Immune supplements such as vitamin C, zinc, and elderberry have extra gained attention in recent months, causing shortages and delays in the supply chain.
Another immune health booster that has flown largely under the radar is colostrum. Research suggests taking bovine colostrum supplements may promote immunity, help fight infections and improve gut health throughout life.
“Unfortunately, immune health is only at the forefront of priorities during a health crisis. It so happens that in the case of a pandemic where no vaccine is available that colostrum resurfaces as a viable solution,” stated Douglas Wyatt, founder of Sovereign Laboratories, a Sedona, AZ-based company that develops natural products.
Wyatt said that science and literature have touted bovine colostrum throughout history, going as far back as 300–275 BCE. “In modern times, bovine colostrum was largely forgotten after the advent of penicillin and the age of antibiotics.”
After his wife experienced health challenges, Wyatt said he ‘rediscovered’ colostrum and helped the ingredient make a comeback by developing a shelf-stable, commercially viable product.
Sovereign Laboratories’ signature gut and immune health product is Colostrum-LD, a supplement which the company claims has over 200 bioactives that work in synergy to help the body achieve homeostasis.
Colostrum contains high levels of natural antibodies and proline-rich polypeptides that support the immune system. They act as modulators that help return the immune system to a state of balance. In addition to colostrum polypeptides, lactoferrin, which is present in colostrum, helps eliminate bacteria by removing the iron that feeds bacteria.
“Our bodies are equipped with an immune system that is seeded at our first suckling with mother’s colostrum, the pre-milk that provides the full complement of antibodies from our maternal line combined with immune and growth factors, vitamins, minerals and nutrition only Mother Nature could have created. Bovine colostrum can continue to provide immune resilience and G.I. system support so necessary in today’s world. For all ages, liposomal colostrum can continue to provide the immune and growth factors missing in our diets. Since the advent of ultrapasteurization of milk, we no longer have a natural source of these components still present in raw milk but killed in the process of pasteurization. Liposomal colostrum can support a healthy G.I. tract, avoid a leaky gut and maximize nutritional absorption,” explained Wyatt.
Regular bovine colostrum supplementation helps to protect and heal the G.I. system and stomach lining.
Several studies have found that bovine colostrum may stimulate the growth of intestinal cells, strengthen the gut wall, and prevent intestinal permeability, a condition that causes particles from your gut to leak throughout the rest of the body.
Colostrum is rich in various antioxidants, healthy fats and growth hormones which strengthens the immunity and aids in preventing bacterial infections. The ingredient is popular in sports nutrition to boost energy and enhance athletic performance. Research has found that colostrum helps facilitate fat loss, maintain lean body mass, balance blood glucose levels, repair damaged tissues and accelerate the healing process.
Whole colostrum powder offers excellent shelf life and is used in several nutritional products such as snacks, beverages and health supplements.
Most bovine dietary supplements indicate their products have a shelf life of any from 12 months to three years.
“After harvesting liquid colostrum, the drying process of colostrum fractures the protective coating exposing its delicate bioactives to the harsh acids of the stomach. Our proprietary liposomal delivery (LD) restores this protection so all the benefits of colostrum’s bioactives can reach the small intestine where they are absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered throughout the body. Without the appropriate reapplication of a liposomal encapsulation, stomach acids breakdown colostrum into amino acids, thereby destroying its efficacy.”
The growing demand for functional food and supplements along with fitness and healthy lifestyle are expected to drive market growth. Rising consumer spending on baby health and packaged baby foods is also likely to stimulate the colostrum market growth.
“The integrative and functional medicine community recognizes the contribution colostrum can make to maintaining health but because colostrum is natural and not a drug, recognition of its benefits is often overlooked. Consumer awareness of colostrum’s immune and anti-aging benefits can drive the market forward but it is a slow process. On the other side of demand is the fact that colostrum cannot be synthesized and is ultimately limited. A dairy cow can only produce colostrum once a year with the birth of her calf. The survival of the dairy industry will determine the continued availability of colostrum for human consumption. Plant-based beverages have been gaining in popularity along with an increase incidence of lactose-sensitivity,” said Wyatt
Wyatt predicts colostrum has a lucrative future: “We’re very confident in the future of this category. Innovations in infant nutrition and animal wellness continue to look bright.”