For centuries, colostrum, the first milk of all mammals, has been utilized for anti-aging plus immune-support purposes. It is the immune remains of the mother-with immunoglobulins, cytokines, leukocytes and other memory cells-that keeps her newborn calf healthy and secured during the first few days of living when there is almost no host immunity.
Colostrum is highly regarded worldwide by public health experts as a safe and effective way of protection against bacterial and viral pathogens. A considerable amount of colostrum research has been conducted in the area of viral infections, going all the way back to the eighteenth centuries, when American colonists showed that will vaccinations from dairy cows could prevent smallpox. So powerful is definitely colostrum that a recent study showed it worked as well as the influenza vaccination!
In an April 3 years ago study in Clinical and Used Thrombosis/Hemostasis (13; 3: 130-6), the two-month treatment with oral colostrum was compared with anti-influenza vaccination in the prevention of flu episodes. The study took place in Italy. The scientists noted, “After three months of followup, the number of days with flu had been three times higher in the non-colostrum topics. The colostrum group had 13 episodes versus 14 in the colostrum plus-vaccination group, 41 in the group without prophylaxis, and 57 in nontreated subjects. ”
Part 2 of the study had a similar protocol with 65 very high-risk cardio subjects, all of whom had prophylaxis. “The incidence of complications plus hospital admission was higher within the group that received only a vaccination compared with the colostrum groups, ” the study said. “Colostrum, both in healthy subjects and high-risk cardiovascular individuals, is at least three times more effective than vaccination to prevent flu and is very cost-effective. ”
Two additional current studies shed light on how colostrum functions. In another Italian study, released in the October 2007 issue of recent Microbiology (4: 447-54), researchers mentioned, “Human and bovine colostrum (BC) contain a remarkable amount of bioactive elements, including antibodies toward many common pathogens of the intestinal and respiratory tract as well as growth factors, vitamins, cytokines and other proteic, lipidic and glucidic factors. ” In the study, scientists investigated whether BC had any kind of immunomodulatory effect on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthful donors. (PBMC cells include organic killer cells, T cells plus B cells, all critical to fighting intruders.
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) They found the colostrum stimulated the production associated with interleukin-12 (IL-12) and interferon-gamma and messenger cells called cytokines necessary for a successful immune response against pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.
Boeotian colostrum induced a dose-dependent production of IL-12. “BC could also symbolize an inexpensive therapeutic tool in prevention and treatment of several human microbes infections, including influenza, ” the research added. In March 2009 in Pol Merkur Lekarski (26; 153: 234-8), researchers from the Department associated with Internal Medicine, Pneumonology and Allergology, Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of National Defense in Warsaw, Poland, noted, “The value of boeotian colostrum is documented in medical observations and supported by a big database. An antibacterial effect and modulation of the immune response are accepted. The wide spectrum from the activity of a lactoferrin or a proline-rich polypeptide complex was confirmed within experimental and clinical studies.
Furthermore, a high concentration of immunoglobulins in bovine colostrum gives exceptional chance for use as a support in immunodeficiency treatment. ” Finally, a 1998 study conducted at the Laboratory of Virology, Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy associated with Sciences in Wroclaw, Poland, plus published in Acta Virol (42; 2: 75-8) also showed the benefits of colostrum. The research found that when proline-rich polypeptide isolated from bovine colostrum was added to the immune tissue found in the membrane lining the abdominal cavity and viscera soon after virus adsorption or one day prior to or after viral infection, weakened cells were better able to inhibit virus replication.
So can colostrum help? Well, remember that colostrum is really a food and not a drug. Yet, the data here is critically important, and we should not underestimate its significance. Immune cellular material found in the gastrointestinal tract produce about 75 percent of the antibodies in the body. Since colostrum supports healthy immune cells in the gastrointestinal system, it has great potential to support a powerful protective immune function.
It is critical to understand that not all colostrum is the same. Some brands may call their products “colostrum” but may come from milkings aside from the very first milking within six to eight hrs after birth. Some take the 2nd and even third milkings, which is mainly “transitional milk. ” Any dairy products farmer or even nursing mother will be able to tell you there is a huge difference from the element produced at the first milking as well as the milk produced over the next couple of days. That initial colostrum is essential in protecting the newborn.