I can't say enough good things about colostrum. I remember years ago dabbling in colostrum supplementation, but I didn't dig much into the research at the time or really put it as much to the test in my own life. I was more focused on using it during figure competitions and less focused on the true magic it has for our immune systems. Fast forward 10 years and I was sitting in my acupuncturists office pregnant in my first trimester and cuddling my sick 5 year old. How was I going to avoid getting the flu when my husband and daughter were already in a horrible tailspin from it? How was I going to speed their healing and avoid going through another round as the winter months approached?
Thank you, Dr Kim for bringing colostrum back into my life! She said while she was pregnant colostrum protected her from catching a wide assortment off illnesses from her patients. I figured it it was safe for my growing baby it was worth a shot. I bought a bottle of bovine colostrum from her since I knew she had researched the quality supplier and went home to do some major research of my own. How have I fared so far? three months in and not only have I avoided the flu that first week when my house was a total atom bomb of germs, but I also volunteer in Makayla's VPK class where snotty, sneezy 3-6 year olds have no concept of personal space. I have stayed feeling great and warding off sickness while traveling to frigid temperatures, being on planes and buses, in crowded malls, museums and restaurants and being exposed to people with the flu, viruses, colds, and hand foot and mouth disease.
I am not saying I am invincible by any means, but I swear if I wasn't mega dosing quality colostrum I would have been in deep trouble by now. I have a pretty decent immune system to begin with because I don't normally get sick often because I focus on gut health normally, but this gem of a supplement will stay in my daily routine for life! I started many husband taking it because it seems he comes down with sinus infections easily or gets the sniffles at the drop of a hat. He is doing much better from it! When I can regularly get it into Makyala she stays healthy while the kids at school miss days. However, this week poor Makalya was traveling in icy, snowy, cold conditions with her dad and came back with a fever and chest congestion! So now I am in 3-4 dose a day mode with her to boost your ability to fight off sickness. Let's explore the great benefits of colostrum!
First, what is colostrum?
Human and animal mothers producer colostrum before they produce milk right before giving birth. It is produced in small concentrated amounts providing specific biological actions that occur to program the baby's immune system.
What Does Colostrum Do?
I am sure it has far reaching benefits we have yet to discover, but here is what we know so far! It supplies the antibodies to the baby to prevent disease. It also contains proteins and fats for nourishment. I remember the nurses in the hospital when Makayla was born calling colostrum liquid gold and said it is a travesty when a mother doesn't or can't breast feed or pump to give that to her newborn. Colostrum does have a deeper rich yellow color and is such a "super food" the term liquid gold certainly fits!
Colostrum supplies the baby with incredible immunity building properties. Without colostrum infants would be wracked with sickness. Taking colostrum is one of the best ways to increase an immunoglobulin protein called (secretory IgA) sIgA levels in your body which is designed to line the baby's intestine and protect it from bacteria and viruses that can cause infection.
As a supplement for kids and adults, colostrum will help to balance the immune system, reduce the inflammatory cytokines in the intestines, and even repair the damage that has already been done to the gut in many cases from issues like IBS, Chrons, Autism, Ulcerative colitis and more. The gut is the central hub for fighting off illness, housing about 80% of your immune systems power.
According to WellWisdom.com, "for those who are suffering from autoimmune disorders (specifically those in the intestines), colostrum can help to rewrite the code in your immune system so that it will be able to tell healthy body tissue apart from abnormal tissue (such as cancerous tissue or infected tissue).This can help to reduce your body’s tendency to attack itself, reducing the severity of autoimmune disorders. It may not be the ultimate treatment, but it can help to make the autoimmune disorder a bit easier to manage."
How can I take colostrum?
Lucky for us quality company's like Jarrow make bovine colostrum capsules from the first milking of pasture fed cows after birth. This lends to the formula being more potent. (Although I do worry about baby calves not getting their fill...so to be honest, not sure if they get some or none). This is the second brand I have used and really like it. According to Jarrow; "Jarrow Formulas Colostrum Prime Life contains a minimum of 35% immunoglobulins, and is collected within 16 hours of calving from American, pasture-fed cows. The colostrum undergoes low-temperature processing along with testing to ensure that the different colostrum immunoglobulin fractions retain their biological activity and are not denatured.Colostrum Prime Life also contains proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs), a special class of polypeptides shown to have immune-modulating and gastrointestinal health-promoting properties.The lactoferrin contained in Colostrum Prime Life is an important iron-binding glycoprotein found naturally in the body that supports immune function and promotes the growth of the good bacteria.Colostrum Prime Life is from cows raised without the use of growth hormone (rBGH), antibiotics or pesticides in their feed." I have also supplemented with Premier Research Labs Colostrum. For every day maintenance I take 1-2 capsules for myself and give one to Makayla (age 5). At times when I feel at a higher risk for getting sick (like winter, when kids at her school are sick, when traveling, when not sleeping a lot, when pregnant, etc) I increase to 2 capsules twice daily.
Now are you wondering how to get colostrum into your small kids who can't swallow pills? Have no fear, try these methods!
1. Immunity Hot Cocoa - see recipe here
2. Peanut Butter Immunity Shake - see recipe here
3. Mix into grass-fed yogurt for breakfast. Makayla's favorite is Siggi's Triple Cream Vanilla Skyr (with 4% fat instead of fat free) mixed with colostrum, chia seeds and a handful of Kashi Heart-to-Heart or a gluten-free low sugar cereal by Van's or Natures Path usually. (Scoop yogurt into a bowl, mix in the colostrum powder from inside the capsule, chia seeds and then fold in the cereal of choice. This provides a creamy, crunchy, tangy breakfast with protein, fats, carbs and won't get soggy like milk and cereal does so your slow eaters will enjoy it to the last bite). Sometimes I dice up an organic Pink Lady apple, raw almonds or part of a banana to make one for myself too!)
4. Mix into a slightly melted organic nut butter and eat off the spoon (use 1/2 the capsules contents here or it might be too much powder to swallow)