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    What Is Colostrum Good For?

    What can colostrum do for me? What is colostrum good for? Why is it the most important superfood for the prevention of chronic conditions?

    Excerpts from the book: 'Peptide Immunotherapy: COLOSTRUM, A physicians Reference Guide' By Andrew M. Keech, PhD with contributions from Michail V. Borissenko BS, MS, Steven Bock, MD, Kenneth J. Frank, MD

    The first thing that must be understood about colostrum is what it isn't, namely that colostrum is not a medication.

    As the first food of life, colostrum is designed to maintain health and prevent disease rather than cure a disease that you already may have. To make an analogy, it's better to close the barn door before the horse runs out than after it already has. So what does it do for adults or for children older than infants? Colostrum is incredibly effective at shutting down the root cause of most chronic or autoimmune conditions, allergies, and infection – intestinal permeability, or leaky gut syndrome. Once a leaky gut is healed, the body can then work to repair its damaged tissues and bring about radiant and robust health.

    Gut Health: The Key to Health

    Colostrum is an amazing cornucopia of bioactives necessary for maintaining a healthy, functional gastrointestinal tract, which is the key to good health in general. Many diseases have their origins in the gut, and the proper absorption of nutrients is key to maintaining a well-tuned body. One of the primary functions, if not the primary function, of colostrum is gut health. The overall condition of the gastrointestinal tract - the mouth, the esophagus, the stomach, and the large and small intestines - is a significant health concern due to the amount of potentially harmful material that passes through it every day. Many, if not most, diseases originate in the gut in one way or another. Yet gut health is generally ignored unless someone is suffering from diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, or other GI problems. People don't like to think about digestive processes or bowel problems; some people still consider it 'unmentionable', yet this is changing, particularly with increased interest in the gut microbiome.

    When the proportion of beneficial ('good') bacteria in the intestines outnumbers the pathogenic ('bad') bacteria, the intestines are considered to be in a state of orthobiosis, a term meaning "in balance" coined by Elie Metchnikoff. When that proportion is out of balance and the pathogenic bacteria are predominating, the intestines are considered to be in a state of dysbiosis, or imbalance. Dysbiosis has a number of harmful consequences, including leaky gut syndrome in which the permeability of the gut lining is increased. The toxins and pathogens normally excluded from passing through the gut lining now move freely into the bloodstream and into the body, which can cause or contribute to a multitude of allergies and autoimmune conditions.

    Colostrum is the best remedy known for all-around gut health. Colostrum restores a leaky gut to normal permeability levels.1 It contains growth factors and hormones to help repair damage to the intestinal lining, including damage caused by NSAIDS and other medications, and restore gut integrity.5,6,7 It contains high quantities of immunoglobulins and natural antibodies that help control harmful bacteria and fungi, in order to restore orthobiosis. It has been clinically proven to control such harmful bacteria as H. pylori,8,9 which cause ulcers, and many other bacteria. Colostrum has also been shown to increase the surface area of the intestinal lining, improving the absorption of nutrients.10,11,12 And there are no known side effects from using colostrum.

    Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) or Intestinal Permeability

    Leaky gut syndrome is the name given to a very common health disorder in which the intestinal lining is more permeable than normal. The abnormally large spaces present between the cells of the gut wall allow the entry of undigested food particles, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other toxic material into the bloodstream. Leaky gut syndrome is at least as common as all the immune system conditions combined. Basically, it is caused by infection and the attendant inflammation of the gut lining. Many people's first symptoms of leaky gut include bloating, cramps, and gas, and painful bowels. The infection and inflammation can be brought about by any of the following:


    Leaky gut syndrome (LGS) damages the protective coating of antibodies of the immunoglobin A (IgA) family which are normally present in a healthy gut.13 Because IgA helps ward off infections, leaky gut problems increase susceptibility to viruses, bacteria, parasites, and Candida.14,15 These microbes are able to enter the bloodstream and colonize almost any body tissue or organ, thereby causing disease. LGS also creates mineral deficiencies because the various carrier proteins needed to transport minerals from the intestine to the bloodstream are damaged by the inflammation process.16 For example, magnesium deficiency is common in conditions such as fibromyalgia, despite high magnesium intake through diet and supplementation. If the carrier protein for magnesium is damaged, it doesn't matter how much of the mineral you take; it will not get into the body where it is needed. Similarly, the body can be deprived of zinc because of poor intestinal absorption, often resulting in hair loss. A copper deficiency can lead to high blood cholesterol levels and osteoarthritis. Additionally, when calcium, boron, silicon, and manganese are not absorbed into the bloodstream, bone problems develop. Eventually, nutritional deficiencies can also lead to systemic complaints like fatigue, headaches, memory loss, poor concentration, or irritability.17

    Outside of newborn gut ecology, intestinal permeability is neither normal or healthy. A mother's colostrum heals her infant's leaky gut within the first 72 hours after birth. Colostrum functions to reduce inflammation, protect against irritation from toxins, and attack any potential infection, while promoting epithelial growth and repair. These actions quickly reduce permeability, preventing toxins, irritants, allergens, and infectious agents from entering body tissues. A number of serious health conditions are known to be associated with abnormally increased gut permeability and chronic inflammation caused by over-stimulation of the immune system. These include all autoimmune conditions, such as Crohn's disease, diabetes, autism, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cholera, Salmonella and E. coli infection, HIV, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, hepatitis, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, fibromyalgia, scleroderma, asthma, and allergies.

    Research shows that colostrum can correct leaky gut syndrome with its unique combination of immune factors and growth stimulators, which includes epithelial growth factors. In fact, research has shown that colostrum is the single most effective agent for correcting leaky gut syndrome. Of course, avoiding the contributors to LGS is equally important; avoid oral antibiotics, pain medications, foods with antibiotic residues, GMO foods; pesticide-contaminated foods, processed foods, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, chemical additives, and tobacco.

    Colostrum also promotes re-colonization of the bowel by friendly bacteria which grow and replicate better with the help of colostrum's growth factors, thereby assisting in food digestion, elimination of waste, production of B vitamins, prevention of gut-based infections. When colostrum normalizes this gut ecology (the 'microbiome'), assimilation of nutrients is also enhanced. This means that other dietary, nutritional, herbal, homeopathic, and lifestyle interventions work better too.

    Immune Supplementation of the Gut

    Supplementation with bovine colostrum antibodies has shown to be an effective means of providing local protection to the GI tract against disease, specifically enteric infectious diseases. In trials it has been successfully shown that specific antibodies in bovine colostrum are effective against both enteropathic and enterotoxic Escherichia coli, Cryptosporidium parvum, rotavirus, and Shigella flexneri. 169,166,169,171,172,173,174

    Clinical research by Dr. David Tyrell193 revealed that a high percentage of the antibodies and immunoglobulins present in colostrum remain in the intestinal tract where they attack disease-causing organisms before they can enter the bloodstream and cause disease. The remainder of antibodies are absorbed and distributed to assist in internal defense processes. It is this combination of actions that is believed to make colostrum so unique and effective as a natural oral supplement.

    "Studies of human volunteers found that the preservation of the biological activity of IgG (Immunoglobulin), in the digestive secretions of adults receiving bovine colostrum orally, indicates passive enteral (intestinal) [JC1] immunization for the prevention and treatment of acute intestinal diseases..."

    – Dr. L.B. Khazenson, Journal of Microbial and Epidemiological Immunobiology 7

    Autoimmune Conditions

    Autoimmune conditions can be loosely defined as conditions where the body's immune defenses are turned on itself. Essentially, the body cannot distinguish self from non-self. This state is usually characterized by the synthesis of specific antibodies to proteins that are normally found in bodily tissues and the mobilization of other aspects of the immune system (e.g., white blood cells and inflammatory cytokines), which in turn leads to wholesale tissue destruction. There is no clear reason why the body begins making antibodies against itself.

    Colostrum, and the proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs) contained therein, specifically, have been shown to be of benefit in a number of autoimmune conditions.77 These include multiple sclerosis,78 rheumatoid arthritis,79 asthma,81 systemic lupus erythematosus,83 several experimental autoimmune responses to red blood cells,84 and hemolytic anemia.85 Chemokines (chemo attractants that attract immune cells to a site) and chemokine receptors have been implicated in a number of autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, allograft rejection, systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, lichen planus, and graft-vs.-host disease. Endothelial cells of the blood vessels express chemokines, and this appears to be an important step in the development of autoimmunity. In animal models of these diseases, antagonists of chemokine-chemokine receptor interactions alleviate the symptoms.86,87 This may suggest a role that PRPs play in the relief of autoimmune conditions.


    Autism is an early-onset biological disorder that causes severe deficits of higher mental functions, as well as behavioral manifestations. There is no single, clear-cut cause and no complete cure for autism.88 Causally speaking, immune factors, neurochemical factors, antibiotics,89 genetic susceptibility factors, and environmental factors (such as microbial infections and chemical toxicity) have been implicated. Autism is a very complex, multifactorial disorder that may include autoimmunity.90 Immune therapies, such as oral PRPs and colostrum, have benefitted in some cases.91


    Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can express autoimmune characteristics.68,69,70,71 Prior to the development of diagnosed diabetes, the body creates autoimmune antibodies against pancreatic beta-cells. These antibodies interfere with insulin production by the beta-cells. This creates an unstable production of insulin and the inability of the body to regulate blood glucose levels.72 Type 1, or juvenile onset diabetes, can also be considered an autoimmune disease.73

    Tests at UCLA and Stanford University showed that a protein called GAD, found in cow's milk, can trigger an allergic response that damages the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.74 Without insulin, the body is unable to use glucose for energy, so it is forced to burn fat stores instead. Such a severe metabolic imbalance can lead to diabetic coma. Type 1 diabetes seems to occur most often in children who did not receive colostrum at birth or who were only minimally breastfed. Immune factors in colostrum increase the tolerance for GAD, preventing the allergic response.75 Once an individual has developed Type 1 diabetes, the treatment options are very limited. Generally, the condition is controlled with a combination of dietary restrictions, exercise, and multiple daily insulin injections or insulin pump therapy. A 1990 study suggested that colostrum supplementation would be a beneficial treatment for diabetics, based on the fact that a key growth factor, IGF-1, can stimulate glucose utilization. Researchers found that plasma levels of IGF-1 were lower in diabetic patients than in healthy individuals.76 After administering IGF-1 to patients, there was a twofold increase in glucose transport to the muscles. More research is necessary to support the role of IGF-1 in colostrum as an adjunct to existing glucose management strategies. **Any changes to insulin dosing should only be made with the patient's doctor's supervision.**

    In addition to specific auto antibodies detected in people with diabetes, there is activation of natural killer T cells that are normally targeted against viruses. Even when people with Type 1 diabetes are treated with insulin, their autoimmune dysfunction still remains, and they are more likely to suffer from other autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis. Therefore, if progress is made on the autoimmune front for diabetes, there will surely be carryover to these other conditions. Recently, more study is targeting Type 2 diabetes, which is most often associated with obesity and inactivity, but also appears to have an inflammatory (immune) component.

    Research has shed light on the fact that there are more commonalities between Types 1 and 2 patients, the most prominent being the presence of auto antibodies. This fact alone suggests that on the many faces of diabetes (Types 1, 1.5, 2, and 3) there may be a common imprint of immune dysfunction. And with revelations linking diabetes with Alzheimer's disease (so-called Type 3), there is even more at stake in identifying and developing new, more effective treatment protocols.

    Immune Health (Infection Prevention)

    Colostrum is unmatched for immune system modulation. There are numerous 'one note' products lining the shelves of natural food stores that claim to boost the immune system. Only colostrum, however, plays the whole symphony. It is not only able to stimulate an underactive immune system but also has the ability to tone down an overactive immune system. No other health food or supplement can perform those critical functions.

    Colostrum can pass immunity to a wide variety of disease-causing pathogens to individuals who take the supplement regularly. This includes protection from bacteria, like Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus, as well as various viruses, such as those that cause colds and flu to HIV, fungi like Candida, and even protozoan parasites like giardia. Not even antibiotics can deliver such broad-spectrum protection. Moreover, pathogens do not develop resistance to colostrum as they do to man-made antibiotics. In other words, colostrum does not contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria ('superbugs').

    Humans' ability to survive in a world full of pathogens and toxins depends upon the ability of the immune system to neutralize and destroy these potential dangers. To accomplish this, the body has developed various strategies to attack or neutralize these dangers. The immune factors in colostrum utilize these strategies within the gut, the primary route of infection or toxin entry into the body. Keep in mind that well over 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates said that "All disease begins in the gut." No other nutritional supplement matches colostrum in terms of variety and effectiveness of its immune support capability. Colostrum does this through its potent array of immune factors, including immunoglobulins, cytokines, interferon, lactoferrin, and PRPs, which can help restore immunity, prevent infection, and speed healing and recovery from illness.

    Bovine colostrum, in particular, contains up to 40 times more immune factors than human colostrum. Fresh, raw bovine colostrum is not commercially available, but it can be processed and dried in powdered form. Adding a lipid (fat) coating through a process of liposomal micro-encapsulation has been shown to help deliver colostrum's immune and growth factors intact into the digestive system. This Liposomal Delivery (LD) system allows for absorption into the bloodstream and for the vital healing components to be delivered to all cells and organs, including crossing into nervous and brain tissue for healing and repair of damaged tissue.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), anywhere from 30% to 80% of commercial chickens are contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.18 ABC TV quoted a government source that reported as many as 33 million Americans suffer food poisoning every year, and that over 5,000 die.19 Colostrum has been shown to kill Salmonella, along with other disease-causing bacteria such as Campylobacter, E. coli (sickens or kills people when present in contaminated meat that has not been sufficiently cooked), Helicobacter pylori (the main cause of stomach ulcers), Listeria, and multiple Streptococcus species and Staphylococcus and Clostridium Difficile (the main cause of hospitalacquired infections). This is good news in light of the increasing number of antibiotic resistant super strains, such as vancomycin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Colostrum has also been found to be effective against Candida albicans.20

    Research shows that colostrum prevents and controls infection in multiple ways. First, colostrum inhibits bacteria from attaching to the body's epithelial (surface) tissue. This is a necessary first step for any infection to take hold. Second, lactoferrin acts as a powerful natural antimicrobial and antiviral; it is also very effective against fungus and yeast infections. Colostrum also imparts passive immunity to many infectious organisms, including the leading intestinal killers E. coli and rotavirus. At the same time, immune factors enhance the body's natural defense against virtually all pathogenic bacteria and viruses.

    Intestinal infections that cause diarrhea can be deadly, particularly for infants and young children. Rotavirus, a major cause of diarrhea, is the world's leading killer in areas with poor sanitation and contaminated water. Rotavirus has been spreading rapidly beyond developing countries due to increased travel and immigration. Clostridium and Shigella are two other major killers linked to diarrhea. Colostrum neutralizes the toxins produced by Clostridium, the organism linked to botulism.21 Colostrum showed similar results against shigellosis.22 Taking colostrum whenever you travel abroad can potentially be a lifesaver.

    Infection is becoming increasingly important as a cause of chronic degenerative disease as we understand more about etiology. Chlamydia pneumonia (an intracellular parasite), for example, may be a triggering factor in atherosclerosis,23 and researchers believe that this may account for up to 50% of all heart disease. The best known immune components of colostrum, of course, are the immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies.24,25,26 Immunoglobulins are special proteins produced by the body that can bind to virtually any bacteria, virus, protein, peptide, carbohydrate, or cell that the body recognizes as 'foreign'. Once the immunoglobulins attach themselves to the foreign substance, scavenger cells of the immune system can subsequently attack and destroy or neutralize it.

    The immunoglobulins in colostrum contribute to its ability to neutralize or kill many bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even protozoan parasites. The list of pathogens against which colostrum has been shown to be effective is impressive,27 including such dangerous bacteria as H. pylori28 (implicated in ulcer formation in the stomach), E. coli29,30 (a natural inhabitant of the GI tract that has a number of very dangerous strains that can cause severe diarrhea or intestinal bleeding), pertussis,31 cholera,32 and bacterial causes of severe diarrhea,33,34,35 which can be lethal in those suffering from AIDS and which kill thousands of infants worldwide annually. It has also been shown to be effective against a number of viruses36 and even protozoan parasites, such as amoebas,37 which cause dysentery and other gastrointestinal diseases. Immunoglobulins are just one weapon in colostrum's great arsenal of immune modulation.

    Three proteins found in colostrum - lactoferrin, lysozyme, and lactoperoxidase - provide non-specific protection against bacteria, viruses, and fungi.38 Lactoferrin comprises about 6% of the total protein in colostrum. It is an iron-binding protein closely related to transferrin, which is a protein that transports free iron in the body. The primary way lactoferrin destroys bacteria is by binding free iron, which is otherwise needed by many bacteria and fungi, such as Candida,39 to reproduce. Lactoferrin can prevent the colonization of Haemophilus influenza, the primary cause of ear and respiratory infections in children, by inactivating its colonization factors.40

    Lactoferrin also has the ability to penetrate the cell walls of bacteria, which allows lysozyme to enter the bacterial cell, causing them to lyse, or burst.41 Additionally, lactoferrin acts in conjunction with lysozyme to destroy Candida.42 Lactoferrin is a potent destroyer of viruses as well, including cytomegalovirus (cause of fetal birth defects and fetal death),43 HIV (AIDS virus),44 hepatitis B45 and C,46 rotavirus (primary cause of diarrhea in infants),47 influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus (cause of colds in adults48 and severe bronchitis and pneumonia in children), and herpes simplex types 1 (cold sores) and 2 (genital herpes).49,50

    In addition to its antimicrobial role, lactoferrin has other important immune functions. Lactoferrin derived from colostrum increases both motility and superoxide production by polymorph nuclear leukocytes (white blood cells), making them more effective in warding off infections.51 It strongly augments natural killer (NK) cell and lymphokine-activated killer cell cytotoxic activity.52 Lactoferrin is also a required growth factor for lymphocytes, the principal cell type of the immune system,53 so it stimulates increased activity of the immune system.

    Lactoperoxidase combines with thiocyanate (a sulfur compound) and hydrogen peroxide to form a bactericidal compound that kills bacteria and viruses nonspecifically, as well as degrades various carcinogens.54,55

    Other components of the innate, or non-specific, immune system are also present in colostrum.56 The glycoconjugates which are found in both colostrum and milk are proteins, fats, or complex sugars (oligo and poly saccharides) that have sugar molecules attached to them. These sugar molecules compete with pathogens for binding sites on the intestinal wall.57,58

    Complement,59,60 part of the antigen-antibody system, is also present in colostrum. Complement proteins help to remove immunoglobulin-antigen structures, so that they do not accumulate in the tissues. Additionally, there are a number of small proteins and peptides which offer support to the immune system, such as defensins61 (polypeptides that disrupt bacterial membranes, killing them), toll-like receptors53,62,63 (pattern recognition detectors that help the immune system identify new pathogens), and cathelicidin-derived antimicrobial peptide53 (a polypeptide that attacks the membranes of bacteria).

    Colostrum's unique ability to modulate the immune system's activity up or down, rather than just stimulate the immune system, distinguishes it from plant-derived immune products. The PRPs, also termed 'colostrinin', has the ability to modulate the immune response by either turning up an underactive immune system or turning down an overactive one.64 PRPs can also induce the growth and differentiation of resting B lymphocytes,65 an important part of turning on the immune system in response to a pathogenic threat.

    Another way colostrum modulates the immune system is by controlling the production of interleukin-2 (IL-2), a type of cytokine - small, hormone-like proteins that regulate the intensity and duration of immune response. By controlling the production of IL-2, colostrum can increase or decrease the activity of natural killer cells66 - specialized lymphocytes whose function is to attack and kill invading pathogens. Lactoferrin also stimulates the activity of natural killer and other immune cells.67

    Heart Disease

    Altered immunity may be the hidden cause of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease, hypertension and stroke. The American College of Cardiology reported that a common type of Chlamydia bacteria has been associated with arterial plaque formation in over 79% of patients with heart disease.92 Another study concluded that heart disease results from the immune sensitization to cardiac antigens.93 In other words, once heart tissue is damaged, the immune system begins creating antibodies which cause further damage.

    Because heart disease resembles an autoimmune response, colostrum's PRPs can help limit the severity of the disease by toning down the immune system's attack on damaged heart tissue. Simultaneously, other immune factors present in colostrum can directly attack the Chlamydia bacteria. Finally, IGF-1 and growth hormone in colostrum can lower LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol concentrations.94,95,96 Colostrum growth factors promote the repair and regeneration of heart muscle and the regeneration of new blood vessels for collateral coronary circulation.97 Both milk and colostrum contain hypotensive factors, called ACE inhibitory peptides (casokinins and lactokinins), which decrease blood pressure and lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.98,99 The calcium in milk and colostrum also help to lower blood pressure.100


    A study101 showed the efficacy of a two-month treatment with oral colostrum in the prevention of flu episodes compared with anti-influenza vaccination (flu shot). After three months of follow-up, the number of days with flu was three times higher in the patients who did not receive colostrum. Researchers concluded that colostrum, both in healthy subjects and high-risk cardiovascular patients, is at least three times more effective than vaccination in preventing the flu. A side benefit is that colostrum is cost-effective.


    Colostrum supplementation has shown to be of benefit against cancer. Numerous studies have shown that bovine colostrum prevents the development of cancers, particularly cancers associated with the gastrointestinal tract, under experimental conditions (in vitro). More clinical research is needed to understand colostrum's role in preventing cancer in vivo, which is, of course, much more difficult to study.

    One in three people living in Canada and the United States are predicted to get some form of cancer during their lifetime. Outside of the well-known carcinogens like nitrates, hydrogenated oils, cigarette smoke, and radiation, the causes of cancer are multiple and complex. Cancerous cells are continuously being formed and destroyed in the human body. The problem is when a weakened (underactive) immune system allows for the cancerous cells to become immortal, spread, and destroy other healthy tissues. Ironically, chemotherapy compromises the body's natural immune function, leaving patients susceptible to more types of infection.

    The benefits of natural immune boosters in the treatment of cancer was first popularized by the 1985 Steven Rosenberg book, Quiet Strides in the War on Cancer.102 Rosenberg had great success with cancer patients, including one complete cure, by utilizing a treatment which flooded the body with killer immune cells, as well as chemical messengers (cytokines).103,104 Since Rosenberg's time, the same cytokines -- found uniquely in colostrum (interleukins 1, 6, 10, interferon-g, and lymphokines) -- have been the single most researched elements in the search for the cure for cancer.

    Colostral lactalbumin can cause the selective death of cancer cells, leaving the surrounding non-cancerous tissues unaffected. Lactoferrin has similarly been reported to possess anti-cancer activity. The incredible mix of immune and growth factors in colostrum can inhibit the spread of cancer cells. And if viruses are involved in either the initiation or the spread of cancer, colostrum could prove to be one of the best ways to prevent it in the first place.

    PRPs have been shown to be a potent placental antiangiogenic hormone that prevents neovascularization105 (angiogenesis). Tumor cells engineered to express high levels of PRPs show markedly reduced growth rates of mouse tumors.106 The protein also acts on human endothelial cells.107 It has been shown that the use of adenovirus vectors expressing PRPs can lead to complete tumor rejection and prolonged survival in a high proportion of animals bearing transplanted mouse B16F10 melanoma cells.108,109,110,111

    A series of studies carried out in Japan on animal models of cancer showed in every case that lactoferrin either prevented the cancer from taking hold or prevented metastasis from established tumors.112,113,114,115 Lactoferrin has also been shown to boost the cytotoxic activity of natural killer cells against blood and breast epithelial tumor cell lines116,117 and to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.118

    One study has shown that a number of human cancers become more sensitive to chemotherapy in the presence of epidermal growth factor, a growth factor identified in colostrum. 119

    The one thing that colostrum does not do with regards to cancer is make it worse. Some stories have been circulating that the growth factors in colostrum can cause cancers to grow faster; these are unfounded and not backed by research.120

    AIDS (HIV)

    HIV is a frightening virus because (1) it mutates so quickly that the body cannot produce an antibody to destroy it; and (2) it's difficult to fight a virus that directly targets the body's main defense - the immune system. HIV attacks the immune system, rendering it extremely vulnerable to other pathogens, such that a simple cold or flu can be deadly.

    In a 1995 article in Scientific American, researchers concluded that 'traditional' disease fighting methods (vaccines, for example) are just not effective in fighting HIV. Instead, they recommended decreasing the body's viral load and stimulating the body's natural immune response as a patient's best chance against HIV.121

    Another study122 indicated that lactoferrin is one of the best ways to reduce viral load. For example, lactoferrin inhibited HIV infection of certain body cells. Additionally, this immune factor was able to completely block Cytomegalovirus infection. This study also concluded that bovine lactoferrin was up to 2.5 times more potent than human lactoferrin.

    Many of the immune factors in colostrum help stimulate or 'jump-start' a weakened immune system. Lactoferrin, for example, is responsible for 'turning on' the immune system in newborn babies and has been proven to do the same for adult patients with AIDS. At the same time, colostrum's growth factors boost the body's immune function. Clinical studies have shown that HIV positive patients treated with specific growth factors, particularly growth hormone or IGF-1, were much less likely to develop full-blown AIDS than patients who received different treatments.123

    Growth factors also play a significant role in preventing AIDS-associated wasting, or severe weight loss. Wasting occurs when the AIDS infected body begins using muscle tissue to produce energy. Treatment with growth hormone and IGF-1 showed an increase in lean muscle mass among AIDS patients. An increase in muscle mass, or preservation of existing muscle mass, is key to improving the quality of life of AIDS patients. Muscle mass wasting is generally brought about by severe, chronic diarrhea, one of the first symptoms of AIDS. Cryptosporidium and rotavirus take advantage of a weakened immune system and cause diarrhea. Chronic diarrhea results in a loss of vital nutrients and fluids as well as depleting most of the intestinal antibodies, leaving the patient even more susceptible to dangerous gut-based pathogens.

    Because chronic diarrhea is inarguably one of the most serious, potentially fatal problems that AIDS patients face, much of the research thus far has focused on finding a way to prevent diarrhea. One study124 showed that out of 37 immune-deficient patients with chronic diarrhea, 72.4% experienced a significant improvement with the use of immunoglobulins from colostrum. Over half of the patients remained diarrhea-free for at least four weeks after the treatment ceased. A 1990 study stated that colostral immunoglobulins have been able to treat opportunistic, diarrhea-causing infections in AIDS patients where no other treatment was effective.125 At the very least, colostrum will benefit the AIDS patient by prolonging and improving quality of life.

    Athletic Use

    Athletes utilize colostrum because its growth factors help burn fat while building lean muscle. Colostrum improves strength and shortens recovery time. It also protects athletes from getting sick when they're at their most vulnerable point -- following a vigorous workout; this is when the immune system is temporarily disabled. Some athletes and trainers have even labeled colostrum as the "new creatine."126 In the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics, Australian athletes stunned the world by earning more medals than China, a nation with over 100 times as many people and potential athletes. Their 'secret' was bovine colostrum, and their revelation fueled a renewed interest in athletic/fitness research.

    In recognition of colostrum's natural ability to improve an athlete's health and physical condition, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled that colostrum is an acceptable supplement. The decision was based on the fact that although colostrum supplementation stimulates the production of IGF-1 in the body, the IGF-1 in colostrum is not actually absorbed, but digested.137,138 Colostrum is an ideal supplement for athletes, whether they are Olympic athletes or weekend warriors. It builds lean muscle, burns fat, protects against infection, and heals the leaky gut condition often associated with athletic training and performance.


    Studies show significant fitness gains with colostrum supplementation. A widely reported study in Australia found a 20% increase in strength, stamina, and shortened recovery time for both soccer players and cyclists. Many body builders and fitness experts testify that colostrum works better than any other legal performance-enhancing substance they've tried.

    The growth factors in colostrum are known to enhance muscle tone, burn body fat, promote skin elasticity, and increase bone density. TGF-alpha and -beta (transforming growth factors) stimulate production and repair of RNA and DNA, as well as repair of damaged muscle fibers in athletes. EGF (epithelial growth factor) stimulates enhanced skin healing. IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) is able to "promote muscle growth by itself," according to Muscle and Fitness associate editor Steve Schwade. Bovine IGF-1 is effective in humans, differing in its structure by only 3 out of 67 amino acids, and bovine colostrum contains more IGF-1 than human colostrum. The growth factors in colostrum stimulate protein synthesis and slow protein breakdown, resulting in increased lean muscle mass. At the same time, they shift the body's metabolism from burning carbohydrates to burning more fats, a benefit for anyone trying to lose weight.

    Olympic skiers taking colostrum experienced less fatigue and improved their performance in a placebo-controlled study in Finland. They also showed only half the level of blood creatine-kinase, a marker of muscle injury, compared to placebo control. Another Finnish study confirmed that athletes taking colostrum during strength and speed training did in fact show increased blood serum concentrations of IGF-1.126

    Overall, colostrum is considered as powerful as steroids at generating increased muscle mass when used in conjunction with exercise, but without the health risks and side effects. To attain the maximum fitness benefits from colostrum, it should be taken it in powder form and mixed with water on an empty stomach, 30 minutes prior to a workout or a meal. It should not be added to a protein drink. Another dose should be taken one hour prior to bedtime.

    Athletic Immune Stress

    Strenuous exercise associated with athletic training and competition places a tremendous strain on body systems, including the immune system. Studies examining the effects of extreme exercise on the immune system have shown profound immune system changes following marathon runs or other forms of athletic performance that push the body to its physical limits. A study of marathon runners showed that white blood cell counts decreased dramatically after a three-hour run but returned to normal levels within 21 hours.128 Another study of marathoners showed decreased natural killer cell activity after a race.129,129 This would suggest that athletes who push themselves to their limits are much more susceptible to infectious diseases, such as upper respiratory infections, which is indeed borne out by research.130 Combined with proper nutrition and rest, colostrum helps prevent this. Colostrum, with its growth and immune factors, cuts recovery time and boosts immune function, reducing an athlete's susceptibility to infection after intense exercise,131 and it can also help heal leaky gut, which can be the result of protein supplementation.132 Colostrum also speeds the healing of muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries – all common with strenuous exercise. Other athletic studies have shown that colostrum supplementation decreases recovery time and increase anaerobic power.133,134,135 Colostrum supplementation helps build lean muscle tissue and burn fat.136

    Healing, Tissue Repair, and Injury Recovery

    Colostrum is known for its healing abilities, even in early recorded history, having been mentioned in Egyptian hieroglyphic texts for its healing properties[JC3] . Colostrum's various growth factors play a significant role in healing, tissue repair and recovery from injury. Skin cells have receptors for growth hormone and IGF-1, showing that they have the ability to react directly to growth hormone stimulation.157 IGF-II plays a similar role.158 Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and epithelial growth factor (EGF) are important in healing skin wounds.159, 160 Burns suppress the levels of IGF-1 in the affected area,161 which explains why colostrum, with its high concentration of IGF-1, is excellent for burn recovery.

    The growth factors in colostrum also accelerate the healing of muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries, such as are commonly experienced by athletes.162,163,164,165 Colostrum's growth factors stimulate regeneration and repair of muscle, bone, cartilage, skin, collagen, and nerve tissues, as well as RNA and DNA. This not only means faster, more complete recovery from injury and illness, it explains how colostrum provides anti-aging benefits. With prolonged colostrum supplementation, the skin becomes more youthful; age-spots and liver spots disappear. Sexual function is enhanced. Bone density increases. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine166 showed that transforming growth factor (TGF-b) found in colostrum is also produced by osteoblasts, the cells that build bone. TGF-b was found to dramatically increase cell apoptosis (programmed cell death) among osteoclasts, the cells responsible for breaking down and reabsorbing bone.

    Colostrum also helps to balance blood sugar and replenish neurotransmitters, resulting in better alertness and concentration, while enhancing mood. Both serotonin and dopamine are released in greater quantities, while their re-uptake is prolonged, allowing each molecule to work longer and more efficiently. For individuals who can benefit from balanced blood sugar levels (diabetics, people prone to hypoglycemia, people with concerns about depression), it is generally best to take colostrum first thing in the morning, between meals, and an hour before bedtime on an empty stomach.

    Weight Loss

    One of the most significant benefits of colostrum in a weight loss program lies in the fact that it stops the yo-yo phenomenon and retains lean muscle mass. Every diet, outside of metabolic diets, emphasize caloric restriction which causes the body to think it is in a state of famine; the body holds on to every precious calorie it receives, down-regulates metabolism, burns muscle for fuel, and finally when calories are reintroduced, the pounds come back with a vengeance. Read more about how colostrum supplementation aids in weight loss.

    Discovered in 1994, leptin derives its name from the Greek word leptos, meaning thin. First milking bovine colostrum contains approximately 50 ng/g of leptin, a polypeptide hormone produced in adipose (fat) and many other tissues. Leptin performs many different roles related to the inhibition of food intake and stimulation of energy expenditure; these include satiety, adiposity, and metabolism. Higher levels of leptin as a neurotransmitter can accelerate the communication signals to stop eating sooner.

    Aside from the athletic benefits, IGF-1 plays a role in weight loss. It stops the digestion of muscle tissue (catabolism) to balance blood glucose to the brain during fasting (between meals), and stimulates the utilization of stored body fat for fuel. The only way to realistically supplement IGF-1 is with colostrum. Significant daily weight training may do the same job as colostrum supplementation, but it is far more difficult and increases the likelihood of injury. Regular colostrum users can enhance body physiology, thereby improving appearance and vitality.


    Bovine colostrum contains many antioxidant and anti-aging components to maintain a youthful appearance and optimal physical and mental functioning. Colostrum neutralizes free oxygen radicals, metabolic waste products which can otherwise cause more rapid aging. Oxidation is the normal metabolism of nutrients in the body. As we age, we are less able to remove the byproducts of metabolism resulting in high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which results in oxidative stress in the tissues. Colostrum supplies growth factors and other important substances that normally decline with age, leading to cell senescence and accelerated aging.

    Accelerated aging is synonymous with damage to DNA, proteins, and lipids; cancer and degenerative diseases, including arthritis.139,140,141 Colostrum contains a number of powerful antioxidants, including glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant known, and its chemical precursors.142 Glutathione itself is not absorbed through the intestinal wall, but the glutathione in colostrum still plays a major role in maintaining gastrointestinal health. The precursors, cystine, glycine, and glutamic acid, are absorbed and contribute to glutathione production in the body. Colostrum reduces respiratory burst output in white blood cells (polymorph nuclear leukocytes), which has both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory effect.143,144 PRPs contribute to the antioxidant effect of colostrum by down regulating lipid peroxidation, inhibiting glutathione depletion, and reducing intracellular levels of ROS.145 Lactoferrin also has antioxidant properties, preventing lipid peroxidation.146 Haemopexin is a protein found in milk and colostrum147 that strongly binds haem (heme), a low molecular weight form of iron that takes part in oxidative reactions in tissues. Haemopexin can inhibit these reactions by up to 90%.148 Moreover, Bovine colostrum contains telomerase, an enzyme that helps preserve telomeres allowing identical, undamaged cells to replicate over and over. Read more about colostrum and Anti-Aging.


    Traditionally, detoxification requires taking a powerful herbal concoction that causes the body to dump fluids, thus flushing the system of impurities and toxins. From the colostrum advocate's point of view, this is a limited and potentially dangerous concept of detoxification that puts unnecessary stress on the body and can potentially do more harm than good. Colostrum detoxifies the body starting in the gastrointestinal tract and in a much healthier and more efficacious manner. Colostrum inhibits or destroys harmful pathogens that can colonize the gut and cause major health problems, such as Helicobacter pylori, the main cause of gastric and duodenal ulcers;149,150,151,152 Candida albicans, a fungus that can overgrow the intestines, forcing out beneficial bacteria;153 and many other pathogens,154,155 while promoting the growth of beneficial bacterial colonies.

    Colostrum also acts to heal the damage to the intestinal lining caused by the pathogens and toxins that can accumulate there. Colostrum is the only substance clinically proven to heal and prevent intestinal permeability, or leaky gut syndrome. A healed, non-permeable gut lining prevents pathogens and toxins from entering the body and restores normal gut functioning. Colostrum also helps protect and heal both the liver and the pancreas from the effects of toxins in the body by helping to remove dangerous toxins and by stimulating these organs to replace damaged tissue.156,157

    Topical Applications & Wound Healing

    Colostrum helps heal injuries such as burns, cuts, abrasions, ulcers, acne, and even surgical wounds with topical application.159,167 Wounds should be thoroughly cleansed to remove any dead cells or foreign material. Pat dry and while wound is slightly moist, apply a light dusting of colostrum powder with a sterile cotton ball; then dress wound with sterile gauze or bandage. Apply the colostrum every time the wound dressings are changed, at least daily. For additional healing properties, a PRP (proline-rich polypeptide) spray may be applied prior to the colostrum dusting.

    Topical use in the mouth helps relieve gingivitis, canker sores, and sensitive teeth and speeds recovery from dental work. It can be used in enemas and douches for help in eliminating Candida albicans and other infections.

    The Perfect Food

    Colostrum is the perfect food -- an all-natural and synergistic combination of the vital immune and growth factors necessary to promote human and mammalian life. For many, it is considered the ideal alternative to hundreds of pharmaceutical drugs, from antibiotics to steroids. Research on colostrum has documented benefits from dosages in the range of 2 to 60 grams per day with no known contraindications, side effects or allergic reactions reported over thousands of years of use. A lactose-reduce formulation is generally safe for those with lactose intolerance. To be effective, powdered colostrum should be taken in a divided dose (at least 1 gram twice a day) with water on an empty stomach for maximum benefits. Depending on one's specific health need, dosages can be increased or taken more frequently.

    Colostrum as Functional Food

    Functional foods are defined as foods that have potential healthful benefits beyond the traditional nutrients they may contain. As such, colostrum has great potential as a functional food and can be incorporated into a nutritional program with other healthy foods. Whole colostrum or various components of colostrum show great promise as an additive to infant formulas, particularly for babies who did not receive the benefit of extended breastfeeding. Moreover, when powdered colostrum contains liposomal delivery (LD), colostrum's unique and vital healing components become up to 1,500% more bioavailable and therefore much more effective.


    Mankind was never designed to eat processed foods, breathe polluted air, drink polluted water, or lead sedentary lives. Colostrum can help restore some of our lost balance. It has shown great promise, for example, in treating autoimmune conditions, which can be traced back to leaky gut syndrome and an imbalance in the gut microbiome. Colostrum can help repair the damage we do to our gastrointestinal tracts by taking antibiotics, pain and other medications; drinking alcohol and acidic beverages; and eating processed, unhealthy, pesticide-laden, or GMO foods. Colostrum can help every one of us lead a happier and healthier life, full of vigor and vitality.



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    112.    Sekine K, Watanabe E, Nakamura J, Takasuka N, Kim DJ, Asamoto M, Krutovskikh Y, Baba-Toriyama H, Ota T, Moore MA, Masuda M, Sugimoto H, Nishino H, Kakizoe T, Tsuda H. Inhibition of azoxymethane-initiated colon tumor by bovine lactoferrin administration in F344 rats. Japanese Journal of Cancer Research 88(6):523–526 (1997). Rats were treated with azoxymethane, a chemical which induces colon cancer in rats. They were then given bovine lactoferrin orally for 36 weeks. 57.5% of the rats in the control group that received no lactoferrin developed carcinomas, while only 25% of the rats that received 0.2% lactoferrin solutions developed carcinomas. Rats that received a stronger dose of lactoferrin, 2%, had only a 15% rate of tumor development.
    113.    Tanaka T, Kawabata K, Kohno H, Honjo S, Murakami M, Ota T, Tsuda H. Chemopreventive effect of bovine lactoferrin on 4-nitroquinoline I-oxide-¬induced tongue carcinogenesis in male F344 rats. Japanese Journal of Cancer Research, 91(1):25–33 (2000). A more detailed study of the effect of lactoferrin administration on chemically induced carcinomas of the tongue in rats. It was found again that a 2% lactoferrin solution produced better protection against the development of carcinoma than the weaker 0.2% solution, though both provided more protection than the control group. With a 2% solution, only 20% of the rats developed cancer, and they showed 64% less multiple tumors than the control group. It was further determined that the method of action of the lactoferrin was through modification of cell proliferation and detoxifying enzymes, such as glutathione S-transferase and quinone reductase.
    114.    Kuhara T, Ligo M, Itoh T, Ushida Y, Sekine K, Terada N, Okamura H, Tsuda H. Orally administered lactoferrin exerts an anti-metastatic effect and enhances production of Il-18 in the intestinal epithelium. Nutrition and Cancer, 38(2):192–199 (2000). Oral administration of bovine lactoferrin or its hydrolyzed form caused an increase in CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes and asialoGM I + (a specific type of natural killer cell) in the spleen and blood, and their cytotoxic activities against several types of cancer cell lines were increased. CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes were also increased in intestinal mucosa accompanied by a marked increase in IL-18 production. Using this model, the effects on metastasis of colon carcinoma to the lung was studied and significant inhibition of metastasis was found. The results suggest that the anti-metastatic effect of lactoferrin may be due to enhanced cellular immunity.
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    116.    Damiens E, Mazurier J, EI Yazidi I, Masson M, Duthille I, Spik G, Boilly-Marer Y. Effects of human lactoferrin on NK cell cytotoxicity against hematopoietic and epithelial tumor cells. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1402(3):277–287 (1998). Human lactoferrin applied at levels found in inflammation was found to boost the cytotoxic activity of natural killer (NK) cells against hematopoietic and breast epithelial tumor cell lines. It also significantly increases the susceptibility to lysis of breast and colon epithelial tumor cell lines but not the hematopoietic tumor cells. Lactoferrin is shown to inhibit epithelial cell proliferation by blocking cell cycle progression.
    117.    Ligo M, Kuhara T, Ushida Y, Sekine K, Moore MA, Tsuda H. Orally administered bovine lactoferrin induces caspase-1 and interleukin-18 in the mouse intestinal mucosa: A possible explanation for inhibition of carcinogenesis and metastasis. Cytokine, 25(1):36–44 (2004). Oral lactoferrin administration increased the production of IL-18 by intestinal epithelial cells followed by increases in caspase-1 and INF—y, which potentiate the activity of cytotoxic lymphocytes and natural killer cells in attacking cancer cells.
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    142.    Borissenko M. Glutathione: A powerful anti-oxidant found in colostrum. NZMP, August 2002. Both glutathione and its chemical predecessors are present in large quantities in colostrum. As glutathione is not absorbed directly, glutathione production in the body can only be accomplished by supplementation with its antecedents, cystine, glycine and glutamic acid, all of which are abundant in colostrum.
    143.    Buescher ES, McIlheran SM. Antioxidant properties of human colostrum. Pediatric Research, 24(1):14–19 (1988). Colostrum reduces ferricytochrome C in polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMNs) and also disrupts other metabolic and enzymatic activities of PMNs which are crucial in PMN respiratory burst mediation of acute inflammation, showing that colostrum is a powerful antioxidant.
    144.    Buescher ES, McIlheran SM. Colostral antioxidants: Separation and characterization of two activities in human colostrum. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 14(1):47–56 (1992). Colostrum interferes with the production of PMN respiratory burst products in two ways, ascorbate and uric acid.
    145.    Boldogh I, Liebenthal D, Hughes TK, Juelich TL, Georgiades JA, Kruzel ML, Stanton GJ. Modulation of 4HNE-mediated signaling by proline-rich peptides from ovine colostrum. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, 20(2):125–134 (2003). Colostrinin down regulates lipid peroxidation, inhibits glutathione depletion, and reduces intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This is one more way that colostrum demonstrates antioxidant activity.
    146.    Wakabayashi H, Matsumoto H, Hashimoto K, Teraguchi S, Takase M, Hayasawa H. Inhibition of iron/ascorbate-induced lipid peroxidation by an N-terminal peptide of bovine lactoferrin and its acylated derivatives. Bioscience, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, 63(5):955–957 (1999). Lactoferrin also plays an important antioxidant role in colostrum by preventing lipid peroxidation.
    147.    Ulcova-Gallova Z, Fialova P, Krauz V. [Immunologic factors in human colostrum and rnilk.] Casopis Lekaru Ceskych 133(9):27–276 (1994). Colostrum was found to contain IgG, IgM, IgD, IgA, slgA, C3, C4, orosomucoid,prealbumin, alpha I-antitrypsin, alpha I-fetoprotein, alpha 2-macroglobulin, haemopexin, haptoglobulin, beta 2-microglobulin, alpha 2-AP glycoprotein, and IgE.
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    149.    Korhonen H, Syvaoja EL, Ahola-Luttila H, Sivela S, Kopola S, Husu J, Kosunen TU. Bactericidal effect of bovine normal and immune serum, colostrum and milk against Helicobacter pylori. Journal of Applied Bacteriology, 78(6):655–662 (1995). Helicobacter pylori is a major cause of gastritis and ulcers in humans. Serum and colostrum from non-immunized Friesian cows were found to be highly bactericidal against H. pylori. Post-colostral milk did not show any bactericidal effect against H. pylori.
    150.    Bitzan MM, Gold BD, Philpott DJ, Huesca M, Sherman PM, Karch H, Lissner R, Lingwood CA, Karmali MA. Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori and Helicobacter mustelae binding to lipid receptors by bovine colostrum. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 177(4):955–961 (1998). H. pylori and H. mustelae (a gastric pathogen of ferrets) are both bound by lipid receptors (phosphatidylethanolamine, gangliotetraosylceramide, and gangliotriaosyl-ceramide) in the gut, allowing them to carry out their pathogenic activities. Bovine colostrum, however, was shown to prevent binding of the pathogens to these lipid receptors even though there was no detectable anti-H. pylori antibody activity in the colostrum.
    151.    Wada T, Aiba Y, Shimizu K, Takagi A, Miwa T, Koga Y. The therapeutic effect of bovine lactoferrin in the host infected with Helicobacter pylori. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 34(3):238–243 (1999). Mice infected with H. pylori were given a daily dose of bovine lactoferrin for 2–4 weeks. Their intestines were then examined for bacterial content. Numbers of H. pylori were reduced to 10% of pre-lactoferrin levels and greatly decreased the numbers of H. pylori bound to the intestinal wall. Serum antibody titer to H. pylori were reduced to practically zero, indicating that the immune response of the host was no longer recognizing H. pylori infection. Therefore, it was deduced that lactoferrin has a direct antibacterial effect on H. pylori infection and prevents binding of the pathogen to the intestinal lining.
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