What are Health Benefits of Colostrum?
Colostrum is the first form of sustenance consumed by newborns. The mammary glands of female humans and other mammals produce this pre-milk during latter pregnancy and the first few days following birth. It is a thick, yellowy substance, rich in antibodies and nutrients.
How does Colostrum Benefit Baby?
Colostrum is power-packed with protein, antibodies and carbohydrates to jump-start baby's digestive system. It also presents with a gentle laxative-type action that helps baby pass its first stool.
The antibodies or 'secretory immunoglobulin' sustain mucous membranes in the intestines, lungs and throat of the newborn. There are also leukocytes in colostrum, which guard the infant from bad bacteria and viruses. The substance creates 'good' bacteria in baby's digestive tract.
Ayurvedic medical practitioners have prescribed colostrum as an immune system enhancement and nervous system tonic for centuries. Ayurveda (from India) is the oldest recurrently practiced healing system on the planet.
Western medicine has only recognized the healing capacities of colostrum for about 20 years. Recent clinical studies suggest its value as a food supplement. Medical evidence has also revealed that adults can avail themselves of the extensive benefits of colostrum.
For example, a healthy gastrointestinal tract will assuage the majority of illness. Colostrum enhances gut health! When 'bad' bacteria take over in the intestinal tract, leaky gut can result. This means pathogens and toxins pierce the gut lining and invade body systems. Health issues result, such as brain fog and chronic fatigue.
Degenerative disease, such as cancer is the result of compromised immune systems. Colostrum provides the body with numerous immune factors. Medical research found the presence of a wide spectrum of immunoglobulins, Interferon, Lactoferrin and Cyto-kines in colostrum that offer tremendous therapeutic potential for overall health and wellness.
Polyproline Rich Peptides (PRP) contained in colostrum has been shown in clinical analysis to enhance the underactive immune system and balance an overactive tendency, common in autoimmune disease. Therefore, colustrum would be especially beneficial for illnesses such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. PRP also aids in restoring the thymus gland to its best possible functioning, so that it can fight antigens and viruses.
Colostrum has cytokines and lactoferrin present in it which is well known for its anti-cancer property. It has a high similarity to iron. Due to this several micro-organisms that survive on iron for growth lives on lactoferrin. Thus it is identified that lactoferrin has been effective in inhibiting cancers and tumors.
The immunoglobulin IgF-1 helps to burn fat. As we grow human body produces less amount of IgF-1, which couples with type 2 diabetics. All the efforts put in for losing weight by way exercise becomes in vain without IgF-1. Since it is present in colostrum significantly, it plays a good part in weight reduction.
Colostrum contains valuable growth factor in it which helps to heal the open wounds by promoting new skin growth and repair the damaged tissues due to surgery, injury, burn and inflammation.
Leaky gut syndrome:
Bifido-bacteria and lactobacilli are good bacteria that help to maintain the gut. Auto immunity destroys these bacteria which are secure to health and these results in leaky gut syndrome. These bacteria significantly help in having a healthy gut and they inhibit infections like diarrhea and other intestinal infections. Colostrums demonstrate to be providing food for these healthy bacteria and it a major source of these good bacteria.
A study revealed that colostrinin present in colostrums treats Alzheimer's disease. PRP which is otherwise called colostrinin shows significant improvement in mental ability of Alzheimer’s patient. When amyloid forms in the brain, it forms in to plaques which damages the neurons of the brain, leading to memory loss, body functions lose control and eventually leading to death. Colostrum however shows positive enhancement for the patients. Lactoferrin which is present in abundance in colostrum fights against the infections of the bacteria e-coli which cause amyloid diseases.
The activity of growth hormone stops performing once it reaches a certain age to say 30 years. After which only 20% of growth hormone gets produced. Effect of which could be witnessed in the form of sagged skin, less immunity, losing hair and losing energy etc.
As the growth hormone reduces the immunity also declines. One is more susceptible of cold and flu. IfG-1 – insulin like growth factor which acts like the human growth factor present in the colostrum helps to burn fat and indirectly helps in weight loss. These are present in high levels in colostrum when compared to the plants, fruits and vegetables.
Tonic to the brain:
Colostrum largely enhances the blood glucose which acts as a natural agent to traverse through the brain and blood to through the nerve synapses. Colostrum to a great extent acts as a mood enhancer, by increasing the mental sharpness and revivifies the mood. It also helps to stay alert and focus.
Recent study has proved that heart disease is caused due to a type of chlamydia which accompanies the formation of plaque in the artery. Further the PRP that acts against the auto-immune system also acts against the heart disease by bringing down the blood levels of bad cholesterol and augmenting the blood levels of the good cholesterol. By this process the heart muscle gets restored and new blood vessels are grown.
4 Major use of Colostrum in supplements form
Two components in colostrum aid in weight loss. Leptin is a hormone that can significantly increase thermogenesis, the procedure where the body manufactures heat. In turn, heat burns fat. However, when leptin levels drop, the appetite increases. Further, leptin helps control the rate that fat breaks down. Along with higher leptin levels, the metabolic rate accelerates.
Colostrum also includes lgF-1, which is a necessary component to change fat into energy. Lean muscle mass is enhanced and body fat is reduced – almost as if by magic!
With aging, digestion may be compromised; muscles begin wasting and many elderly people suffer from malnutrition. Colostrum can regenerate re-growth of aged and/or injured muscles, nerve tissue and even bones. By helping stabilize glucose levels, people of all ages evidence heightened awareness and enhanced concentration.
Skin returns to its natural glow! Even tacky liver spots have been known to disappear themselves! It can be applied topically to burns, abrasions and cuts.
Colostrum also fights gingivitis and lowers pain linked with dental work. The peptides contained in colostrum have been shown to suppress abnormal immune cell activity. Further, its peptides minimize side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
Many people lack adequate amounts of protein in their diet. The protein in cow's milk, eggs, fish, soy, meat, etc. is frequently genetically altered. Therefore, optimal quality colostrum is a prolific main protein source.
Colostrum is proved to be a promising food not only for the newborn but for everyone. Following are few significant growth factors
- Restore the damaged cells, bones and tissues and help them to renew.
- Sugar levels are kept in control
- During the times of fasting it helps to burn only the fat and the extra calories and take preventive measures from getting the muscle tissue getting burnt.
- Control inflammation and manage pain
- Restore the fundamental DNA
- Helps in synchronizing the glucose level in the blood, which in turn copes up with good concentration and attentiveness.
- Anti-ageing factor is a result of the grown factors present in colostrum
The growth factor present in bovine colostrum is identical to that of human. Cytokines are the growth factors that are present in the colostrum together which helps to accelerate the performance of the athletes. It helps in the muscle and bone to co-ordinate effectively. Also to add since it is good in restoration of damaged cells, boost the athletes to take harder trainings and as well recover back from injury faster. It helps them take the physical and emotional stress effectively. Using colostrum as a dietary supplement appears to be advantageous to improve their overall productivity.
Athletes tend to do rigorous work outs. This will increase the protein break down which is referred as catabolism. IGF-1 present in colostrum helps to increase the glucose and keeps the spirit and energy level higher. This is possible because colostrum helps in the integration of the nutrients which results in higher performance. It also helps in muscle building by itself. It is also said to increase in lean muscle mass without increasing the fat.
It is a common fact that strenuous exercise and back to back trainings will lead to loss of energy and disruption in the metabolism including the immune system. Noticeable changes in the white blood cells happen after a marathon. There are chances that the count of the natural killer cells to decrease for a marathon runner due to extortion. When there is a decrease in the natural killer cells body’s immune system goes for a toss and it becomes vulnerable for all invaders.
Thus the athletes’ vulnerability to the diseases could be relegated by proper nutrients, avoiding exposure to people who have infections, adequate intervals between exercise and most important sufficient sleep. Colostrum comes a great way to handle this situation as it increases the resistance and reduces the recovery time significantly due to the presence of growth factors present in it.
Athletes have a very little time for recovery from a wound, bristle, ligament tear or tissues. Cytokines present in colostrum is the most important factor that helps natural healing. These cytokines appear to be having high ability on tendon repair.
After using colostrum athletes have reported weight loss, with gain of inches and greater stamina during competitive sports. Behind the scenes, colostrum helps the body ward off infection.
It is also able to repair minor muscle tears and injuries and at the same time, strengthen muscle tissue.
In 2000 and 2004, the Australian Olympic swim team reigned victorious over the Chinese, attributing the wins to colostrum supplements. It makes sense that athletes are turning away from illegal steroids in favor all natural colostrum. It is more powerful than synthetic steroids and does not cause bodily harm.
Nature has a lot of microbes, virus and bacteria in it. These depend on a host to survive. These have a robust multiplying capacity. If ignored, this can even kill the host. Thanks to the immune system which fights with these pathogens.
Immunity in the body is the natural defense mechanism. There are two types of immune system. First one is the innate immune system whereby it acts like the first line of defense, and fights against the pathogens and microbes. If this system is not quite effective and the microbes multiply then the second line of defense, which is adaptive immune system comes in to action.
Antibodies are created to fight and defuse the microbes. This also helps to develop the resistance, by which repeat exposure to the infections could be counterattacked effectively. Antibodies are glycoproteins that are present in the serum. They are commendably prepared to prevent the later invasion of the same microbes. There are five types of immunoglobulin present in our body like IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE and IgD. Functions of these immunoglobulin is to get liberated out of these disease causing organisms.
Studies have proved that all diseases including cancer and heart disease take precedence only from a very poor immune system. PRP present in the colostrum increases the immune systems. PRP that is present in the thymus gland produces the necessary vital cells to fight against microbes. Simultaneously it also helps to balance the auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
Studies prove that individuals who have been having colostrum as regular intake, has a good immune system and does not gets affected from cold or flu.
Where Does Colostrum Come From?
The best quality colostrum originates with healthy goats or cows that consume pesticide-free feed; are not subjected to antibiotics or hormones and roam free in pastures.
Products containing colostrum should be minimally heated and left un-pasteurized. Powdered form is best and keeps longer. It is very palatable used in waffles and muffins. Or it may be a vital ingredient in a smoothie along with nutritious fruit and nuts.
Because colostrum is a food product, side-effects are minimal if at all. Occasionally flatulence or slight nausea has occurred. On the whole, it seems to be safe and effective.
In persons with lactose intolerance, the product appears tolerable, as it is not true milk.
Colostrum could just be the break-through therapy you are seeking! Just ensure you buy product from a reputable vendor, preferably one that is derived from "organic" cows or goats.
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References & further reading