Bovine colostrum is the pre-milk liquid produced from the mammary glands of cows during the first 24 to 48 hours after giving birth.
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10 to 20 grams daily
Colostrum appears to be useful in treating certain types of infectious diarrhea. In one study, it significantly reduced diarrhea and the amount of oral rehydration required.
Colostrum might be useful for certain types of infectious diarrhea. In a double-blind trial, children with diarrhea caused by a rotavirus were treated with immunoglobulins extracted from colostrum derived from cows immunized with rotavirus. Compared with the placebo, colostrum extract significantly reduced the amount of diarrhea and the amount of oral rehydration solution required. The rotavirus was eliminated from the stool significantly more rapidly in the colostrum group than in the placebo group (1.5 days, vs. 2.9 days).1
In addition to a positive effect against acute rotavirus diarrhea,2 there is also evidence that specific forms of colostrum (derived from specially immunized cows or those with confirmed presence of specific antibodies) are effective against diarrhea caused by Cryptosporidium parvum, Helicobacter pylori, Escherichia coli, and Clostridium difficile.3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 However, it is not known whether commercially-available colostrum provides significant amounts of the specific immunoglobulins that are active against these organisms. Furthermore, unless the immunoglobulins are present in high enough concentrations, the preparation is not likely to be effective.8
Most manufacturers recommend 1,000 to 4,000 mg per day of freeze-dried colostrum.
Bovine colostrum is available in capsules, tablets, powdered drink mixes, liquid preparations, food bars, and skin care products.
As bovine colostrum is not an essential nutrient, no deficiency state exists.
1. Sarker SA, Casswall TH, Mahalanabis D, et al. Successful treatment of rotavirus diarrhea in children with immunoglobulin from immunized bovine colostrum. Pediatr Infect Dis J 1998;17:1149-54.
2. Mitra AK, Mahalanabis D, Ashraf H, et al. Hyperimmune cow colostrum reduces diarrhoea due to rotavirus: a double- blind, controlled clinical trial. Acta Paediatr 1995;84:996-1001.
3. Okhuysen PC, Chappell CL, Crabb J, et al. Prophylactic effect of bovine anti-Cryptosporidium hyperimmune colostrum immunoglobulin in healthy volunteers challenged with Cryptosporidium parvum. Clin Infect Dis 1998;26:1324-9.
4. Greenberg PD, Cello JP. Treatment of severe diarrhea caused by Cryptosporidium parvum with oral bovine immunoglobulin concentrate in patients with AIDS. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol 1996;13:348-54.
5. Casswall TH, Sarker SA, Albert MJ, et al. Treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection in infants in rural Bangladesh with oral immunoglobulins from hyperimmune bovine colostrum. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 1998;12:563-8.
6. Huppertz HI, Rutkowski S, Busch DH, et al. Bovine colostrum ameliorates diarrhea in infection with diarrheagenic Escherichia coli, shiga toxin-producing E. Coli, and E. coli expressing intimin and hemolysin. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1999;29:452-6.
7. Warny M, Fatimi A, Bostwick EF, et al. Bovine immunoglobulin concentrate-clostridium difficile retains C difficile toxin neutralising activity after passage through the human stomach and small intestine. Gut 1999;44:212-7.
8. Brines RD, Brock JH. The effect of trypsin and chymotrypsin on the in vitro antimicrobial and iron-binding properties of lactoferrin in human milk and bovine colostrum. Unusual resistance of human apolactoferrin to proteolytic digestion. Biochim Biophys Acta 1983;759:229-35.
Last Review: 07-08-2014
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