What is Bovine Colostrum?

Colostrum has lots of benefits on health for its rich antibodies, growth factors, and nutrients. It gives passive immunity to protect people from infectious microorganisms in gastrointestinal tract. The protein content of bovine colostrums is 3~4 times higher than the one of general milk. Most of the proteins are milk serum protein of which approximately 75% are immunoglobulin (mostly IgG). Other than that, casein, lactoferrin, alpha–laclactalbumin, beta—lactoglgbulin, insulln–like growth factor–1 (IGF-1), insulln–like growth factor–2 (IGF-2), transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta), and epidermal growth factor (EGF) are included in the bovine colostrum as well as vitamins, minerals, lipids, and lactose. Also, poline–rich polypeptide (PRP) which was discovered in the ovine colostrums is also included.

There are several types of bovine colostrums. Microfiltrated bovine colostrum is mostly composed of milk serum protein containing immunoglobulin, IGF-1, IGF-2, and TGF beta. However, lactose, lipid, casein, and lactalbumin are removed by filtration. Bovine colostrum has high immunogenicity from rich IgG-type immunoglobulin and protect infants from infectious microorganisms causing diarrhea. Bovine colostrums with high immunogenicity are obtained from immunogenic cows with specific antigen. IgG of colostrums is used to treat the diarrhea of AIDS patients caused by infection of cryptosporidium parvum.


1. Immune enhancement and sterilization activity

Bovine colostrums with high immunogenicity exhibit bactericidal activity by its IgG-type specific immunoglobulin acting on the antigens of bacteria and viral microorganisms in the intestine. Immune substances such as lactoferrin, colestrinin, proline-rich polypeptide (PRP) included in the bovine colostrums has sterilizing activity in the gastro-intestinal tract.

Recently, it has been studied if bovine colostrums are effective in the diarrhea induced by enteropathohenic E.coli which is prevalent among the children. A group administered of immunogenically-prepared powdered milk has shown positive effects to have diarrhea less frequently compared to the control group with increase in the body weight as well. Bovine colostrum immunoglobulin obtained from cows with immunity to the specific pathogen has protective effect on that specific pathogen. It has been reported that bovine colostrums from cows with immunity to the Candida albicans reduce the fungal pathogenic level of the patient with immune problems. Also, there is another report that AIDS patients with chronic diarrhea from Cryptosporidium parvum showed improvement in the symptom when administered of concentrated bovine immunoglobulin of over 40g every day. The controlled clinical trials suggest the safety and efficacy of bovine colostrums substances.

2. Prevention of influenza

There is a report that colostrums prevent the influenza infection and decrease the expression of symptoms upon infection. In an experiment, mice were divided into 3 groups to have 5~6 mice in each group. Normal saline was administered to the group 1, bovine colostrums power to the group 2, and anti-viral agent for influenza (Oseltamivir) to the group 3 for 2 weeks followed by viral infection (Influenza virus H1N1). Afterwards, each of normal saline and bovine colostrums power was administered to the group 1 and 2 each for 3 more days and anti-viral agent was given to the group 3 for 7 more days. After 2 weeks from the viral infection, survival rate and weight change were observed. The mice in the group 2 and 2 survived 100% with little change in weight. On the other hand, the mice in the group 1 survived only 33% with 20% decrease in the body weight.

Cautions and side effects

Those with hypersensitivity in bovine colostrums must avoid the use. Pregnant and lactating women should avoid the bovine colostrum compounds. Insulin-like growth factor-l (IGF-l) included in the bovine colostrum is related to the prostate, colon, rectum, and lung cancer. People with risk factors for these types of cancer must pay caution when using bovine colostrums supplements. Known side effects include nausea, vomiting, tympanosis, and diarrhea. It has high resistance.