After giving birth, a mother’s body produces a special immune and growth promoting substance that is secreted into her milk. This fluid is produced for only the first 24 hours after giving birth, and is called colostrum. This special “pre – milk” is integral in providing a wide range of immunological and growth promoting factors to the offspring. Research provides evidence for transfer of cytokines, immunoglobulin, growth factors , and maternal immune cells to the newborn via the feeding of colostrum.
Bovine colostrum is especially rich in immune factors, amino acids, nucleotides and growth factors. Some elements are present in higher quantities in bovine colostrum than in human colostrum. Research has shown that supplementation with bovine colostrum is able to positively modulate immune function. Immunoglobins, including IgG, and other proteins such as lactoferrin contained in colostrum are thought to play an important role in this supplement’s ability to defend itself. Bovine colostrum has even been shown to have an important role in supporting gastrointestinal health by stimulating the proliferation of intestinal cells, resulting in healthy intestinal function and mucosal immune protection.