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Nutraceutical, a term combining the words "nutrition" and "pharmaceuticals", is a food or food product that provides health benefits as an adjuvant or alternative therapy, including the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases in children and adults. There is emerging evidence that bovine colostrum (BC) may be one of the promising nutraceuticals which can prevent or mitigate various diseases in newborns and adults. Immunity-related disorders are one of the leading causes of mortality in the world. BC is rich in immunity, growth and antimicrobial factors, which promote tissue growth and the maturation of digestive tract and immune function in neonatal animals and humans. The immunoglobulins and lactoferrin present in colostrum are known to build natural immunity in newborns which helps to reduce the mortality rate in this population. Also, the side-effect profile of colostrum proteins and possible lactose intolerance is relatively less in comparison with milk. In general, BC is considered safe and well tolerated. Since colostrum has several important nutritional constituents, well-designed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies with colostrum products should be conducted to widen its therapeutic use. The objectives of this review are to create awareness about the nutraceutical properties of colostrum and to discuss the various ongoing alternative treatments of colostrum and its active ingredients as well as to address colostrum's future nutraceutical and therapeutic implications in humans.
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Siddhi Bagwe, Leo J.P. Tharappel, Ginpreet Kaur* and Harpal S. Buttar
Bovine colostrum: an emerging nutraceutical
Abstract: Nutraceutical, a term combining the words
nutritionand pharmaceuticals, is a food or food
product that provides health benefits as an adjuvant or
alternative therapy, including the treatment and preven-
tion of infectious diseases in children and adults. There is
emerging evidence that bovine colostrum (BC) may be
one of the promising nutraceuticals which can prevent
or mitigate various diseases in newborns and adults.
Immunity-related disorders are one of the leading causes
of mortality in the world. BC is rich in immunity, growth
and antimicrobial factors, which promote tissue growth
and the maturation of digestive tract and immune func-
tion in neonatal animals and humans. The immunoglo-
bulins and lactoferrin present in colostrum are known to
build natural immunity in newborns which helps to
reduce the mortality rate in this population. Also, the
side-effect profile of colostrum proteins and possible lac-
tose intolerance is relatively less in comparison with
milk. In general, BC is considered safe and well tolerated.
Since colostrum has several important nutritional consti-
tuents, well-designed, double-blind, placebo-controlled
studies with colostrum products should be conducted to
widen its therapeutic use. The objectives of this review
are to create awareness about the nutraceutical proper-
ties of colostrum and to discuss the various ongoing
alternative treatments of colostrum and its active ingre-
dients as well as to address colostrums future nutraceu-
tical and therapeutic implications in humans.
Keywords: bovine colostrum dietary supplements, colos-
trum as nutraceutical, colostrum-induced immunity,
human and bovine colostrum benefits, immunoglobulins
and lactoferrin
DOI 10.1515/jcim-2014-0039
Received June 20, 2014; accepted January 29, 2015
Immunity-related diseases are one of the major causes of
morbidity and mortality worldwide. An efficient immune
system results in self-healing [1]. Currently, the number of
microbial agents that have developed resistance against
various antibiotics is increasing, and antibiotic-induced
resistance has become a major challenge in the medical
world [26]. Nowadays, health-care practitioners have
been talking a great deal about the healing properties of
BC, and colostrum-derived new food supplements are
intended to boost the immune systems in both healthy
and chronically ill patients [79].
Colostrum also known as beestings, bisnings or first
milk is the mammary secretion that all mammals provide
for their newborns during the initial 2448 h post-parturi-
tion [10, 11] with most species producing colostrum just
prior to giving birth. Human newborns only get colostrum
from their mothers during the first few hours after birth,
and that creates the foundation of lifelong immunity.
Human colostrum and bovine colostrum (BC) is a thick,
sticky, yellowish liquid containing several antibodies at a
higher concentration than that of ordinary milk [12].
Newborns have a very small and immature gastroin-
testinal (GI) system, and colostrum provides naturally
produced nutrients in a highly concentrated low-volume
form. In neonates, it proves to be a laxative and assists in
the passage of the babys initial stools called meconium,
and also helps to remove excess bilirubin from the
infants body to prevent jaundice [13, 14]. Antibodies
present in colostrum not only provide protection to neo-
nates against infectious diseases [15] but also provide
passive immunity and growth factors for the GI develop-
ment [1618].
Colostrum has been known for centuries for its health
benefits [19]. Research has also shown that colostrum
constituents from bovine (cow and buffalo) sources are
100-fold to 1,000-fold more potent than that of human
colostrum. This means that even human infants can rely
on cow or buffalo colostrum to gain health benefits [9,
20, 21]. In 1950, Dr Albert Sabin, who developed the polio
vaccine, eventually found that BC contained antibodies
against polio virus and hence recommended it for ther-
apy in children at risk for contracting polio [22].
*Corresponding author: Ginpreet Kaur, Department of
Pharmacology, SPP School of Pharmacy and Technology
Management, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, E-mail:
Siddhi Bagwe, Leo J.P. Tharappel, Department of Pharmacology,
SPP School of Pharmacy and Technology Management, Mumbai,
Maharashtra, India
Harpal S. Buttar, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
J Complement Integr Med. 2015; aop
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Colostrum derivatives were also tried against rheumatoid
arthritis [23].
Colostrum is regarded to be safe in the majority of the
human population. Although side effects like nausea and
flatulence might occur initially, they decline with time. It
seems that colostrum should be off bounds only to indi-
viduals who have an allergy to milk or milk-based
Colostrum should be produced organically and
should be free of adulterants like pesticides, herbicides,
anabolic hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals
[24]. It should not be processed at high temperatures
and pressures because its biological activity is
decreased by such actions [25]). The highly concen-
trated solid dosage form of colostrum is preferred than
the liquid dosage form. Colostrum has a short shelf-life
and therefore addition of preservatives is a must for its
storage at warm ambient temperatures. However, even
the addition of preservatives cannot completely prevent
dosage form [21]. Synthetic manufacturing processes
include low-heat pasteurization [28] and indirect
steam drying [29].
Synthetic colostrum is termed as fakecolostrum.
Milk, egg yolk, cod liver oil and sugar are used to
manufacture fake colostrum. This formulation is utilized
to feed young animals if the mother is unable to produce
sufficient colostrum. While it serves as a temporary
substitute, chronic usage should be discouraged since
synthetic colostrum lacks the antibodies present in nat-
ural colostrum [30, 31]. Synthetic colostrum manufac-
tured for human neonates utilizes accurately measured
ingredients that include carbohydrates, amino acids,
fats, vitamins and trace elements [32]. This formula is
used to feed neonates whose mothers are unable to
produce colostrum.
Components of colostrum
The components of BC can be classified into three
major categories, namely nutritional components [33],
immune factors [8] and growth factors [7]. These are
Other immune factors such as IgA-specific helper
factor, β-lactoglobulin, secretory IgA, lactalbumin,
-fetoprotein, albumin, α
-antitrypsin, α
complements C3 and C4 and orosomucoids are also pre-
sent in colostrum.
Comparative study between the
constituents of cow, human, buffalo
and goat colostrum
A comparison was done to determine the health benefits
of the constituents of human, cow, buffalo and goat
colostrum. It can be noted in Tables 24 [3436] that
the cows colostrum (BC) has more important natural
constituents than the other three species. Values depicted
in Table 2 clearly show that the percentage of lactose in
cow colostrum (2.5 %) is far lesser than that of human
(6.97.2 %), buffalo (4.7 %) as well as goat (4.7 %) colos-
trum. Therefore, cow colostrum may be given to a person
having intolerance to lactose.
Quantity of immunoglobulins present in BC
Immunoglobulins are responsible for building the
immunity in animals and humans. The immunoglobu-
lins present in BC are IgG1, IgG2, IgA, IgM and lactofer-
rin. IgG1 being the major component can be seen in
Table 5 [8, 35, 36].
Quantity of fat-soluble vitamins present in BC
Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) are essential for the
maintenance and promotion of good health. The fat-solu-
ble vitamins are not reduced when colostrum is commer-
cially processed. Table 6 shows the content of vitamins
present in colostrum [35, 37, 38].
Manufacturers of colostrum-derived
Colostrum is commercially processed into capsules,
tablets and powder by various nutraceutical manufactur-
ing industries. Some of these manufacturing companies
are listed in Table 7 [3941]. According to the manufac-
turers, colostrum is utilized after the needs of the new-
born calves are fulfilled. Processing and storing at high
temperatures degrades colostrum and results in the loss
of nutrients, hence, these companies utilize processes
like low-heat pasteurization and low-pressure processing.
It is a point to be noted that only APS BioGroup have
written about their manufacturing plants being FDA
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Therapeutic applications of
Colostrum has many clinical or therapeutic applications
and it may be used as a nutritional supplement, since it is
well tolerated and seems to produce no adverse side
Allergies and autoimmune diseases
Allergy is categorized as a hypersensitivity disorder of the
immune system [42]. It occurs due to an improper
immune response to harmless substances. Proline-rich
polypeptide (PRP) present in colostrum functions as a
regulatory substance of the thymus gland. Lymphocyte
and T-cell overproduction, allergy and autoimmune
Table 1: Components of bovine colostrum.
Components Uses
Nutritional components
Vitamins (A, B
and E) Health, vitality and growth of the newborn
Amino acids
Essential oil
Immune factors
Proline-rich polypeptide (PRP) Regulates the thymus gland.
Immunoglobulins (A, D, E, G and M) IgG neutralizes toxins and microbes in the lymph and circulatory system
IgM destroys bacteria
IgE and IgD are highly antiviral []
Lactoferrin An antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial iron-binding protein with
therapeutic effects in cancer, HIV, Cytomegalovirus [], herpes, chronic fatigue
syndrome, Candidiasis and other infections []
Cytokines Regulates the duration and intensity of the immune response, responsible for
cell-to-cell communication boost T-cell activity and the production of
Lysozyme It aids hydrolysis and boosts the immune system and is capable of destroying
bacteria and viruses on contact
Enzymes Lactoperoxidase-thiocyanate, xanthine oxidase and peroxidase oxidize bacteria
through their ability to release of hydrogen peroxide
Leukocytes Stimulates interferon production
Trypsin Protease inhibitors prevent the destruction of immune and growth factors in
Lymphokines Mediates the immune response
Oligopolysaccharides and glycoconjugates Attract and bind to pathogens preventing them from attaching or entering the
mucous membranes
Orotic acid Prevents haemolytic anaemia
Growth factors
Epithelial growth factor (EGF) Help in enhancing cell and tissue growth by stimulating DNA formation
Insulin-like growth factor-I and II (IGF-and IGF-II)
Fibroblast growth factor (FgF)
Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)
Transforming growth factors A (TgA) and
transforming growth factor B (TgB)
Growth hormone (GH)
Table 2: A comparison of human, cow, buffalo and goat colostrum.
Constituents Human colostrum Cow colostrum Buffalo colostrum Goat colostrum
Fat %.%.. %.%
Protein ..%.%.%.%
Lactose ..%.%.%.%
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disease symptoms, i.e. pain, inflammation and swelling
are inhibited by PRP [43]. Also, PRP has been reported to
improve or eliminate symptoms of autoimmune diseases
like rheumatoid arthritis, myasthenia gravis, multiple
sclerosis, lupus and allergies.
Cardiovascular diseases
Several studies suggest that atherosclerosis and cardio-
vascular diseases may be caused by altered immunity.
One study indicated that, in over 79 % of patients with
Table 4: A comparison of mineral content of human, cow, buffalo and goat colostrum.
Constituents Human colostrum, mg/ ml Cow colostrum, mg/kg Buffalo colostrum, mM Goat colostrum, g/kg
Calcium   ..
Phosphorus   ..
Magnesium   .
Sodium   ..
Potassium   ..
Zinc .  
Iron . .
Copper . .
Sulphur   .
Manganese ..
Table 5: Immunoglobulins present in bovine colostrum.
Immunoglobulin Quantity, mg/ml
IgA .
IgM .
Lactoferrin .
Table 3: A comparison of water-soluble vitamin content of human, cow, buffalo and goat colostrum.
Constituents Human colostrum, mg/ ml Cow colostrum, µg/ml Buffalo colostrum, µg/ml Goat colostrum
Niacin . . Approximately .µg/ml
water-soluble vitamins are
Thiamine . .
Riboflavin . . .
Vitamin B
. . .
Pyridoxal .
Pyridoxamine .
Pyridoxine . .
Table 6: Fat-soluble vitamins present in bovine colostrum.
Fat-soluble vitamins Quantity, µg/g
Retinol (vitamin A) .
Tocopherol (vitamin E) .
Beta-carotene .
Cholecalciferol (vitamin D) .
Phylloquinone (vitamin K
Table 7: Manufacturers of colostrum-derived nutraceuticals.
Types of colostrum Colostrum powder manufacturer Colostrum capsule manufacturer
Cow colostrum APS BioGroup APS BioGroup
Buffalo colostrum Biostrum Nutritech Pvt. Ltd Biostrum Nutritech Pvt. Ltd.
Goat colostrum Mt Capra Wholefood Nutritionals Mt Capra Wholefood Nutritionals
4Bagwe et al.: Nutraceutical effects of colostrum
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heart disease, a type of Chlamydia has been linked with
the formation of arterial plaques [44]. Further, it seems
that immune sensitization to cardiac antigen is the cause
of heart disease [44]. Colostrum may have a beneficial
function in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases due
to the presence of PRP, the same effect as is observed in
allergies and autoimmune diseases. Also, the growth
hormones (GH) and growth factors like insulin-like
growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in colostrum can raise the blood
levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein)-cholesterol,
while lowering LDL (low-density lipoprotein)-cholesterol.
Growth factors and GH also play a significant role in
repairing the damage to heart muscle and promote the
growth of new blood vessels in collateral coronary circu-
lation [44].
In vitro and ex vivo studies showed that BC possesses
concentration-related antioxidant activity as revealed by
significant free radical scavenging ability and marked
inhibition of lipid peroxidation [45]. In addition, the
combined administration of 500 mg/kg colostrum plus
0.25 mg/kg enalapril showed marked cardioprotective
effects in rats after 28 days dosing. Colostrum itself was
also cardioprotective at doses of 500 mg/kg against iso-
proterenol-induced myocardial infarction in rats. Overall,
the rat study results indicated that colostrum in combina-
tion with enalapril exhibited far greater cardioprotective
activity when compared with enalapril or colostrum
alone [45].
Reduction of blood flow or ischemia and excessive
bleeding or haemorrhage may be two side effects of certain
drugs, both of which could be life-threatening conse-
quences. Fortunately, BC is considered to be effective
against both disorders. BCs antioxidant and anticytokine
activity as evaluated in an intestinal ischemia/reperfusion
(I/R) injured rat model [46] could also be effective against
systemic inflammatory response syndrome and multiple
organ dysfunction syndrome since I/R results in the pro-
duction of free radicals and various pro-inflammatory cyto-
kines, namely tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α,interleukin
(IL)-1βand IL-6. Neurobehavioural changes mediated by
these cytokines could be attenuated by lactoferrin present
in BC since the aforementioned activities also seemed to be
able to reverse cognitive dysfunction associated with either
global cerebral ischemia or a middle cerebral artery occlu-
sion induced ischemic stroke [47, 48]. Hippocampal neuro-
nal cell death caused by haemorrhage-induced N-methyl-D-
aspartic acid (NMDA)-mediated excitotoxicity and apopto-
sis was also attenuated by BC [49]. Additionally, short-term
memory lapses caused by neuronal cell death were
reversed by BC administration. Colostrinin, a PRP present
in BC, is thought to be responsible for the reduction in the
caspase-3-mediated apoptosis that was observed by the
Further well-designed studies are warranted to eval-
uate the nutraceutical potential of colostrum before it can
be recommended for treating cardiovascular diseases in
Viral and bacterial illnesses
It has been demonstrated that colostrum is helpful in
reversing infection-induced inflammation occurring in
the digestive tract of HIV patients [44], possibly through
improvement of mucosal integrity, tissue repair and
direct antimicrobial actions [50]. Colostrum also has anti-
viral, antifungal and antibacterial properties which
enable it to kill different pathogens like Escherichia coli,
rotavirus and Cryptosporidium. BC with a high antibody
titre, i.e. hyperimmune BC (HBC) is especially useful
against human rotavirus (HRV) [51] and HRV-induced
diarrhoea [20, 52] in children. This action may be
mediated by κ-casein, a component of human and bovine
milk. κ-Casein is a glycosylated protein that was found to
bind directly to the viral antigens through the glycosy-
lated residue [53]. These residues are integral for antiviral
activity since deglycosylation failed to neutralize HRV.
Although natural production of antibodies by vaccinating
cows is cheaper than production through synthetic
means, the yield is not enough to successfully cover the
global requirement since over 500,000 deaths occur
across the world every year due to rotavirus-induced
diarrhoea [54]. Hence, a way to reduce the BC dose was
required. The path was shown by Gunaydin et al., who
engineered Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a probiotic
Lactobacillus strain, to surface express the IgG-binding
domains of protein G (GB1, GB2 and GB3). These domains
help in targeting rotavirus by binding to the colostrum-
derived IgG antibodies and enhancing their potency. The
combination therapy was found to be more effective than
BC alone in a mouse pup infection model. It is said that
such a combination may result in the dose of BC being
reduced 10100-fold.
It has been reported that colostrum is capable of
killing opportunistic infections caused by Candida albi-
cans,Helicobacter pylori, five types of Streptococci and
Cryptosporidium [55]. The immunoglobulins, lactoferrin
and cytokines in colostrum are reported to show strong
antiviral activity [56]. However, a double-blind, placebo-
controlled study to evaluate the effect of BC on viral
upper respiratory tract infections in IgA-deficient children
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failed to demonstrate a difference between salivary IgA
levels between the control and test group, although the
BC group did record a lower infection severity score [57].
Such studies remain to be conducted in similar adult
patients along with elucidation of relevant mechanisms
although the ones given below could be at work.
Recently, Wong et al. demonstrated that oral adminis-
tration (1.0 g/kg) of BC to C57BL/6 mice increased natural
killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity, improved the immune response
to primary influenza A virus (H1N1) infection and lessened
viral burden in the lungs compared to controls. It was
hypothesized that the small intestinal epithelial cells may
be stimulated by colostrum, and the interaction between
colostrum and immunity may partly depend on the colos-
trum components with innate receptors present in the
intestinal epithelium, including toll-like receptors, namely
TLR-2 and TLR-4 [58]. Skimmed and concentrated bovine
late colostrum (SCBLC), i.e. colostrum obtained on the 6th
or 7th day after parturition [59] and processed, was also
found to be effective in reducing the symptom rate of
influenza virus in mice [60]. This action was demonstrated
to be mediated through an SCBLC-mediated rise in NK cell
activity in Peyers patches, splenocytes and the lungs.
Additionally, it was determined through experiments con-
ducted in murine Peyers patch cells that SCBLC also
increased IL-12 and IFN (interferon). Thus, SCBLC was
found to activate both systemic and local cellular immunity
mechanisms. In view of these observations, BC may be a
potential alternative therapy for enhancing the activity of
NK cells and subsequently boosting immune response
against viral infections in human subjects, especially, non-
specific responders.
BC-derived fractions rich in IgG have been successful
in alleviating the symptoms of influenza in pretreated
BALB/c mice [61]. These fractions were collected from
cows immunized with A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8) influ-
enza virus, the IgG purified and delivered intranasally
to mice. The anti-PR8 IgG preparation significantly
reduced the viral load in mice and also prevented weight
loss and death from a lethal dose of the virus.
Weight loss programs
Colostrum contains leptin that induces satiety or feeling
of fullness and reduced desire to eat more in addition to
IGF-1, which is required for the metabolism of fat and
energy production occurring through Krebs cycle [44].
Leptin could work in tandem with IGF-1 to reduce ele-
vated cholesterol and triglyceride levels [62]. BC also
promotes tissue repair and regeneration of lean muscle
growth, consequently escalating strength and endurance.
Elderly humans and type 2 diabetics seem to suffer from
inadequate production of IGF-1. Thus, BC supplementa-
tion could be an attractive therapy for weight reduction,
especially among diabetic and obese populations.
Athletic performance
Athletic training and competition includes strenuous
exercise which can slow down the immune system, even-
tually decreasing the number of T-lymphocytes and NK
cells. Due to these reductions, athletes are more prone to
develop chronic fatigue syndrome. For many athletes,
colostrum has become a popular dietary source due to
its valuable nutrient contents [63]. Athletes increase the
efficiency of the digestive tract by using colostrum as a
dietary supplement [64]. They usually take colostrum in
powdered form and add it to shakes and drinks [65].
The possibility of infections due to physical and emo-
tional stress in athletes can be significantly reduced by
the immune factors present in colostrum or colostrum
supplements. Exercise especially during winter disposes
the athlete to develop an upper respiratory infection. BC
was found to limit an increase in salivary bacterial load
in a 12-week, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-
blinded study [66]. Although an inter-group difference
was not found, BC displayed bacterial load control over
Studies show that colostrum helps athletes by burn-
ing body fat, boosting the immune system and accelerat-
ing healing of injuries [67]. It was also implicated in
reversing exercise induced gut permeability and thus
prevent heat stroke in a double-blind, placebo-controlled,
crossover study [68], through upregulation of the anti-
apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and HSP70 (important for main-
taining homeostasis during stress, as is experienced dur-
ing exercise) along with downregulation of proapoptotic
Baxαand apoptosis initiators Caspase-3 and 9. It has
been suggested that BC supplementation is most effective
during periods of high-intensity training and recovery
from training, possibly due to increased plasma IGF-1,
improved intramuscular buffering capacity and increase
in lean body mass [69]. Further placebo-controlled stu-
dies are needed to assess the influence of BC products on
athletic performance and to determine the dosage regi-
mens and intake duration of standardized BC supple-
ments as well as the bioavailability of active ingredients
present in the BC supplements.
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Wound healing
Topical application of the colostrum constituents has
depicted significant promotion for open wound healing
[70]. It has been suggested that nucleotides, epidermal
growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor (TGF)
and IGF-1 promote cellular and skin growth and also
help in repairing DNA and RNA damage. Growth of nerve
cells, skin, cartilage, muscle and bone are tissues where
colostrum showed beneficial effects [29]. BC also promoted
collagen gel contraction in a fibroblast populated collagen
gel culture [71]. This in vitro model seems to mimic the
wound healing process in vivo. A patent has also been
granted for utilization of a colostrum fraction to accelerate
wound healing [72]. Additionally, BC was found to reduce
NSAID-induced gastric injury in animals [73] and probably
humans [50] by enhancing the growth of intestinal villi
possibly due to the action of IGF and TGF-βpresent in
SCBLC [59]. The bioactive components such as fibroblast
growth factors and lactoferrin present in BC are thought to
mediate the wound healing actions [50].
Apart from wound healing, lactoferrin was also
found to be capable of protecting the skin from ultravio-
let B (UVB)-induced photodamage in hairless mice [74].
Oral administration of 1,600 mg/kg lactoferrin resulted in
a decrease in transepidermal water loss and epidermal
thickening, two markers of skin damage. The protective
effect could have been due to inhibition of UVB-stimu-
lated IL-1βproduction. IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-αare impli-
cated in recruiting inflammatory leukocytes as well as
matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) resulting in inflamma-
tion and skin damage. While the drawback of this study
was the failure to measure IL-6 and TNF-αin the skin due
to inadequate concentrations; nevertheless, IL-1βpro-
vided the required link between UVB and skin damage.
The leaky gut syndrome
The leaky gut syndrome is associated with many auto-
immune diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes,
inflammatory and irritable bowel disease and multiple
sclerosis [75]. Antibodies produced by the biological sys-
tem in response to stressors can get attached to tissues
throughout the body and cause inflammation [76].
Progressively generated auto-antibodies result in chronic
inflammatory disorders [77]. The immune system enhan-
cers present in colostrum have revealed markedly bene-
ficial effects on clinical and subclinical GI infections and
chronic pain disorders. Thus, BC supplements may pro-
vide GI and immunological benefits and help to improve
gut mucosal integrity and immunological status [78].
Colostrum supplements not only possess anti-inflamma-
tory properties but also appear to enhance nutrient bioa-
vailability and prevent subclinical leaky gut syndrome in
patients who use colostrum as a dietary supplement [79].
BCs ingredients may keep the intestinal mucosae sealed
and make them impermeable to exo- and endo-toxins. This
intestinal sealing capacity was attributed to BC mediated
induction of intestinal barrier strengthening cytokine TGF-β
[80]. The aforementioned mechanism was elucidated when a
counteracting process to BC mediated induction in claudin-2
expression was sought. Claudin-2 is a tight junctional protein
that forms cation-selective intestinal pores resulting in
increased intestinal permeability and lower transepithelial
electrical resistance (TER) [81]. Therefore, theoretically BC
should have decreased TER but did not do so because TGF-
βbalanced claudin-2 overexpression resulting in reduced
intestinal permeability and high TER.
Juvenile diabetes (type-1 or insulin dependent diabetes) is
thought to occur through an autoimmune disorder, primar-
ily initiated by an intense allergic reaction to the protein
glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) found in cowsmilk[29,
77]. Colostrum contains various bioactive factors, which can
control and inhibit this autoimmune disorder and other
similar allergies. The immunoglobulin IGF-1 found in colos-
trum can bind to both insulin and IGF-1 receptors present in
target cells of human body. Additionally, BC was found to
reduce glucose and malondialdehyde levels in alloxan-
induced diabetes in rats [82]. A similar model adopted for
mice showed that both BC and HBC were able to signifi-
cantly reduce glucose and lipid levels [83] with HBC being
the superior one. Apart from the obvious helpful actions of
IGF-1, BC-mediated β-cell regeneration leading to insulin
release and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α
(PPARα) like actions of conjugated isomers of linoleic acid
(CLA) could be the mechanisms behind the antidiabetic
be mediated by its non-enzymatic components such as
lactoferrin and A, C, E vitamins.
HIV-associated immunomodulation
HIV infection suppresses vital cells in the human immune
system such as helper T cells (specifically CD4
T cells)
[84], many dendritic cells and macrophages, thus redu-
cing their levels in the body. Further, diarrhoea is a
Bagwe et al.: Nutraceutical effects of colostrum 7
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common complication in AIDS patients, and HIV-asso-
ciated diarrhoea may result in discomfort and malnutri-
tion. People with a healthy immune system do not
experience this GI complication. It has been reported
that intake of human milk increases helper T cells in
the body, thus assisting in improving the immune system
[85]. BC supplements may be useful in patients infected
with HIV to restore the immune system and regulate the
loss of T helper cells as well as GI system immune activa-
tion and mucosal integrity. Nevertheless, placebo-con-
trolled studies are needed to ascertain if BC can
effectively ameliorate HIV-associated gut inflammation
and suppression of immune function.
To further enhance the utility of BC against HIV,
Kramski et al. found that colostrum-derived IgG fractions
possessed HIV-1 neutralizing activity [86]. These fractions
were obtained by vaccinating cows with recombinant
HIV-1 gp140 antigens, which resulted in the envelope
proteins stimulating the production of gp-140-specific
polyclonal antibodies. These antibodies bind to the
CD4-binding site and thus grant BC its HIV-1 neutralizing
action. This study provides a relatively cheap alternative
for the production of anti-HIV antibodies as opposed to
the expensive synthetic processes utilized today.
Anticancer properties of BC
Lactalbumin present in colostrum is responsible for indu-
cing apoptosis (physiological cell death) of the cancerous
cells [87]. Lactoferrin could prove to be beneficial as an
anticancer substance [44, 77]. Indeed, metal ion-saturated
lactoferrin has been granted a patent for displaying potent
anticancer properties [87]. This lactoferrin increases treat-
ment responsiveness, stimulates the immune response via
Th-1 and Th-2 activation and also increases the leucocyte
and erythrocyte count. Cancer metastasis could be inhib-
ited by the growth and immune factors present in colos-
trum [44]. NK cells found in colostrum provide resistance
against tumours; therefore, they have reduced cytotoxic
properties. Based on these observations, the immunomo-
dulatory components and anticancer factors present in BC
supplements may be employed as an alternative remedy or
adjunct therapy for curing some cancers besides radiation
and chemotherapy.
It has been reported that colostrum mitigates a wide variety
of diseases, and could be a promising nutraceutical in the
future. The primary advantage of colostrum supplements is
that they have negligible side effects and are well tolerated.
As opposed to milk, BC has lesser amount of lactose, and
therefore may be suitable for patients suffering from lactose
intolerance. The immunoglobulins present in colostrum
have the potential to enhance the immune function and
well-being of healthy persons and patients. Limited number
of human and animal studies done with colostrum supple-
ments are indicative of future prospects for helping in cur-
ing diseases like AIDS, cardiovascular and GI disorders,
infectious diseases, wound healing, and certain cancers.
As colostrum has numerous naturally occurring important
nutritional components, well-designed, double-blind, pla-
cebo-controlled studies with colostrum products need to be
conducted to widen their therapeutic role. It indeed seems
to be a treasure trove which if tapped could eventually
reveal many health benefits and cost-effective cures in
Acknowledgments: The authors would like to thank
SPPSPTM NMIMS for providing the facilities utilized in
this review.
Author contributions: All the authors have accepted
responsibility for the entire content of this submitted
manuscript and approved submission.
Research funding: None declared.
Employment or leadership: None declared.
Honorarium: None declared.
Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played
no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis,
and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or
in the decision to submit the report for publication.
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... Dairy products are an important part of people's diets. A wide variety of dairy products contain high-quality protein, various trace elements, and functional components, including milk calcium, whey, polar lipids, and conjugated linoleic acid (8,9). Indeed, milk protein composed of 80% casein and 20% whey protein are widely perceived as a major protein source (10). ...
... In our study, mice body weight was significantly decreased in HBM and HCM compared to HFD group. Studies have demonstrated a relationship between milk intake and body weight in children and adolescents (9,24,25). Milk products are an important source of protein. High-protein diets have been shown to induce more weight loss than conventional diets in overweight and obese adults. ...
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of buffalo milk and cow milk on lipid metabolism in obese mice. Milk composition analysis showed fat, protein, and total solid content in buffalo milk was higher than cow milk, while the lactose content of buffalo milk was lower than cow milk. After milk metabolite extraction and LC-MS/MS analysis, differential metabolites were mainly enriched in “linoleic acid metabolism pathways,” “pentose and glucuronate interconversion pathways,” and “metabolism of xenobiotics by cytochrome P450 pathways.” We fed three groups of C57BL/6J mice (n = 6 per group) for 5 weeks: (1) high-fat diet group (HFD group); (2) high-fat diet + buffalo milk group (HBM group); and (3) high-fat diet + cow milk group (HCM group). Our results showed that body weight of mice was significantly decreased in HBM and HCM groups from 1 to 4 weeks compared with the HFD group. The mRNA expression of ACAA2, ACACB, and SLC27A5 genes involved in the lipid metabolism in liver tissue were significantly elevated in HCM group, relatively to HFD and HBM group. In addition, the adipocyte number, size and lipid accumulation in the liver were significantly decreased in HCM group compared with the HFD group by H&E staining and oil red O staining, but was not change in HBM group. The mRNA levels of TNF-α and IL-1β inflammatory genes were significantly increased in HBM group, relatively to HFD and HCM group, which is consistent with results from inflammatory cell infiltration and tissue disruption by colon tissue sections. In conclusion, dietary supplementation of cow milk has beneficial effects on loss of weight and lipid metabolism in obese mice.
... Scientific papers pointing to these aspects are published since the 20 th century with the purpose of understanding not only the role of colostrum in the new-born organism, but also the beneficial properties for the adult one [1]. The 21 st century brings new researches that focus on specific constituents of the colostrum and the possibility of using them in medicine [2,3,4,5,6,7]. ...
... The growth factors also actively participate in the development of muscle mass, having thus a positive impact on the performance of athletes [2,12]. ...
Full-text available
The colostrum, the first postpartum secretion of the mammary gland, eliminates the meconium, insures the first line of protection for the newborn against various aggressions, but mostly, the colostrum protects and matures the gastrointestinal tract and the newborn organism as a whole. The main bioactive components with a major impact in these processes are the growth factors and stem cells. The growth factors found in the bovine colostrum are yet to be fully identified, however, the well-known ones are as follows: Fibroblast growth-factor, Platelet growth-factor, Epidermal growth-factor, Insulin-Like growth factors I and II, Tumour necrosis growth-factor and the Vasoendothelial growth-factor. Stem cells participate in the cyclic renewal process of the mammary tissue with each parturition. The presence of these cells in the colostrum has been proven by renowned researchers only in recent years. The purpose of this review was to analyse the newly formed opinions and contradictions regarding the impact of these bioactive compounds in the bovine colostrum in its raw form or through nutraceutic products, in prevention and therapy of diseases in both man and animal.
... The percentage of lactose found in this paper for RC was 1.6%, which is a low value, yet it is in the range of values found by Kehoe et al. (2007), in which the research group could find the percentage of 2.5 ± 0.7%. This suggests that could be used by lactose intolerance person (Bagwe et al., 2015). FCH samples did not have a measurable percentage of lactose, which also suggests that this product could be safe lactose intolerance person. ...
Full-text available
This study aimed to make and characterize a fresh cheese using the surplus of bovine colostrum from dairy farms. The bovine colostrum was characterized in terms of fat (4.00%), protein (16.30%), moisture (79.68%), ash (0.95%), minerals, pH (6.32), titratable acidity (0.27 g/100 mL), immunoglobulin G (>50 g/L), lactose (1.60%), color, and the presence of pathogenic bacteria. The fresh cheese made with colostrum was characterized in the same terms as the bovine colostrum (fat (7.00%), protein (22.95%), moisture (67.98%), ash (1.85%), minerals, pH (6.15), titratable acidity (0.04 g/100 mL), immunoglobulin G (30.95 g/L), lactose (not detectable), color, and the presence of pathogenic bacteria), with the addition of the texture and sensory analysis. The colostrum cheese had high moisture content (67.98%) and low-fat content (7.00%). The protein content was also high (22.95%), whose major percentage was composed by immunoglobulins. An important finding in this work was associated with the possible absence of lactose in the colostrum cheese, thus opening opportunities for future research regarding the development of dairy products for lactose intolerant consumers. In addition, the high concentration of immunoglobulin G might give this product an immune boost feature. The sensorial analysis showed that the recipe of the fresh cheese requires improvement to achieve higher acceptance from the public, especially regarding texture.
... The proteolytic activity of probiotic microorganisms catalyzes the production of fermented milk proteins with specific peptide composition and functional characteristics [3,4]. Bovine colostrum, or first milk, is a promising source of bioactive peptides [5]. The development of new fermented food stuffs with confirmed functional advantages (antioxidant activity, antimutagenic effect and antimicrobial action) appears extremely relevant. ...
... Previos estudios (Eslamian et al. 2018) han demostrado que el calostro bovino protege y restaura la barrera intestinal en humanos y animales, por lo que puede ser aprovechado en el tratamiento de una amplia variedad de afecciones gastrointestinales. Bagwe et al., (2015) analizaron que el consumo de calostro bovino promueve el crecimiento del tejido y la maduración del tracto digestivo por lo que al implementarlo de manera integral para elaborar un alimento funcional implicaría una futura estrategia de prevención contra diversas enfermedades; en cuanto a la utilización de calostro bovino en la elaboración de un alimento, hay muy poco reportado en la literatura, como el caso de Assumpção et al., (2016) elaboraron una bebida probiótica a base de soya, calostro y miel centrándose en su capacidad antioxidante. ...
El calostro bovino es considerado un compuesto con grandes propiedades funcionales, por lo cual se planteó el siguiente trabajo de investigación cuyo objetivo fue elaborar de un queso fresco de calostro bovino de segunda y tercera ordeña brindando una alternativa de alimento funcional. Se determinaron las características físico-químicas del calostro, suero y queso así como el análisis de perfil de textura (APT) en este último. Los resultados obtenidos indican mayor contenido de proteína y mayor rendimiento en la elaboración del queso de la segunda ordeña. Respecto a los resultados obtenidos en el APT, los valores de dureza, firmeza y masticabilidad presentan diferencias significativas (p≤0.05) entre ambos quesos, mientras que la adhesividad, resiliencia, cohesividad y elasticidad no presentan diferencias significativas, por lo que se concluyó que el calostro bovino de segunda ordeña presenta mejores características fisicoquímicas y que puede ser aprovechado en la elaboración de un producto funcional.
... Bovine colostrum, therefore, is effective against a wide variety of diseases and thus is an effective nutraceutical with relatively very less side effects with a good level of tolerance. More research needs to be conducted in this area and the future shows promise in use of colostrum in treating diseases like AIDS, GI and cardiovascular disorders, infectious diseases and certain types of cancers [17]. ...
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This meta-review is an examination of the therapeutic properties of colostrum. The scientific development and subsequent implementation of new therapeutics continues to influence researchers all over the globe today. Therefore, this review examines previously published research on colostrum and its effects on physiological functioning to determine its role as a potential therapeutic. Additionally, this review explores options for the potential therapeutic use of colostrum in immunology, IBS, diabetes and thyroid. There is abundant research supporting the immunomodulatory properties of colostrum, while also implicating its roles in alleviating IBS which is presented in this review. There is also evidence for the presence of IGF-1, T4, T3 and iodine in colostrum. Therefore, this review will also examine the current research examining the detection and respective physiological relevance for diabetes and thyroid functioning.
Although nutrition is a relatively new healthcare segment, it is attracting considerable interest from both consumers and the medical fraternity. This is because of the growing awareness about the impact of our lifestyle and diet on health. Nutraceuticals have become increasingly popular, especially for preventive and proactive health care and disease management. The discovery, development, and marketing of food supplements, nutraceuticals, and related products are currently the fastest-growing segments of the food industry. Nutraceuticals are products of food origin with added health benefits in addition to their basic nutritional value. Nutraceuticals can be considered a nonspecific biological therapy for promoting general health, controlling symptoms, and preventing malignant processes. Nutraceuticals can be classified according to the chemical nature, food availability, and mechanism of action of their bioactive compounds. Nutraceuticals have many ingredients, including vitamins and minerals that directly contribute to health. The nutraceutical market is a fairly new section of the food industry that is growing rapidly. This growth is parallel to the growing concerns of consumers about their overall health and life expectancy and how these can be balanced well through eating food that is increasingly supported by evidence connecting diet and health. As countries worldwide become more developed, the incidence of diet-related diseases is also increasing as a result of the increased availability of high-calorie foods and a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore nutraceuticals may provide a novel therapeutic approach to prevent or reduce the instances of diet-related diseases by exerting beneficial antiinflammatory responses. However, there is a lack of clear information, and the claimed health benefits of nutraceuticals are often not properly substantiated by safety and efficacy information or in vitro and in vivo data. Health professional, nutritionists and regulatory toxicologists should work together strategically to plan appropriate regulation to provide the ultimate health and therapeutic benefit to humankind. Furthermore, the potential market for nutraceuticals may be large, but a global blockbuster product will require top-class compliance with a patchwork of regulations in each country plus tenacious marketing to navigate the vagaries of national tastes. However, the future of nutraceuticals seems to offer opportunities for discovering new and exciting therapeutic strategies and products
Colostrum plays a decisive role in the survival and health of newborn mammals, serving as a source of energy for maintaining their homeostasis and as a source of immunoglobulins, acting passively in the formation of immunity. This chapter brings recent advances and approaches to obtain colostrum with improved qualities, whether for application to the herd itself or the development of colostrum replenishers and new products. In addition, a review of patents deposited between 2018 and 2020 showed that most new products based on colostrum are directed to human health, animal health, and cosmetics. Finally, an overview of colostrum-based products shows they are mostly in the form of capsules or powder, which shows that new applications have great space on the market.
Colostrum is secreted by the mammal’s glandules during the first days after parturition, it is rich in nutrients and bioactive molecules. This first milk is essential to guarantee the growth and immunity of the newborn, in addition to a balanced nutrition. The high immunoglobulin content in colostrum is responsible for the passive immunity from mother to child. Normally, the production of bovine colostrum (BC) in dairy farms is higher than the calf’s necessity and there is not enough knowledge about the potential of this product; consequently, the spare quantity is discarded. Nowadays researchers have investigated the BC potential as a therapeutic or nutraceutical product, although the spreading of this colostrum potential needs to be more effective among the producers. This chapter reviews the colostrum composition which presents some mechanisms to transfer the passive immunity in different species as well as the potential of colostrum for human and animal therapy.
Metabolic syndrome (MS), also known as syndrome X, is characterized by a group of interconnected pathophysiological conditions such as central obesity, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis, increased risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease and stroke. Collectively, all of these comorbid conditions predispose the individuals to high risk for morbidity and mortality. MS is also associated with microglobulinuria and chronic kidney problems, dementia and cognitive decline, depression and insomnia. The treatment strategies include pharmacotherapy (insulin and oral antidiabetic drugs), and non-pharmacological interventions such as nutraceuticals and functional foods, which have shown fair degree of effectiveness in the management of MS. Because of the high prices of synthetic drugs, there is a growing demand for cost-effective, affordable, safe and effective alternative therapies for curing the MS related complications. Active research is going on to evaluate the long-term safety, efficacy, and dose schedules of nutraceuticals, functional foods, antioxidant and antiinflammation phytotherapies for the management of MS and associated disorders. The results of different in vitro and in vivo studies done with nutraceuticals, functional foods, probiotics, spices, and herbal remedies, such as Trigonella foenum-graceum, Camellia sinensis, Cinnamomum cassia, Murraya koenigii, Punicagranatum, Emblica officinalis, Vigna mungo, Lagerstroemia speciosa, Curcuma longa, and Capsaicin have demonstrated beneficial effects in combating obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and CVDs triggered by oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokines. In addition, conjugated linoleic acid, polyunsaturated fatty acids, alpha-lipoic acid, berberine, psyllium fibers, L-carnitine, bovine colostrum, and probiotics have proven useful in the management of MS. Regular physical activity plays an important role in lowering the blood sugar and triglyceride levels, increasing HDL, and reducing LDL in the body. A holistic approach may be the most cost-effective method for health promotion and prevention of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, obesity, CVDs, cardiometabolic syndrome, and neurodegenerative disorders. However, well-designed randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials are needed to determine the long-term safety, efficacy and optimal dose of nutraceuticals and phytotherapies in patients suffering from MS. The focus of this review is to highlight the beneficial role of nutraceuticals, functional foods, probiotics, and spices for the management of MS by providing evidence from the preclinical studies, and limited number of clinical trials done with phytotherapies and nutraceuticals.
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A leaky gut has been observed in a number of autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that lupus mice also bear a leaky gut and that the intestinal barrier function can be enhanced by gut colonization of probiotics such as Lactobacillus spp. Retinoic acid (RA) can increase the relative abundance of Lactobacillus spp. in the gut. Interestingly, RA has also been shown to strengthen the barrier function of epithelial cells in vitro and in the absence of probiotic bacteria. These reports bring up an interesting question of whether RA exerts protective effects on the intestinal barrier directly or through regulating the microbiota colonization. In this review, we will discuss the roles of RA in immunomodulation, recent literature on the involvement of a leaky gut in different autoimmune diseases, and how RA shapes the outcomes of these diseases.
The businesses community of different sectors affected by current energy crisis in Pakistan tends towards dairy business. They are highly interested by the information on milk composition particularly of buffalo milk due to its major contribution in national's milk production i.e. 63% according to the FAO's published data of 2010. It is necessary to know for maximum value addition in dairy food chain as the nutrients not only determine the dietary value of milk for human consumption but also help to define market strategies for various classes of consumers like growing children, nursing mothers, young persons involved in hard jobs or elderly people. Buffaloes are most important sources of milk for human consumption in several parts of the world including Pakistan. It is characterized by higher solids contents for being richer source of lipids, protein, lactose and minerals. Buffalo milk has long been valued by its important chemical composition determining nutritive properties and suitability in the manufacture of traditional as well as industrial dairy products. Recently buffalo milk's constituents, their nutritional importance and bioactive properties have received much attention. In this paper, the composition and physico-chemical properties of major constituents of buffalo milk with particular emphasis on lipids, protein, minerals, enzymes and vitamins have been presented. The concentration and partition of major elements between different phases of buffalo milk are also given. The enzymic profiles as well as the nutrient molecules have been presented for the said milk which determines its suitability for various processes and end products. The available technologies need some modifications even from milking machines to industrial processing. It is a golden opportunity for the investors to come into buffalo milk business to get advantage from the government initiatives in the current period. In this way, we will be able to improve the genetic potential of buffaloes in getting more milk of higher quality and experimenting diversity of products particularly cheeses and other fermented dairy products for the local market and export by better exploiting the uniqueness of buffalo milk.
Milk is secreted by all species of mammals to supply nutrition and immunological protection to the young. It performs these functions with a large array of distinctive compounds. Interspecies differences in the quantitative composition of milk (Jenness and Sloan 1970) probably reflect differences in the metabolic processes of the lactating mother and in the nutritive requirements of the suckling young.
Colostrumis ‘the first milk secreted at the time of parturition, differing from the milk secreted later, by containing more lactalbumin and lactoprotein, and also being rich in antibodies that confer passive immunity to the newborn, also called “foremilk”. Human Colostrum (HC) and Bovine Colostrum (BC) are rich in protein, immunoglobulin, lactoferrin and growth factors. Recent studies suggest that colostrum components, immunoglobulin and growth factor benefits physically active personandin treatment of autoimmune disorders. It is used for the treatment of a wide variety of gastrointestinal conditions, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug–induced gut injury, H pylori infection, immune deficiency related diarrhea as well as infective diarrhea. This review explores the current knowledge on the beneficial effect of colostrum supplementation in the above condition.
Brain cell death after intracerebral hemorrhage may be mediated in part by an apoptotic mechanism. Colostrum is the first milk produced by mammals for their young. It plays an important role in protection and development by providing various antibodies, growth factors and nutrients, and has been used for various diseases in many countries. In the present study, we investigated the anti-apoptotic effects of bovine colostrum using organotypic hippocampal slice cultures and an intracerebral hemorrhage animal model. We performed densitometric measurements of propidium iodide uptake, a step-down avoidance task, Nissl staining, and caspase-3 immunohistochemistry. The present results revealed that colostrum treatment significantly suppressed N-methyl-D-aspartic acid-induced neuronal cell death in the rat hippocampus. Moreover, colostrum treatment improved short-term memory by suppressing hemorrhage-induced apoptotic neuronal cell death and decreasing the volume of the lesion induced by intracerebral hemorrhage in the rat hippocampus. These results suggest that colostrum may have a beneficial role in recovering brain function following hemorrhagic stroke by suppressing apoptotic cell death.