- Hyperimmune Bovine Colostrum
- Bovine Immunoglobulin
- Cow milk Colostrum
For Patients & Caregivers
How It Works
Bovine colostrum has been shown effective in treating diarrhea and infections. There is no evidence that it can be used to treat cancer.
Bovine colostrum is the milk produced by cows for the first several days following birthing. It is rich in antibodies, growth factors, cytokines, and protects the newborn calf from infections. Bovine colostrum has been used as a dietary supplement since last decade. Studies in humans have shown that it has several beneficial effects. Bovine colostrum contains trace amount of estrogen. Individuals with hormone-sensitive cancer should discuss with their doctors before consumption. Individuals allergic to dairy products should avoid bovine colostrum.
- Athletic performance A few studies in humans suggest that bovine colostrum improves exercise performance.
- Diarrhea Specially produced bovine colostrum has been used in clinical trials with positive results.
- Infections There is evidence from human studies that bovine colostrum increases immune responses.
- NSAID-associated gastrointestinal disorder A few studies showed that bovine colostrum prevents the intestinal damage due to NSAID intake.
- Cancer There is no evidence that bovine colostrum can be used to treat cancer.
For Healthcare Professionals
Bovine colostrum is cow’s milk secreted during the first few days following calving. It is rich in immunoglobulins, growth factors, cytokines, and confers immune protection to the newborn calf from opportunistic infections. Bovine colostrum has been used as a dietary supplement to treat diarrhea, infections, colitis, and to improve athletic performance. In vitro studies suggest that bovine colostrum has anti-inflammatory (16) and chemopreventive (17) properties.
Results from clinical trials indicate that hyperimmune bovine colostrum, prepared by immunizing cows with the causative agent, is effective in treating diarrhea caused by rotavirus (2), by E. Coli (12) (18), and by Cryptosporidium parvum (3) (4). Preliminary data also suggest that oral administration of bovine colostrum may reduce postoperative endotoxemia during abdominal surgery (5) and postoperative C-reactive protein (CRP)-plasma levels in patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery (6). There is some evidence that bovine colostrum can prevent gastrointestinal damage caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (7) (19) and is effective in treating distal colitis (8).
Bovine colostrum contains trace amount of naturally occurring estrogen (20) (21). Patients with hormone-sensitive cancer should discuss with their physicians before consumption, and patients allergic to dairy products should avoid this product.
Mechanism of Action
Although the high concentration of immunoglobulins may account for bovine colostrum’s effects, the exact mechanism is not known. Studies suggest that bovine colostrum improves exercise performance (9) (10) by increasing serum insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and may enhance immune response in humans (11). Others have shown that colostrum derived from cows immunized with C. parvum was effective in the treatment of diarrhea induced by C. parvum in AIDS patients (3) (4). Similarly, colostrum from cows immunized with rotavirus alleviated symptoms of rotaviral diarrhea in children (2). Colostrum also reduced diarrhea associated with E.coli (12). Preliminary data from some studies indicate that oral administration of bovine colostrum may reduce postoperative endotoxemia during abdominal surgery (5) and postoperative CRP-plasma levels in patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery (6). There is also some evidence that bovine colostrum prevents NSAID-associated gastrointestinal damage (7) (19) and is effective in treating distal colitis (8).