Gut Health

What is colostrum?

Colostrum is the first milk produced by mammalian mothers and contains high amounts of beneficial bioactives compared to mature milk.

 

Gut Health

What is colostrum?

Colostrum is the first milk produced by mammalian mothers and contains high amounts of beneficial bioactives compared to mature milk.

Definition and function of colostrum

Milk is the natural diet for all neonatal mammals, and the very first milk provided by the mother is called colostrum. It  has especially high amounts of bioactive compounds compared to mature milk to give the newborn the best possible start to life. The majority of the bioactive components in colostrum reach their maximum concentration within the first 24-48 hours after birth. These bioactives play a crucial role in the final development and maturation of the gastrointestinal tract and immune system in the newborn.

At birth, the surroundings of the newborn mammal change from the relatively sterile environment in the mother’s uterus, with a constant nutrient supply via the placenta, to the microbe rich environment outside with irregular oral intake of complex milk nutrients through the gastrointestinal tract.1 This transition puts high demands on the gastrointestinal tract of the neonate, as the gut plays an important part in both the digestive system and the immune system.2

Colostrum has evolved to care for highly sensitive mammalian neonates, and contributes significantly to initial immunological defense as well as to the growth, development, and maturation of the gastrointestinal tract by providing key nutrients and bioactive factors.3,4

While human colostrum plays a vital role for newborns, bovine colostrum or the first milk from dairy cows, has demonstrated benefits for human applications beyond the first few days of life. PanTheryx is pioneering the science of colostrum for a broad range of applications, including foods for special dietary use, medical foods, and biologics.

References

  1. Sangild PT, Thymann T, Schmidt M, et al. Invited review: the preterm pig as a model in pediatric gastroenterology. J Anim Sci. 2013;91:4713-4729.
  2. Newburg DS and Walker WA. Protection of the neonate by the innate immune system of developing gut and of human milk. Pediatr Res. 2007;61:2-8.
  3. Stelwagen K, Carpenter E, Haigh B, et al. Immune components of bovine colostrum and milk. J Anim Sci. 2009;87(Suppl):3-9.
  4. Rathe M, Müller K, Sangild PT, and Husby S. Clinical applications of bovine colostrum therapy: a systematic review. Nutr Rev. 2014 Apr;72:237-254.