COLOSTRUMCOLOSTRUM –  Life’s First Food
by Lynn Hinderliter CN, LDN

Virtually two whole generations of Americans,  possibly more, were deprived of many of the precious nutrients that lead to lifelong good health because of the strange medical perversion that led to the suppression of breast-feeding.  On a personal note, I had my two babies in an American Army hospital over 30 years ago, and had to literally FIGHT the opposition of the hospital staff to my intention to breastfeed.  I had a really simple belief:  that this was what Nature intended breasts to be used for!  

When a female mammal gives birth, before the production of the nutritious milk comes the valuable food known as colostrum with its many health benefits.  Where breast milk is a source of protein, colostrum is a source of immunity.  Farmers habitually remove a calf from its mother in order to appropriate the cow’s milk production for their own use:  but they soon discovered that if they removed the calf before it had a chance to suckle for a few days, not only was it more susceptible to infection and disease, but its health suffered long term.  

Now that the components of Colostrum have been identified, its health benefits come as absolutely no surprise.  Among other things, it contains:

  •  An enzyme which attacks bacteria in the body  by releasing lysins (dissolving agents)  that weaken the cell walls of the bacteria until they collapse.  Swiss studies show it to be effective even  against E. Coli, a major childhood threat. (Wild et al., Reevaluation of the effect of lysozyme ….. Microsc. Res. Tech, 1991; 39(3):297-304) . 

  • Lactoferrin – a protein which captures iron molecules and makes them unavailable to bacteria and viruses, which need it for growth.

  • Immunoglobulins, to include IgG which attacks and attaches to bacteria, thereby making them vulnerable to attack by the body’s immune system.

  • Glycoproteins – natural protease inhibitors.

  • Interferon – which supports the immune system, and fights viruses.

  • Oligosaccharides – which support and encourage the growth of probiotic bacteria,

  • IGF1 & 2, and other growth factors important for all growth of muscle and tissue.

  • and more ……..

Colostrum has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and farming communities used to make a pudding from it which was highly valued.  I recall a recipe book I have unfortunately lost printed during the war in England which gave a number of recipes for colostrum. 

 It has a long history of use as a health enhancer. but only recently have people woken up to its real and immediate benefits;  I recommend it always for  long lasting and debilitating diarrhea, for any condition that involves irritation or inflammation of the digestive tract and bowels, and for immune support.  I know that it is also said to be useful for body-builders because of its Growth Hormone connection, but I have no personal experience of that application in my clientele, so will not comment.   

 I have seen it make a life-changing difference in many seriously debilitated people, and highly recommend it for use when the immune system is deficient and digestive weaknesses are present.  There are many studies  showing  its beneficial effect in cases of intestinal permeability (Leaky Gut Syndrome) and the attendant ill-health and allergic conditions, and its balancing effect on the immune system.  I consider it to be one of the basic health supporting substances, and use it myself on an ongoing basis.  If your health is compromised, I recommend trying it:  there are certainly no side effects (it is even tolerated by most lactose intolerant people)  and the possibility of many benefits.

Find the recommended supplements here

LaLeche League writes about Colostrum – http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/colostrum.html

Guidelines for farmers raising calves – http://ag.udel.edu/departments/anfs/faculty/kung/articles/importance_of_colostrum_for_calv.htm

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