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The multiple benefits of first-day colostrum

November 05, 2020 4 min read

The multiple benefits of first-day colostrum

Bovine colostrum (BC) is the first milk produced by cows after calving.It is a highly nutritious food that can prevent disease and promote overall good health. As supplementation with BC has been shown to be useful for increasing stamina and vitality, stimulating the immune system, and slowing the process of aging, BC is one superfood worth incorporating in the diet of your horse. 

The beneficial effects of colostrum on equine athletic performance are well documented.BC is considered to be a powerful supplement to maintain muscle health and promote optimal increase in muscle mass following exercise. It has remarkable soft tissue repair properties without any associated risks or side effects. In particular, the Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in BC promotes growth and has superior wound healing activities. BC supplementation also improves running and jumping performance. It has been shown that colostrum supplementation has a positive effect during periods of heavy training. It improves physical work capacity while reducing fatigue. 


BCsupplementation has also been shown tosupport brain activity, relaxation and cognitive function. It can have a calming and anxiolytic response in stressed animals and improve focus. BC also burns body fat and stimulates the movement of glucose into muscles, thereby reducing blood glucose as well as triglyceride levels. It can therefore be a very useful supplement for horses suffering from insulin resistance and consequent obesity. 


Colostrumis the most potent natural immune booster known to science as this protein-rich cocktail has a high content of immunoglobulins. IgG-1 is the principal immunoglobulin type in colostrum whereas IgM, IgA and IgG-2 are present in lower amounts. In fact, the concentration of IgA in colostrum is almost a hundred-fold higher than in milk. Colostrum also contains proline rich peptides (PRP). PRP helps restore the thymus gland to optimal functioning capability. The thymus produces the vital T-cells which fight viruses and bacteria. Researchers have found that colostrum-based supplements can be highly beneficial in reducing the duration of respiratory infections in horses thus providing a nutraceutical alternative to drugs while treating infections. BC has a significant amount of lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, and lysozyme in it. All these factors have antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral characteristics. Plus, it is loaded with polymorphonuclear leukocytes, macrophages, T-lymphocytes, and B-lymphocytes, which have demonstrated anti-microbial activity.

Anywhere along the horse’s gut, injury can result from using NSAID pain relievers, forage restriction, stress, and exercise on an empty stomach. BC has been shown to prevent stomach and intestinal ulcerations and also increase healthy cell renewal and proliferation. The Transforming growth factors present in BC stimulate gastrointestinal repair and maintain the integrity of the epithelial layer. Gastric and colonic ulcerations can result in leaky gut syndrome in which the intestines become permeable to dangerous substances that can enter the bloodstream and cause various illnesses. BC keeps the intestinal mucosal lining intact, restores gut integrity, and prevents the absorption of toxins and other harmful substances. 

Colostrum typically refers to the early milkings from dairy cows, taken up to 3 days post-partum. First and second milking colostrum are the richest in all bioactive components of BC, including IgG. Specifically, first-day colostrum (collected within the first 24 hours after calving) has a very high concentration ofproteins, immunoglobulins, vitamins, minerals, antimicrobial peptides, and growth factors, compared to colostrum collected on later days.While the concentrations of immunoglobulins and growth factors decrease over subsequent milkings, other factors, including lactose, increase. 

Therefore, colostrum must be collected, treated and processed correctly in order to be effective. It must be harvested during the first few hours of lactation.The cows used for colostrum production must be organically raised and pasture-fed to ensure that the colostrum contains antibodies to a wide variety of pathogens. Grass used for feed must be grown on DDT-free soil. The cows should not be given hormones or antibiotics. After collection, the colostrum should be frozen or cooled below 40°F to maintain freshness until it reaches the processing plant. At the plant, the frozen colostrum must be thawed and then homogenized to restore the casein micelles that protect the proteins. Freezing colostrum does not damage its proteins if done properly. Processing should be done daily to ensure freshness and maximum quality. Colostrum must then be properly dried and defatted. Colostrum that is not defatted will quickly go rancid. This deactivates many of the components of colostrum, such as vitamin A, and makes it unpalatable. As with any dairy product, the colostrum must be pasteurized to guarantee safety. Flash pasteurization should be used to ensure the maintenance of bioactivity of all immunoglobulins. Following pasteurization, the colostrum is dried into a fine pale yellow powder. The preferable method is spray drying at temperatures less than 145°F using an indirect steam heating method. Following drying, the colostrum is agglomerated to produce consistently sized particles. This allows the colostrum to easily dissolve in liquid. 

All Immubiome supplements use only the first day milkings of cows for BC production and follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), including microbiological analysis on each batch to ensure safety and the highest quality.To know more about how Immubiome processes its colostrumclick here



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