our specification is on the colostrum of cows which is known as bovine colostrum. Bovine colostrum is an essential source of nutrients and vitamins that aids in the growth of infants. It is also an immunity booster that strengthens the immune system against diseases and illnesses.
Quite coincidentally, bovine colostrum shares a lot of similarities with the human colostrum. It contains minerals, fats, growth hormones, enzymes for digestion, proteins for combating diseases, and so on.
As mentioned earlier, bovine colostrum possesses more nutrients than the regular milk, and it is beneficial to not only newborns of cows, but also humans (infants and adults).
This nutritious breast fluid, in recent years, has become popular due to its use in the production of health supplements. It has proven effective in the improvement of a lot of health defects. To make these health supplements, the colostrum of cows is pasteurized and then dried into powdery form or pills ready to be mixed.
Moreover, its taste is as good as its health benefits. It has a taste and smell that are similar to that of buttermilk. This mammary gland production is endowed with a lot of things to improve health, and we shall look at them individually, one after the other.
A recent study has revealed that bovine colostrum could prove useful in boosting the immune system. It contains lactoferrin which is one of the proteins involved in combating diseases, viruses and infections in the body. Bovine colostrum also contains IgA (Immunoglobulin A) and IgG (Immunoglobulin G), and these two antibodies are quite essential in immunity building.
The chemical compounds that bovine colostrum possesses help in the prevention of diarrhea which is associated with infections caused by bacteria or a virus.
A study carried out on 87 adults suffering from diarrhea discovered that ingesting 100 grams of bovine colostrum daily alongside traditional medicines reduced the frequent stooling by 21% as opposed to when traditional medications were taken alone.
IMPROVES GUT HEALTH
Bovine colostrum has proven effective in the strengthening of the gut. It is quite efficient in fighting infections in the digestive tract. Studies have shown that in both animals and humans, bovine colostrum aids in the growth of the intestinal cells, and the prevention of permeability of the intestines.
A study carried out on 12 athletes who suffered from intestinal permeability as a result of the rigorous exercises they indulged in discovered that ingesting 20 grams of bovine colostrum daily prevented 80% of this health problem.
This is likely because of the lactoferrin and the growth nutrients it possesses.
IMPROVES ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
Several studies have been carried out, and it has been proven that bovine colostrum supplements can improve athletic performance. In 2009, there was a review of studies done on colostrum supplements and exercise performance. Investigations showed that regularly taking colostrum supplements could be useful for strenuous athletic activities or exercise.
According to a study published in 2007, bovine colostrum could be useful in flu prevention. The participants of the study that regularly took colostrum supplements for two months experienced improvement. The number of days with flu was about three times shorter than those who didn't take the supplement.
AIDS IN TREATING SYMPTOMS OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
There is a considerable tendency that regularly ingesting bovine colostrum might help in treating the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Though, a lot of opposing results exist.
REDUCES UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS
Research has shown that regularly taking bovine colostrum orally for 8-12 weeks can improve upper respiratory infections by lessening the episodes and symptoms. This is mainly for those that are involved in strenuous exercise.
Bovine colostrum is rich in lactoferrin. This antibody is also a strong inflammation moderator. When the body experiences an increase in inflammation, it works by helping lower the pro-inflammatory cytokine.
STRENGTHENS THE LIGAMENTS AND HEALS MUSCLES
Bovine colostrum aids in the enhancing of muscle growth and healing and this is because it contains antioxidants and other growth factors. Research shows that bovine colostrum supplements are capable of reducing oxidative stress and muscle damage after exercise.
This makes it the perfect support for athletes.
The immunity-building capabilities of bovine colostrum have indeed shown it to be effective combating cancer. Reducing inflammation, hindering autoimmune responses and lessening infections are all part of the process. Bovine colostrum ensures the repair of damaged tissues in the body, thus, preventing the growth and spread of cancer.
Bovine colostrum has also proven effective in the treatment of patients with metabolic syndrome such as those that have type-2 diabetes. Research has shown it to regulate levels of fatty acid, heal liver damage, and increase insulin.
SLOWS DOWN AGING
Bovine colostrum contains enzymes such as telomerase, which may help to slow down aging. Telomerase works by ensuring DNA strands don't get shorter, ensuring identical and undamaged cells duplicate themselves over and over again. Through this means, aging signs such as facial wrinkles will be reduced.
ENHANCES BRAIN FUNCTION
This breast fluid has a lot of brain-boosting components. It is quite useful in the relief of depression, dementia, and so on. It also helps in maintaining serotonin levels in the brain, and this is what enhances the ability to cope with stress, sharpen your memory, reduces mood swings and low moods.
HELPS IN HAIR REGROW TREATMENT
Bovine colostrum has also proven effective in hair regrowth. Its anti-inflammatory components and its nutritional values play a significant role in the restoration of a healthy scalp and the improvement of the hair's condition and appearance. This benefit will most certainly favor the womenfolk.
These are most of the health benefits that bovine colostrum provides. Its importance can't be overemphasized. Colostrum generally, is necessary for both humans and other mammals.
AIDS IN THE REDUCTION OF BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
Research has shown that bovine colostrum could aid in the reduction of blood sugar levels. It has also proven beneficial in reducing cholesterol levels in people with type-2 diabetes.
There is evidence that shows bovine colostrum to be effective in treating colitis. This nutritious fluid has anti-inflammatory properties that could aid in the treatment.
FIGHTS HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS (HPV)
It has been discovered through research that applying bovine colostrum to the female genital for the space of six months aids in the curing of cervical lesions in people suffering from the Human Papilloma Virus.
LACK OF COLOSTRUM
As earlier stated, colostrum refers to the first milk that is produced by all mammals after they give birth to their young. As much as the bovine colostrum is our emphasis, it is essential to note that all forms of colostrum as produced by different mammals contribute to the growth and immunity-build of their newborns.
Yes, the first milk that is produced contains a lot of nutrients and antibodies that the newborn will need to possess strong immunity throughout its life span. If the colostrum isn't fed to the newborn mammal, it might end up having one or more health deficiencies.
So, it is the first natural food that should be introduced to every newborn mammal. Bovine colostrum is quite beneficial to both the newborns of cows and humans. For us humans, it is a two-way benefit: it nourishes our health, and if we intend to go into rearing cows, it could help in nourishing newly-born calves.
This highly nutritional fluid is now available as pills and in powdery form. It is also strongly recommended as a protein supplement and it is entirely natural.
Furthermore, scientists, after a series of research, have come up with a specific type of colostrum known as hyperimmune bovine colostrum. This type of colostrum is produced when cows are vaccinated against microorganisms that cause diseases. It contains high immunoglobulin, which is used to treat a plethora of diseases.
It has proven effective in the treatment or prevention of infectious diseases such as cryptosporidiosis, shigellosis, rotavirus, enterotoxigenic E. coli, and so on. It can also be used in the treatment of gastrointestinal infections.
In summary, bovine colostrum is quite beneficial in the treatment of a wide range of illnesses and diseases. As earlier mentioned, it contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-boosting properties. It is indeed a protein supplement that aids in tissue repairs, regulation of the body's metabolism, and so on.
It has proven, in all ramifications, to be one of the best natural supplements of this contemporary age.