Colostrum: A supplement that loves your gut more than you ever will
For quite some time now, colostrum supplements have been hailed as fail proof superfoods that aid and heal gut health, build immunity, help prevent osteoporosis, and are anti-inflammatory.
In Ayurveda, bovine colostrum holds a very important space and is said to be the best immunity and gut health booster for humans. In the western medicine space, Bovine and goat colostrum have, for the past decade, been very popular dietary supplements as evidently, their nutrient quantities are higher than those of the human colostrum in every way.
For the longest time it was thought that colostrum can only be taken by babies as they need it the most to build their immunity and gut health. Over the years, adults too have been prescribed colostrum supplements to heal their gut and build immunity and there is more and more demand for it everyday. By this we mean, it's only been a few years since the benefits of colostrum have been hailed as gut saviors for adults and supplements have been flooding the market. We decided to give you the whole lowdown on this so that you can make informed decisions when and if you decided to take colostrum supplements for your gut health.
What is colostrum?
Colostrum is the yellow, milk like fluid secreted by women who have just delivered a child. It is the foremost component of breast milk and it plays the primary role in building a newborn’s immunity and gut health. It is rich in lactalbumin and lactoprotein, key antibodies- IgE, IgA, IgG, IgM, IgD, lactoferrin, polypeptide, oligosaccharides, cytokines, lysosomes; key vitamins - minerals, carbs and fat, as well as growth factors like PGDF, EGF,IGF1,VEGF, TGF alpha and TGF beta. 100 ml of human colostrum contains 58 kcals of energy, 3.7 gms of protein, 5.3 gms of lactose and 2.9 gms of fat.
Colostrum produced by cows and goats is used to make colostrum supplements for adults, since it is an identical match for the human body and has a much larger concentration of essential nutrients enumerated above, than that of the human colostrum. 100ml of bovine colostrum contains 130 kcals of energy, 14.9 gms of proteins, 2.6 gms of lactose and 6.7 gms of fat. Harvested within the first few hours of calving, the colostrum is collected from dairy animals who’s nutrition and hygiene are closely monitored. They are put on a very special antibody free, pesticide free and anthelmintic diet and the colostrum is collected within the first 24 hours. It is then made into powder form or into capsules, ideally under very low heat and drying processes so as to retain maximum nutritional value. When selecting a bovine supplement, do make sure it is coming from an organic, grass fed, ethically and kindly raised and collected source has been processed under very low heat temperatures.
How does the colostrum supplement help my gut?
Our crazy, stressful, binge eating lifestyles really take a toll on the gut health. Even if you are someone who takes good care of your overall nutrition, you are susceptible to gut issues. Colostrum can help to heal your gut by increasing the surface area of your intestinal lining, which can improve the overall absorption of nutrients.
Leaky Gut and Colostrum Supplements - Leaky gut is an inflammatory condition which is characterized by small punctures between the tight junctions of the gut lining which allows undigested food proteins, toxins, gut bacteria to slip into the bloodstream causing inflammation which leads to rashes, autoimmune disorders like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis amongst others. Colostrum supplements have been observed to help improve the microbiome in the gut because of the abundance in immunoglobulins and other natural antibodies. Since it is a prebiotic, it nourishes and promotes the repopulation of the good bacteria in the gut and regulates the bad ones. Since it is a prebiotic, it nourishes and promotes the repopulation of the good bacteria in the gut and regulates the bad ones, preventing them from attaching themselves to the intestinal walls. The hormones and growth factors present in colostrum help restore the damaged intestinal lining and maintain its tight junction integrity by supporting the repair and regeneration of tissues of the intestinal wall at the cellular level thereby reducing the symptoms of constipation, diarrhea and inflammatory bowel disease.
Colostrum Supplements and Runner Trots - Runner trotting is a condition where after an intense period of training, athletes and exercise enthusiasts develop gut problems caused by the combination of stress and the rise in the body’s core temperature which increases gut permeability or leaky gut. Colostrum supplements help in preventing the problem as the growth factors strengthen the gut lining.
Colostrum supplements and Autoimmune disease led gut disorder - The proline rich protein in colostrum inhibits the overproduction of lymphocytes and T cells to reduce pain, swelling and infection due to the autoimmune disease. The lactoferrin minimizes the permeability and stability of the gut lining due to the viral and bacterial infections. The EGF helps reversing the destruction of the skin cells commonly caused by autoimmune diseases. The TNF helps with the tissue repair.
Colostrum supplements and NSAID induced GI disorders - When you take NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, your gut can become more permeable- almost 3 times more susceptible. However, studies have shown that taking colostrum supplements with the NSAIDs that the tendency to become more permeable is decreased. Colostrum has trypsin inhibitors and the unchanged colostrum goes down the GI tract to maintain the health of the epithelial linings and to maintain the immune system.
Colostrum supplements and Helicobacter Pylori infection - When you have an H pylori bacterial infection, the lipids bind with the gastric mucosa or your gut lining and eat into it. Colostrum prevents this adhesion activity on the lipid binding sites of the GI tract. Colostrum is used in addition to the other medicines used to eradicate the bacterial colonization.
Immunodeficiency related Diarrhea and infective Diarrhea - A person suffering from immunodeficiency syndromes like HIV is very easily susceptible to diarrhea caused by bacteria and virus like Cryptosporidium parvum, Blastocystis Homins, CamplyobacterJejuni and Giardia Lamblia, Rotavirus and Salmonella Typhi. The lactoferrin in bovine colostrum has been shown to prevent these when given passively. However, doctor’s recommendation is required. If you need help with your gut health , sign up for our services here.