Colostrum: Naturally superpowering your immune system

Colostrum, also referred to as beestings, bisnings, first milk or liquid gold, naturally and powerfully supports your immune system. It is the first strengthening food of every mammal and every human being – and the powerful basis of our SWISS IMMUNE® productline.

The mother (milk) of immune protection

Colostrum is the first food every mammal drinks from their mother after birth, including humans. The cow also produces (bovine) colostrum after giving birth to a calf and before giving milk. This special food contains high concentrations of immunoglobulins and nutrients that build and support the immune system.

Human breast milk has yet to be studied sufficiently. The world’s first chair to study human breast milk was established in Zurich in 2015. The chair links the clinics for neonatology and the children’s hospital. It will also collaborate closely with the University of Australia, where research will take place on the biochemistry of human breastmilk.

«There are many open questions we can address with the two professorships,»said Dirk Bassler, director of the Department of Neonatology at University Hospital Zurich. «For example, why does breast milk have a protective effect? What is it made of and how do the ingredients interact with the organism?»

Kalb mit Mutterkuh

Bovine colostrum has already been thoroughly researched. Numerous scientific studies have investigated the composition of colostrum and its effects on the immune system of the calf, but also on that of humans.

It has been proven, for example, that bovine colostrum contains an even great concentration of «good» ingredients than human first milk. This is because a calf, unlike a human newborn, is not born with its own defense substances intact. In cattle, the blood circulation of the cow and calf are completely separate during pregnancy, so the maternal defense line isn’t passed to the calf in the womb

The calf is therefore at the mercy of germs and the environment when first born. That’s why bovine colostrum contains a 40-fold higher concentration of immunoglobulin than human first milk, as a study in Natural History Magazine noted as early as 1969. Other nutrients are also present in higher concentrations when compared to milk.

Yet normal daily intake of high-quality colostrum—1-2 grams per day—has a lactose content so low that even the lactose-intolerant can drink it without issue.

 1st milking2nd milking 3rd milkingMilk
Specific weight1056104010351032
Dry mass (%)23,917,914,112,9
pH value6,326,326,336,50
Protein (%)14,08,45,14,1
IgG (g/100ml)3,22,51,50,06
Fat (%)6,75,43,94,0
Lactose (%)2,73,94,45,0

Table: Composition of colostrum in 1st – 3rd milking p.p. compared to milk. N = 111 (Foley u. Otterby, 1978)

What’s in it?

The following nutrients have been detected in a cow’s first milk, i.e. bovine colostrum:

  • proteins
  • lactoferrin
  • amino acids
  • minerals
  • fat
  • vitamins
  • nucleotides
  • enzymes
  • growth factors
  • immunoglobulins (antibodies)

What should I look for?

The following are essential tips for choosing bovine colostrum:

Colostrum should only come from cows from species-appropriate organic animal husbandry. Only the surplus, i.e. the unused part of the colostrum, should be used so that the calf receives more than enough and is fully provided for.

Colostrum should not be heated, i.e. pasteurized. To a large degree, heating destroys the nutrients it contains. Microfiltration/cold filtration is the gentlest and highest quality processing method.

Colostrum – the natural powerhouse

What makes colostrum so powerful?

Colostrum – the natural powerhouse

What makes colostrum so powerful?

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