INSIDE BE THE CHANGE The milk from mammals shortly after birth, the so-called first milk, also called colostrum, is rich in valuable substances that build up and strengthen the infant's immune system. Substances that are also incredibly good for the immune system of adults. Barbara Stolba and Sven Altorfer, the founding duo of Swiss Health & Nutrition, take advantage of exactly this with their colostrum products.
Barbara Stolba, Sven Altorfer, like every winter we discuss the sense and nonsense of dietary supplements that are supposed to strengthen our immune system. It is all the more important to note that colostrum is not one of them and is considered a conventional food.
Sven Altorfer: A look at food law also helps. Here colostrum is defined as a 'special kind of food'. So no, colostrum is definitely not a dietary supplement.
Nevertheless, a “special kind of food”. This requires a more detailed explanation.
Sven Altorfer: In short, colostrum is the milk of mammals and of course humans, which is released in the first 72 hours after birth. Shortly before birth, all immune factors accumulate - these are flushed out during the first lactations. Colostrum is the richest milk with all the important immune factors in it so that the newborn's immune system can develop. That's why it's also called first milk.
“Colostrum is recommended to anyone who wants to do something good for their health in a natural way.”
You only use colostrum from cows for your products. For what reason?
Barbara Stolba: There are various reasons for that. On the one hand, a cow – unlike a goat or a sheep – produces excess colostrum. This means that under no circumstances do we take anything away from the animals. On the other hand, unlike a newborn child, a calf has no immune system at all. The cow's colostrum is therefore much more potent than that of us humans. We can use the immune factors in cow colostrum in exactly the same way as a calf.
Colostrum is therefore the first food for newborns, whether human or animal. What can we adults do with this?
Altorfer: To put it somewhat exaggeratedly, we often damage our intestines with an unhealthy lifestyle and diet. Colostrum helps repair this damage, purify the intestines and unclog the intestinal villi. In short, it ensures a good condition of the microbiome, i.e. the intestine as a whole, with all its mucous membranes and good bacteria.
“The problem with pasteurization is that all active substances, including the antibodies, are destroyed. We have therefore invented a new filtration technology that creates a food-safe and highly pure product without any heat. »
This is good for your intestines. But to what extent does our immune system benefit from colostrum?
Altorfer: There is the so-called leaky gut syndrome, also known as intestinal permeability syndrome. This is now a normal phenomenon of civilization and has a significant impact on our immune system. In leaky gut syndrome, the intestinal mucosa is cracked and permeable, and unfinished molecules can escape from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. These proteins and acids have no place in this form and can be responsible for migraines or allergic reactions.
Stolba: By repairing our intestinal lining, colostrum indirectly strengthens our immune system. It is said that around 80 percent of our immune system takes place in the intestines. If everything is okay down there, we are usually fine.
Stolba: It used to be common practice on farms to bake colostrum cakes, i.e. pastries with colostrum in them, to support the immune system. So we didn't invent anything new, we simply used Mother Nature. By the way, the old tradition of colostrum cake is being revived.
The product itself is not a new invention, but the filtration technology is so that the colostrum does not have to be heated.
Stolba: Exactly, the problem with pasteurization is that all active substances are destroyed. And this also includes the antibodies, of which we actually want to preserve as much as possible. We have therefore embarked on completely new paths.
Altorfer: And invented a new filtration technology, actually a technology mix of dairy farming and fruit juice production. Even with the latter, the goal is to get as many vitamins as possible. The colostrum is relatively thick, so it cannot be processed into cheese or other dairy products. We therefore separate the fat and casein, creating a classic whey - a whey made from colostrum. And this aqueous solution then passes through the filters, which ensure that a food-safe and highly pure product is created without any heat.
Stolba: A product that can last up to three years without refrigeration. This is also very unusual and is only available in this form in Switzerland.
The organic aspect is also important to you.
Stolba: That's right, we collect the excess colostrum ourselves on the respective farms. We have set up an upcycling process because this surplus would otherwise not be recycled. So not only do we process it, but we also know the name of the cow it comes from. And can thus ensure that all standards are met.
Altorfer: Among other things, there is actually excess colostrum and we don't take anything away from the cow or calf. And that the calf is not separated from its mother after birth.
«By repairing our intestinal mucosa, colostrum indirectly strengthens our immune system. It is said that around 80 percent of our immune system takes place in the intestines. If everything is okay down there, we’re usually fine.”
And the finished products with colostrum? Is it more for people with compromised immune systems or for those who are generally healthy?
Altorfer: For the average consumer it has a preventative nature. However, if intestinal problems occur, which we often don't even know about, colostrum helps to repair the damage and thus strengthen the immune system.
Stolba: Colostrum is recommended for anyone who wants to do something good for their health in a natural way.