Why did I title this blog post like this? Because Colostrum is the most precious and valuable substance we can give our kids. It is the foundation to their health. And you only find it in BREASTMILK. Colostrum is the foundation for our immune system by providing immunoglobulins: IgG, IgA, IgE, IgM, IgD.
Each one of these little immunoglobulins has a specific job in the body to prevent us from getting sick or protect us when we are sick. Included is a very brief description of the Ig factors: IgA (first line of defense/immune in mouth and digestion), IgG (bacteria and viruses), IgE (allergies), IgM (antibody against new infections), IgD (immune response). This right here is why breast feeding is important for the first two years. The colostrum from breastmilk provides these Ig factors to the child to help with the first line of defense in the introduction to all the new illnesses in the world. Yet, it provides so many other things for our newborns.
Colostrum provides nutrients, immune properties and growth factors to help with the growth and repair of many tissues in our body. For this reason alone, it is given at the first moment of birth. It has at least 90 essential biologically active substances for specific functions in our body. These substances contain and provide:
- Antimicrobial factors: helps with respiratory and gut protection
- Immune stimulating peptides: fights against pathogens
- Growth factors: Growth, maturation, function, and repair of bone, muscle, nervous, connective, cartilage, skin, and gastrointestinal tissue.
- Nutrients: Antioxidants that help support our immune system and detox
- Lactoferrin: it binds to iron so pathogens won’t steal it. It fights against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa
- Lysosomes: Has antimicrobial activity against bacteria and helps with the destruction of infections.
- Mucins: attaches to bacteria and viruses to be eliminated from the body
- Interferon: has antiviral properties
- Insulin-like growth Factor: Helps with proliferation and differentiation of tissues
- Leukocytes: contain macrophages, lymphocytes, and neutrophils that destroy pathogens and parasites as well as develop the immune system.
- Nucleotides: helps the integrity of the intestinal mucosa and what type of intestinal flora develops
- Gangliosides: It is in involved in the immune system and can affect the development of several organs including the digestive and nervous system
- Polypeptides/ Colostrinin: releases cytokines affecting inflammation and immune response ( as seen in autoimmune disorders and allergies)
- Cytokines: Anti-inflammatory
- Epidermal growth factor: helps with adults and newborns by repairing injury sites in adults and prevent bacterial translocation in the gut and increasing gut immunity.
And many more components that are not listed but still have effect on the growth and development and protection of our body as an infant.
How do we use this colostrum in our child’s and adult lives? You have the list of all the wonderful components of this products, lets think about how it can help us. There has been many papers and research articles written about the benefits of Colostrum on the gastrointestinal tract. If we look at all the compounds and nutrients in Colostrum, we can see how it prevents: bad bacteria and viruses from entering the system, helps remove them from the system, helps repair the lining, provides the appropriate flora to help run the intestinal system, and helps reduce inflammation. Seeing this, we can determine that Colostrum may be beneficial for:
- Acute Infectious Diarrhea: from Rotavirus, E Coli, Clostridium difficile, C. parvum, Entaoeba histolytica, Candida Albicans fungi
- Helicobacter infections: H. pylori in particular. If you are not sure what H. pylori does, it is one of the most difficult bacteria to kill or get rid of. In humans it can cause inflammation of the tissues lining of the stomach and duodenum. This leads to acute and chronic gastritis, duodenitis, and peptic ulcers (basically stomach issues, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and weight loss)
- Antibiotic use: We always encourage probiotics during antibiotic use since it does kill the good bacteria in your digestive tract. Yet, did you think about adding Colostrum to this combination. Remember, colostrum has an anti-inflammatory effect, it can reduce the effects of diarrhea, it can regulate your natural immune system by preventing the growth of Clostridium difficile (a bacteria that will grow with long term antibiotic treatments), and help regrow beneficial bacteria, as well as protect the intestinal lining.
- Chemotherapy: We know chemotherapy can be very taxing on the body. It destroys the immune cells and prevents the growth of new cells as seen in the gut, hair, bone and mouth. Because it can destroy the gut lining, this will lead to bacteria transferring through the gut into the blood and body therefore leading to an increase in infections and inflammation. As we read about the benefits of Colostrum, we can see it will help rebuild the gut lining, provide immunoglobulins to protect and support the immune system, reduce gut toxicity, and decrease inflammation. It is a safe and recommended protocol during any treatment; due to its antimicrobial and growth factors help with cell proliferation.
- Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: If you are not aware, these drugs can damage the kidney, liver, and stomach lining. We take these drugs to help with inflammation, but did you know chronic use can lead too upper gastrointestinal damage causing ulcers, inflammation, and death of the gut mucosal barrier cell lining. This in turns can cause overgrowth of gram negative and anaerobic bacteria, which leads to the release of inflammatory factors in the body and bacteria entering the blood system. This is how NSAIDs become addictive and can cause chronic use of these medications. Now the patient will have different signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal tract issues and an increase of inflammation in the body as well as infections. Colostrum use has been known to help combat these side effects and help repair the bodies natural linings and immune responses.
- IBS and IBD: Irritation is the key word for these conditions. It is mainly in the gut and as by now, we have discovered how colostrum can help repair the gut lining, reduce inflammation, support proper gut flora, strengthen the gut mucosal barrier, therefore reducing bacteria translocation in the blood system and organs, and help balance the bacteria in the gut.
- NEC: Necrotizing enterocolitis: it is seen in infants causing severe ulceration in the small and large intestines that mainly affect pre-term babies. Studies have shown introduction of Colostrum helped with these infants in gastrointestinal repair, weight gain, and stimulated enzyme activity.
This is just a small list of researched conditions, showing how Colostrum has shown drastic improvement.
All this said and done, I always recommend Colostrum in my clinic and with my family as a precursor to your immune system. Before children go back to school, I recommend high doses of Colostrum for two weeks, to prep the immune and prepare for the new introduction of bugs. Before I or my family go on a trip, in a plane or crowded place, we take Colostrum everyday for two weeks, during the trip and after as a protective and preventative treatment. If anyone has experienced an upset stomach, diarrhea, stomach virus, or food poisoning; I add Colostrum to our dietary protocol during and after for 2-3 weeks, to help boost the immune system and rebalance the gut microbiota. I have used Colostrum for topical treatment from: cuts, warts, eczema, liver spots, eye infections, ulcers, teething pain/ inflammation, fungus infections, pimples, cysts, and much more.
How can I use this Colostrum if I am not breast feeding, where do I get it? It is very easy. Colostrum is usually taken from cow or any mammalian mother (goat). They dry the liquid and then put it in a capsule or powder or pill form. I personally recommend Colostrum from either New Zealand or Australia, due to there ethics and holistic protocols. I like a capsule form. If you have a child who is not breastfeeding, I recommend taking 1-2 capsules, opening them up and putting them in the child’s formula bottle (for each feeding).
If the child is teething, open the capsule and place the powder on your finger and rub it on the inner gums. Colostrum has a sweet taste to it. I used to open the capsules and my daughter at the age of 1 would stick her tongue out and I would pour it on her tongue. It tasted very good to her. As they get older to chew food, there is a product made by a group of pediatricians that contain probiotics and colostrum. It is chewable and they do not use any artificial flavoring or ingredients. Contact our office for more information.
For topical use: Mix the colostrum powder with spring or distilled water (not tap) and make a paste. Apply the paste on the cut, infection, cyst, pimple, spot, etc. The paste will dry and become stiff. Sometimes I leave mine on overnight and sometimes I leave it on for 30-45 minutes depending on the situation. Then take a warm, wet cloth and wipe off the paste. Remember, Colostrum is natural. It takes time for anything natural to be used by the body. It may take several applications in a day and it may take several weeks before you notice any changes.
As I mentioned in a paragraph before, I take Colostrum 2 weeks prior to travel or school, during, and after. I have found between 2-4 weeks of use, there will be considerable changes.
I have recommended Colostrum for teachers during the school year, and we have noticed the episodes of sickness has reduced dramatically. If I can get them to take it a full year, the next year they have no signs or symptoms of illness and reported more energy and even weight loss.
I have recommended it for allergy patients. Again, I recommend they take it for a year, especially if they have seasonal allergies. If they take it when allergies began and throughout the year, by the next season they will report no signs or symptoms.
Mothers, if you are breastfeeding and your child gets a type of eczema or eye infection, make sure to apply breast milk on the area and you will notice the issue has been resolved.
I have used colostrum for practically everything. It is a safe and natural treatment with no side effects. As I tell my patient’s, it is about natural as natural can be. It was given to us by God since the beginning of time, so it can’t be that bad!
I hope this article was somewhat helpful. We have learned from Colostrum studies performed by researchers it can: lower the rate of asthma and allergies, lead to fewer infections, fewer cavities, better growth, higher IQ, a decrease in Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome, better gut health, and much more.
To learn more, visit our website and contact our office with any questions.