Colostrum is a breast milk produce by mammals including human, before breast milk is released, it is usually thicker in consistency and containing high levels of antibodies. This high nutrient in the colostrum is aimed to promotes growth and health of the newborn mammals, which is why it is the most nutritious form of milk (1).
For human, the consumption of colostrum for newborn is very much encouraged, apart from the exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months and 2 years promotion by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), mothers are as well encouraged to give skin to skin support while breastfeeding newborn for the colostrum few hours after delivery.
The colostrum is said to have various benefits on the newborn life as they get older (2).
But what about for adult? Is the consumption of bovine colostrum in adult have the same effect as colostrum from mother to newborn?
Bovine colostrum is nutritious than the regular milk. It has higher protein, fat, carbohydrate, magnesium, A, C, B, and E vitamins than the regular milk. Due to this, studies found out that the consumption of bovine colostrum in adult is useful in boosting the immune system and as well as in improving gut health (1,3).
The linked between colostrum and immunity is due to the content of lactoferrin in the colostrum. Lactoferin is a naturally present protein in the body. It is a very versatile protein, where it is a bi-lobed protein that has the ability to bind an atom of iron (4). This iron binding glycoprotein from the transferrin family is the major component of the mammalian immune system. Due to this, it provides lactoferrin with protective effects which range from direct antimicrobial activities to anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities (4).
Apart from this, colostrum also contains antibodies. Antibodies are proteins, also known as immunoglobulins, used by the immune system to fight bacteria and viruses. Bovine colostrum is rich in the antibodies IgA, IgG, and IgM (1, 2). This is as well essential in fighting pathogen and improve immune system.
Since bovine colostrum is loaded with nutrients that fight disease and promote growth, it is able to boost immunity, treat infections, and offer more related benefits in humans throughout life. Thus, the consumption of bovine colostrum may have the same effect as human colostrum, it is just that the absorption of colostrum from bovine to human body is different, but with all the spectacular ingredients that colostrum possess it may possess the same effect as to boost immunity!
Healthline. What is the colostrum? Nutrition, Benefits and Downsides. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/bovine-colostrum (Accessed on July 9, 2020).