What is colostrum?

First milk after calving

What is colostrum? Colostrum is the first fluid after calving. Compared to regular milk colostrum contains an especially high amount of bioactive ingredients. Colostrum gives newborns the best possible start to life, because it contains antibodies to protect newborns against diseases and infections. Even more so, colostrum contains immune and growth factors to help activate a newborns immune system.

Bioactive components

Newborns tend to have a fragile immune system. Colostrum delivers the bioactives a newborn needs in a very concentrated way. Not only does colostrum contain immune cells and antibodies (such as IgA, IgG and IgM), but also components of a mature immune system such as lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase and proline-rich polypeptides (PRP). Interleukines, cytokines and insulin-like growth factors I (IGF-1) and II are other health promoting components of colostrum

Production

Cows tend to produce more colostrum than a calve can consume. A cow produces around 8L of colostrum in his first milking. However, a calve only needs around 4L. Therefore, we collect the excess colostrum. The collected colostrum is frozen until it’s processed. Through a patent-pending process the raw colostrum is cleaned and concentrated, after which it is freeze-dried. We use a freeze-drying method, because it removes moisture without heating. Therefore, freeze-drying is the best way to ensure bioactivity in colostrum products.

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Human application of bovine colostrum

While it is known to many that colostrum (human or from any mammal) plays a vital role to a newborn’s health, it is still relatively unknown that bovine (cow) colostrum can provide health benefits in human children and adults. It for example is able to increase bone health, help fighting bacteria or serve as a general immune system boosting ingredient. Bovine colostrum and human colosturm are very similar in their composition. Both contain many similar antibodies, immune and growth factors and other nutrients. Consequently colostrum is fit for human consumption, if it is processed accordingly. Areas in which humans might benefit from bovine colostrum:

  • Immune health
  • Digestive health
  • Early life nutrition
  • Sports nutrition