Bovine Colostrum vs. Human Colostrum: Here’s What You Need to Know


Colostrum is commonly referred to as the “first food of life.” It comes directly from a mother’s breast immediately after giving birth and offers numerous benefits for infants, including:

  • Advanced protection against infection.
  • Additional support to minimize the pain and physical stress of birth.
  • Nutrients and vitamins to help an infant grow and develop.
  • Closing of the holes in the stomach to prevent permeability.
  • Seeding the G.I. tract with beneficial bacteria for a healthy microbiome.

It is important to note that human colostrum is for babies only. Most mother’s colostrum can be measured in just teaspoons. However, adults can enjoy many of the health benefits of human colostrum if they take a bovine (cow) colostrum supplement.

Bovine colostrum supplementation is a superb option for adults, children, and even pets (mammalian species only). In fact, bovine colostrum is safe to consume in any quantity and can be incorporated into an individual’s diet with ease.

So what differentiates human colostrum from bovine colostrum? Here’s a closer look at some of the key differences between bovine colostrum and human colostrum, along with why bovine colostrum can make a world of difference for users of all ages.

  1. Immunoglobulins 

Immunoglobulins (antibodies) are found in both bovine colostrum and human colostrum. They empower the immune system to combat a myriad of foreign invaders within the body, including:

  • Bacteria
  • Cancer cells
  • Viruses

Bovine colostrum contains a high concentration of immunoglobulins G (IgG), A (IgA), E (IgE), D (IgD), and M (IgM) that provide extra protection against infection. It also contains about 40 times more antibodies than human colostrum for greater protection against pathogens.

Comparatively, human colostrum consists primarily of IgA, one of the most common antibodies in an individual’s body. IgA is found in the secretions of the mucosal surfaces, such as tears and saliva. In addition, IgA has been shown to help reduce the risk of autoimmune conditions, asthma, allergies, and infections.

  1. Growth Factors 

Growth factors stimulate growth and replication of living cells. They function as chemical messengers that aid in the growth, organization, and maintenance of cells and tissues. Plus, growth factors support wound healing, skin repair, and heal intestinal permeability, or Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Bovine colostrum includes a higher concentration of an insulin-like growth factor (IGF) than human colostrum. It also contains special enzymes that prevent growth factors from being digested.

On the other hand, human colostrum contains two kinds of growth factors – CAGF and CBGF. CAGF serves as an epidermal growth factor, while CBGF promotes platelet differentiation.

  1. Lactose 

Lactose is the primary sugar found in milk and other dairy products. It has been shown to help newborns absorb and retain many important minerals, including calcium, manganese, and zinc. 

Human colostrum contains the highest amount of lactose available to any species. The lactose in human colostrum supports a newborn’s brain growth and development as well as a child’s fluid loss through sweating and urine formation.

Conversely, bovine colostrum contains less lactose than human colostrum. Bovine colostrum also includes a higher concentration of casein, a protein that provides the building blocks of muscle, than its human counterpart.

At Sovereign Laboratories, we understand lactose intolerance is a problem that plagues millions of adults. As such, we offer Colostrum-LD®, a lactose-reduced formula, which is ideal for individuals with lactose intolerance or lactose sensitivity. Of course, anyone who has had an anaphylactic reaction to dairy products should avoid colostrum entirely.

Which Is Better: Human or Bovine Colostrum? 

Believe it or not, the benefits of bovine colostrum may actually outweigh those associated with its human counterpart. 

Human colostrum is powerful. It contains a rich combination of substances that help stimulate and augment a newborn’s immune system, thereby protecting him or her against a new and potentially harmful environment.

Also, human colostrum stimulates the growth and development of a newborn’s tissues and organs. It plays a significant role in the first few days of life for a newborn, as it helps repair intestinal permeability, aka “leaky gut.”

Human babies are born with holes in the stomach and small intestine. These holes allow antibodies, proteins, and other natural components to pass through the bloodstream. Colostrum helps close these holes after a few days of breastfeeding. If a baby is not breastfed adequately during the first few years of life, these holes may, over time, reopen. The result is leaky gut syndrome (LGS), a primary cause of diabetes, autism, allergies, and other autoimmune conditions. LGS may increase the likelihood that babies and young children experience stomach and digestive problems and an increase in all types of infections, including respiratory infections and ear infections.

Colostrum is a significant part of the growth and development of cows, goats, sheep, pigs, and other farm animals. In fact, the longer a farm animal goes without colostrum after birth, the more likely it becomes that this animal will not survive. First, there is an immediate risk of bruising, inflammation, and pain due to the physical trauma associated with birth and going through the narrow space of the birth canal. Colostrum helps calm the baby and ease the pain by decreasing the swelling and inflammation.

Second, animals are born without a functioning immune system. They pass through the birth canal and are instantly exposed to pathogens from the outside world, whether from the farm environment or farm workers.  Colostrum works quickly to help safeguard newborn animals against these pathogens through the transfer of immunity from mother to child. Additionally, colostrum helps stimulate rapid muscle, bone and tissue growth so animals can survive beyond the initial days and get on their legs quickly.

Both human and bovine colostrum deliver substantial benefits. Yet it is crucial to note that human babies can survive without colostrum. This is often the case if mom doesn’t produce much colostrum, can’t nurse her newborn, or an infant is adopted. But for babies who do not receive colostrum at a young age, they potentially risk developmental issues, infections, or health problems related to leaky gut.

Individuals of all ages can benefit from bovine colostrum. Bovine colostrum supplementation is a superb option for adults, children, and even pets (mammalian species only). It is safe to consume in any quantity and can be easily incorporated into an individual’s diet.

Furthermore, bovine colostrum is a proven food supplement. It has been used for millennia, and its safety and effectiveness have been well-documented. Bovine colostrum has no negative side effects, either. Quality control management of the entire bovine colostrum manufacturing process – from colostrum collection to packaging and storage – ensures the supplement is delivered in perfect condition for human consumption.

Choose Colostrum-LD® for Superior Bovine Colostrum Supplementation 

Bovine colostrum supplementation can be exceedingly valuable. But not all colostrum products deliver optimal results. In some instances, manufacturers fail to process bovine colostrum on a weekly basis. Weekly processing guarantees that the most relevant colostral antibodies are present in order to be most effective against circulating pathogens.

Colostrum-LD® is unlike any other colostrum product on the market today. It is manufactured in a technologically advanced facility dedicated exclusively to the processing of colostrum for human consumption. Colostrum-LD® also uses a liposomal delivery (LD) system that increases the product’s bioactivity by up 1,500%. Colostrum without liposomal delivery is ineffective because the bioactive components are inactivated.

Ultimately, Colostrum-LD® represents a bovine colostrum supplement that can serve you well when taken daily throughout your life. From infants to octogenarians, Colostrum-LD® offers proven health benefits everyone can all enjoy.