Put simply, colostrum is a pre-milk produced by mammals immediately after birth, before the actual white milk that we are familiar with is produced. It gives infants everything they need for growth, making it one of the, if not, the most nutritious food in the world next to laksa.
No, really, hear me out. Laksa contains coconut milk which is technically also milk, and, added to that you have bee hoon, an excellent source of prebiotics, and maybe chicken broth base for the gravy – collagen – and don’t ever say ‘mai hum‘ because those bloody little raw molluscs are infested with bacteria – probiotics.
Ok, maybe we got it all wrong regarding the laksa but we are quite certain about colostrum. It is not just about vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats…
Colostrum is a complex biological fluid, a primordial soup that primes the immune system of the newborn with antibodies (A, D, E, G, and M). It contains antimicrobials as well as growth enzymes like Epithelial Growth Factor, lymphokines, cytokines, trypsin and protease inhibitors.
There is also Proline-Rich-Polypeptide (PRP), a hormone that helps to regulate the immune system, to stimulate an underactive one or to get an overactive one to chill a bit so as to curb allergies or sensitivities.
And there’s a host lot of other good stuff, like lactoferrin which attacks bad bacteria while allowing the good bacteria in colostrum to thrive, as well as having anti-tumor effect.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a micronutrient that supports wound healing. It can maintain cartilage and manage pain. It is also used in cancer treatments, as well as helping with prostate and liver cancers.
I know some of you at this stage may be getting excited about drinking some primordial breast milk, I did!, but lest you misunderstood, let me make clear what I am talking about today is bovine colostrum (from cows), which when consumed, not only gives us, humans, benefits (amazingly, even more than human colostrum gives), but, better yet, also gives a wide array of benefits to our pets. I know our list above with super long names might be a bit too much for some of you, who, like me, have problems spelling hippopothamerse. The following is a Dummies’ Guide to the Benefits of Bovine Colostrum, based on more than 7000 studies.
PRPs (read above) moderate the immune response, down-regulating an active one, thus keeping food sensitivities and reactions in check. It also manages the inflammation that causes rashes, itching and discomfort.
#2 Leaky Gut
When your pet’s gut lining gets damaged (usually from drugs, toxins -from environment or within-, a poor diet), undigested food particles can pass through the lining and get into the bloodstream, thereby invoking an immune response which results in allergies, digestive issues and arthritis. This problem is often compounded by a poor diet, i.e. high in gluten or proteins sensitive to your pet, resulting in frequent flare ups. Studies have shown that colostrum is the only natural source of two major growth factors alpha and beta, and insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 which have multiple regenerative effects that extend to all structural body cells, such as the gut Uruakpa et al. (2002). Colostrum and its benefits: a review. Nutrition Research.
The next related issue would be that colostrum can help to manage different kinds of diarrhea, including chronic, acute, and even infectious diarrhea. In fact, colostrum may help to improve the fecal quality of your pet as it cultivates a healthier microbiome.
#4 Oral Health
A lot of pets suffer from dental problems. Studies have shown that colostrum can reduce the bacteria that cause gum disease while the growth factors in colostrum may also repair damaged issue.
This is a big one. We love our pets. Some of us even want our dogs to stay young forever, and if possible, outlive us. Research has shown that there is a way to do this. Get a puppy when you are close to dying. However, if your aims are not so high, feed your dog colostrum and see anti-aging effects in several ways. It can help preserve lean muscle mass and bone density in older adults. This would mean better mobility and strength, Also shown from research, colostrum improves recovery from exercise as well as prevent cognitive decline.
#6 Autoimmune Disease
Over-vaccination, environmental toxins, leaky guy may result in autoimmune disease. As mentioned above, PRPs in colostrum help to down-regulate an overactive immune response but it also helps to stimulate the immune response in cases when it truly matters. While growth factors decrease inflammation, PRP and lactoferrin help by limiting bacteria and viruses.
We have also studied many research papers (experiments done on humans, cats, mice) on how bovine lactoferrin inhibits viral entry and activity, including herpesvirus, HIV, Friend Virus Complex (mice), Hepatitis B and C, Respiratory Virus, Alphavirus, Hantavirus, Pallinomavirus, Rotavirus, Feline Calicivirus, Adenovirus, Influenza A virus, and several pathogenic bacteria.
Studies also show lactoferrin improved intractable stomatitis in FIV-afflicted cats (and FIV negative ones), as well as enhance their defense system. Ovotransferrin (lactoferrin’s sister), prevents and cures feline upper respiratory infections in FIV+ cats. Finally, studies have also shown bovine lactoferrin may modulate immune dysfunction in cats in the terminal stages of FIV infection.
*As of writing, lactoferrin has been tested for very positive effects against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Lactoferrin’s anti-inflammatory effects help treat and prevent cancer and the cytokines help the body to fight cancer, activating battalions of special white blood cells that seek out and kill cancer cells like those sentinel ‘squiddy’ robots from Matrix with a mission to seek and annihilate all humans. Colostrum also contains colostrum lactalbumin, a protein that causes apoptosis of cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. For those of you having problems with the concept of apoptosis, it’s kind of like being programmed with death. So the marked ones (cancer cells) would, at a programmed time, simultaneously collapse and die an apopletic death.
#8 Joint Issues and Arthritis
By improving your pet’s leaky gut and inflammation issues, you are also managing its joint pain and arthritis. At the same time, growth factors in colostrum can repair tissue damage in joints and the MSM (the indecipherable long word earlier) in colostrum can help manage pain. MSM is an important factor in maintaining cartilage.
Studies show that colostrum can prevent upper respiratory diseases even better than vaccination. Fact: a 2007 study showed that colostrum was “at least 3 times more effective than vaccination”. A 2013 study found that a lactoferrin-whey protein supplement can cut down on colds. The same study suggests if your pet is vaccinated, you can also expect colostrum to improve vaccine response (More reason not to get annual boosters). In fact, if your dog goes to daycare or boarding, give him colostrum to prevent flu or kennel cough.
#10 Skin Problems
Colostrum not only speeds skin repair and wound healing. Its antibacterial effects can also help with skin problems like the following:
- Skin infections
- Yeast problems
- Wounds, including surgical wounds
- Insect bites
- Hot spots
- Ear infections
How do you choose the right bovine colostrum?
We have learnt the active components in a colostrum that really helps the body so it follows to check for the presence of those as important markers when choosing a colostrum.
**SHAMELESS PLUG COMING UP**
Blackfoot’s probiotic colostrum is lab-tested to contain:
a minimum of 25-30% Immunoglobulins
the presence of Lactoferrin, Growth factors and PRP
For pet owners, a general concern for anything that comes out of a cow’s udder is whether their pet can tolerate the product without painting the house brown. Pets don’t take to dairy products well usually due to one of two reasons:
Lactose (a milk sugar)
Casein (a protein not unlike gluten)
Blackfoot’s colostrum is not only sourced from USDA certified grade A, pasture-raised dairy cows, it has been treated with lactase to help with the breaking down of lactose.
Additionally, we have used mixed in goat’s milk (super low casein) to ferment the colostrum to improve its microbial composition and microbiology characteristics, increasing the CFU of lactic acid bacteria so that more natural goodness is added into what is already a very potent product that heals your pet and drives it towards greater health.
We can attest to it. We drink it every day.