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Colostrum Health Benefits & Glossary of Terms

Colostrum

Bovine Colostrum(BC) is the first milk produced after birth and is a rich natural source of macro and micro-nutrients, immunoglobulins, and peptides with anti-microbial activity and growth factors.

Immunoglobulins

Are proteins that function as antibodies and are the key immune element found in bovine colostrum. They serve to counteract toxins, viruses, and bacteria in the lymphatic and circulatory system.

  • Immunoglobulin G (IgG) counteracts bacteria and toxins in the blood and lymphatic system.

  • Immunoglobulin M (IgM) seeks out and attaches itself to viruses in the circulatory system.

  • Immunoglobulin A (IgA) provides protection against microbes proliferating in body recreation, especially those of the digestive and respiratory tracts[4].

Colostrum from cows is richer in immunoglobulins than any other source of colostrum.

Lactoferrin

Protein that transports iron to red blood cells and helps fight micro-organisms by depriving them of iron[1].

Proline-rich polypeptide (PRP)

A hormone that helps calm a hyperactive immune system or stimulate an underactive immune system. PRP has also been shown to reduce or eliminate the pain, swelling, and inflammation associated with allergies and autoimmune diseases [1].

Leukocytes

White cells that stimulate production of interferon, a protein that inhibits viruses from reproducing  [1].

Lysozyme

Hydrolyzing protein agent and immune system booster capable of destroying bacteria/virses on contact [2].

Cytokines & Lymphokines

Regulate the body’s immune response, stimulate the production of immunoglobulins, and affect cell growth and repair. Cytokines have been a major area of research in seeking a cure for cancer [1].

Oligosaccharides

Help prevent bacteria from attaching to the mucous membranes, which line the gut and throat. Colostrum is thus a great choice for relief of sore throats due to the protection it provides the throat from bacterial infection. [2].

Vitamins

Colostrum contains small amounts of Vitamins A, B12, and E, all crucial for a healthy immune system [2].

Glycoproteins (protease inhibitors)

Are a complex proteins that protect immune factors and growth factors from being broken down by the acids in the digestive tract [1].

Growth Factors in Colostrum

Such as Epithelial Growth Factor (EgF), stimulate normal growth as well as the healing and repairing of aged or injured skin, bone, muscle, and other tissues [1]. Insulin-like Growth Factors, IgF-1 and IgF-2, help slow the breakdown of protein in the body, and cause the body to favor fat as an energy source, preserving dietary protein for the generation of new lean muscle tissue [3].

References

1)Frey, Rebecca. “Colostrum.” Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine (2001). Find Articles. 19 February 2007 <http:// www.findarticles.com/p/articles/ mi_g2603/is_0002/ai_2603000293/>.
2) Rona, Zoltan P.“Bovine Colotrum Emerges as Immunity Modulator.” Health Link. 19 February 2007 <http://www.selene.com/ healthlink/bovine.html>.

3) Francis, GL et. al.“Insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 in bovine colostrum. Sequences and biological activities compared with those of a potent truncated form.” Biochemical Journal (1988). PubMedCentral. 19 February 2007 <http:// www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov /articlerender.fcgi?artid=1148968>.
4) Junqueira, Luiz C.; Jose Carneiro (2003). Basic Histology. McGraw-Hill.

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