COLOSTRUM- THE NUTRITION FACTS, BENEFITS, AND SIDE EFFECTS
Colostrum is naturally produced by cows, humans, and other mammals before milk production to help infants grow and boost their immunity. Still, it can be administered as bovine colostrum supplements, which may help promote immunity, fight infection, and treat diarrhea.
Colostrum is the milk-like fluid cows, humans, and other mammals produce after giving birth but before producing milk. It is highly nutritious and is packed with several health-promoting compounds, including fats, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which are critical for good health. Although an infant typically consumes colostrum from the mother after birth, modern technology now synthesizes bovine colostrum supplements from cows and can be administered to infants (and even human beings) at a later date. This has many health benefits like the natural colostrum, including boosting immunity and being rich in powerful antioxidants and protein. Here is all you need to know about the nutrition facts, benefits, and downsides of bovine colostrum.
Understanding colostrum and bovine colostrum
Colostrum is the fluid that mammals, including cows and humans, produce from their udder after delivering but have not started producing milk. It is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals which the infant relies on to fight diseases, boost his immunity, and get a steady nutrient supply. Contrastingly, bovine colostrum is the synthesized form of this fluid prepared from cow’s colostrum. It is manufactured in a supplemental form which can later be administered to animals when need be. Bovine colostrum is as rich as colostrum and is packed with growth factors, hormones, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in the natural colostrum.
Bovine colostrum as a popular supplement
Infections have evolved over the years and are becoming more resistant with continued evolution. This has necessitated the production of supplements such as bovine colostrum that boosts immunity, promotes gut health, and prepares the body to fight infections better. Bovine colostrum is made by pasteurizing and drying the natural colostrum from cows, changing it into powders or pills that mix with water for consumption. These supplements slightly taste like buttermilk and are yellow.
Bovine colostrum: a rich nutritional that leaves everything to be desired
It’s remarkable how extremely nutritious bovine colostrum is. In fact, it is way more nutritious than regular milk, packing more vitamins A, B, C & E, antioxidants, magnesium ions, carbs, protein, and fats than milk the cow later produces. This is ideal, primarily because it is (colostrum) what the infant needs to start a life, and relies on for strong immunity, defense against infections, and a healthy gut.
Moreover, bovine colostrum has additional compounds that render it more nutritious. In fact, these very compounds are the basis of its rich nutritional profile. They include;
The growth factors, antibodies, and defense-promoting compounds are the sole reason bovine colostrum promotes growth, fights infection, boosts the immune system, keeps the gut healthy, and performs a range of many other health benefits.
Bovine colostrum: health benefits explained
Here are the health benefits of bovine colostrum in detail;
- It may promote growth
Studies show that administering bovine colostrum supplements to calves may help promote growth. This is because bovine colostrum has growth factors IGF- 1 and 2, which boost growth.
- It might help boost immunity
Bovine colostrum supplements are part of the many supplements marketed to boost immunity because it has several compounds that make them an immune booster. For instance, it is loaded with IgA, IgM, and IgG antibodies, which the body needs to ward off infections. What’s more, studies confirm that taking bovine colostrum supplements goes a long way to boost the body’s defense mechanism. For instance, one study closely monitored elite athletes who took a daily dose of bovine colostrum supplement and observed that the IgA antibody concentration in the saliva increased by 80%. The more antibodies are, the stronger the body’s defense mechanism.
- It may help keep the gut healthy
The gut is a critical element of the human system whose safety means overall well-being. For instance, a healthy gut is linked to lower risks and frequencies of infections and seasonal colds. Research shows that bovine colostrum supplements can help rebuild gut walls, promote cell growth and repair in the gut lining, and promote the growth of healthy bacteria. Besides, these supplements can help reduce intestinal permeability that would be damaging when intestinal fluid leaks. One study involving more than 2,000 athletes confirmed this since its participants taking the supplement recorded an 80% lower risk of leaky intestines. As if that’s not enough, research also shows that taking bovine colostrum enema helps manage colitis, a critical health condition of the colon.
- It may help manage diarrhea
You might consider taking bovine colostrum supplements if you won’t stop passing out diarrhea. The primary reason for this is the powerful antioxidants and protein lactoferrin found in colostrum. In fact, studies have confirmed these roles, giving you more confidence that bovine colostrum will offer true relief. For instance, one study gave participants diarrheal medication or 100 g bovine colostrum supplements. It observed that the group that combined diarrheal medications with bovine colostrum supplements recorded a 19% decrease in the frequency and intensity of diarrhea.
Potential downsides of bovine colostrum
As discussed above, bovine colostrum is extremely nutritious and performs critical roles in the body. Still, it has its flipside, including;
- They may contain product additives such as soy that cause allergies
- They are expensive, costing $50- $100 per 450 g
- It is uncertain whether the supplements are safe for breastfeeding and pregnant women
- If the fluid is not well pasteurized, the resulting supplement may contain the pathogenic Salmonella bacteria
- One cannot certainly tell whether sourcing and processing stages follow safe standards
Bovine colostrum supplements are made from cow’s colostrum, the fluid mammals produce after birth but before milk. It is loaded with antioxidants, antibodies, fats, carbs, minerals, and vitamins and may help promote immunity and growth, treat diarrhea, fight infections, and keep the gut healthy. Still, the supplements are expensive, and their processing stages may sneak pathogenic bacteria into the supplements, especially if the liquid was not properly pasteurized.