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Bovine colostrum

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Also listed as: Colostrum
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • Adult bovine serum, affinity purified bovine colostrum antibodies, albumin, BioEnergy®, BioenerviT, bovine, bovine casein, bovine colostral globulins, bovine colostrum-containing oral hygiene products, bovine colostrum cystatin, breast milk, butanol-extractable iodine, calcium, casein, cell growth factor, chromium, colostral antibodies (hyperimmune and natural), colostral fractions, colostral whey, colostrinin, colostrokinin, colostrum inhibitory factor (CIF), colostrum lozenges, colostrum, complement 3 and 4 (C3 & C4), concentrated bovine colostrum protein, cow colostrum, dynamic colostrum, epidermal growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, fibronectin, first milking colostrum, folic acid, gamma globulin, glutamic acid, glycine, glycoconjugates, glycogen, glycoprotein, growth factors, growth hormone , haemopexin, haptoglobulin, heat-denatured bovine immunoglobulin, human colostra, hyperimmune bovine colostrum, hyperimmune cow colostrumimmunized bovine colostrumT, immunoglobulins, isoleucine, kappa casein, lactalbumin, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus bifidus, lactobin (LIG), lactobin-R, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, leucine, liquid gold, Mega Bovine Colostrum®, Mega-Colostabs®, methionine, native bovine, oral bovine immunoglobulin milk concentrate, orosomucoids, orotic acid, osteoprotegerin (OPG), pantothenic acid, passive antibody immunotherapyplatelet-derived growth factor, polychlorinated biphenyls, potassium, prealbumin, prolactin, proline, proline-rich polypeptide, purified bovine apolactoferrin, retinoic acid, ribonuclease II-1, super milk, Symbiotics Colostrum PLUST, transforming growth factor, ultrafiltrate fraction (UF) of bovine colostrum, ViableT AC-2, whey proteins, xanthine oxidase enzyme.

Background
  • Bovine colostrum is the pre-milk fluid produced by cow mammary glands during the first two to four days after giving birth. Bovine colostrum delivers growth, nutrient, and immune factors to the offspring.
  • Traditional uses of bovine colostrum include for eye conditions, oral health, and respiratory tract infections. The investigation of clinical effects of bovine colostrum in humans began in the late 1980s and continues today.
  • Bovine colostrum may be useful for exercise performance enhancement and gastrointestinal injury due to bowel disease and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Although early evidence looks promising, additional study is still needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of bovine colostrum.
  • Hyperimmune bovine colostrum is also commercially available, and some evidence exists for its use, as well as the use of isolated immunoglobulins (antibodies). Most evidence is in support of its use for diarrhea associated with certain types of bacterial and viral infections or immune system deficiencies.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *


Preliminary evidence suggests that bovine colostrum may be effective for improving gastrointestinal health. More studies are needed in this area.

C


Bovine colostrum may be effective for improving gastrointestinal health. Preliminary evidence suggests that colostrum inhibits the adhesion or activity of certain bacteria to intestinal cells, which may help in the treatment of diarrhea. Additional study is needed in this area.

C


Although human study is currently conflicting, bovine colostrum may be effective for improving exercise performance. Additional study is needed in this area to make a strong recommendation.

C


Bovine colostrum contains immunoglobulins or antibodies that are released into the bloodstream in response to infections. These immunoglobulins may help improve immune system functions. More evidence is required before a firm recommendation can be made.

C


Cryptosporidium parvum is a parasite that may cause severe, debilitating diarrhea in patients with AIDS. Preliminary evidence suggests a potential benefit of bovine colostrum in this area. However, additional study is needed before a firm recommendation can be made.

C


Bovine colostrum that is high in antibodies to certain viruses, such as rotavirus, may help prevent rotavirus-associated diarrhea. Additional study is needed in this area.

C


Based on preliminary study, use of bovine colostrum did not appear to be of benefit in H. pylori infection. Further studies are required before a strong recommendation can be made.

C


Bovine colostrum has been used for multiple sclerosis, although early results do not indicate any benefit. Additional study is needed in this area.

C


Bovine colostrum has shown potential for immune stimulation and may be useful in oral hygiene products. Currently, there is insufficient available evidence to recommend for or against the use of colostrum for this use.

C


Bovine colostrum has shown potential for immune stimulation, and may be helpful in treating sore throat. Currently, there is insufficient available evidence to recommend for or against the use of colostrum for this use.

C


Bovine colostrum has been studied in individuals undergoing coronary bypass operations, but no benefit was found. Further study is required before a strong recommendation can be made.

C


Bovine colostrum has shown potential for immune stimulation. However, early evidence has not shown any benefit for treating upper respiratory tract infection duration, although bovine colostrum may reduce symptoms. Further studies are required before a firm recommendation can be made.

C
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Aging, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiviral, bodybuilding, bowel health, cancer, cognitive function, depression, diabetes, fat burning, fracture healing, gastrointestinal conditions, gastrointestinal distress (NSAID-induced), healing time reduction, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), keratitis (eye inflammation), longevity, measles, mood stimulant, mucositis from cancer treatment, nerve damage, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, skin conditions, xerostomia (dry mouth).

Dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

  • There is no proven effective dose of bovine colostrum. The dose amount and dosage formulations vary. Doses of 400-5,000 milligrams taken 1-3 times per day in tablet, powder, or solution form for up to 10 days have been reported.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven effective dose of bovine colostrum in children. Various doses and preparations have been studied that are generally well tolerated with minor side effects. A common dosing range is 7-20 grams of bovine colostrum per day in divided doses for up to 14 days. Hyperimmune milk concentrate (20 grams daily) has also been administered for five days in children experiencing diarrhea as a result of shigella infection. Other studies have studied purified immunoglobins (antibodies) from bovine colostrum for up to one month, but no benefit was found.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to dairy products.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Adverse reactions to bovine colostrum supplements are mainly gastrointestinal and may include nausea and vomiting, bloating, and diarrhea. In general, bovine colostrum is generally well tolerated. However, bovine colostrum is a potential source of environmental contaminants, such as pesticides.
  • Heat-denatured bovine immunoglobulin may be a risk factor for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). However, it is not clear how use of bovine colostrum relates to this risk. Use cautiously in patients with atherosclerosis.
  • Bovine colostrum is a source of IGF-1, which has been found to correlate with the risk of prostate cancer and colorectal cancer in men, premenopausal breast cancer in women, and lung cancer in both men and women. Not all studies agree with these findings and it is not clear how this relates to the use of bovine colostrum. Avoid in patients with, or at risk of, cancer due to potential for IGF-1-induced increased risk for certain types of cancer.
  • Avoid in pregnant and breastfeeding women due to a lack of information.
  • Use cautiously in individuals with immune system disorders due to the potential for immune system effects of bovine colostrum.
  • Use cautiously in individuals on medications, such as anti-diarrhea agents (e.g. immodium), insulin, and central nervous system agents (amphetamines, caffeine), due to potential for reduced or increased efficacy.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Bovine colostrum is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence. Bovine colostrum is a potential source of environmental contaminants, such as pesticides.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • In general, there are no reported drug interactions associated with bovine colostrum. However, the number of compounds in bovine colostrum is large, although levels may be small, and each may have unknown effects or interactions with other drugs.
  • Preliminary studies have indicated bovine colostrum's antimicrobial effects. Thus, bovine colostrum may have additive effects when taken with antibiotics, and caution is advised.
  • Preliminary evidence suggests that the presence of insulin in bovine colostrum is at least partially responsible for some of its effects. Thus, using insulin in combination with bovine colostrum may have additive effects. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Due to the antidiarrheal effects of bovine colostrum, caution is advised when combining with other antidiarrheal agents because the combination may have additive effects.
  • Bovine colostrum is a source of IGF-1. Several studies have found that IGF-1 levels correlate with the risk of prostate cancer and colorectal cancer in men, premenopausal breast cancer in women, and lung cancer in both men and women. Not all studies agree with these findings, and it is not clear how this relates to the use of bovine colostrum. Nevertheless, caution is advised in patients taking anticancer agents and bovine colostrum due to unknown effects.
  • Human colostrum is a rich source of the antioxidant CoQ10. It is not known if bovine colostrum also contains CoQ10. Caution is advised in patients taking antioxidant agents due to possible additive effects.
  • Bovine colostrum may have antiviral activity. Caution is advised in patients taking antiviral agents due to possible additive effects.
  • Bovine colostrum may affect the brain's mood-regulating chemicals (serotonin and dopamine). Thus, combined use with other agents that affect the central nervous system, such as amphetamines or caffeine, may have additive or contradictory effects.
  • There is conflicting data regarding the use of bovine colostrum for exercise performance enhancement. It is unclear whether bovine colostrum would interact with other exercise performance enhancers in humans.
  • Colostrum may have effects on the immune system, although clinical significance in humans is unknown. Use cautiously with other immunomodulators.
  • Caution is also advised in patients taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) due to possible additive effects.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Preliminary studies have indicated bovine colostrum's antimicrobial effects. Thus, bovine colostrum may have additive effects when taken with herbs and supplements with antibacterial effects, and caution is advised.
  • Due to the antidiarrheal effects of bovine colostrum, caution is advised when combining with other antidiarrheal agents because the combination may have additive effects.
  • In theory, colostrum may alter the effects of herbs with anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Bovine colostrum is a source of IGF-1. Several studies have found that IGF-1 levels correlate with the risk of prostate cancer and colorectal cancer in men, premenopausal breast cancer in women, and lung cancer in both men and women. Not all studies agree with these findings, and it is not clear how this relates to the use of bovine colostrum. Caution is advised in patients with or at risk for cancer, or taking herbs or supplements with anti-cancer effects.
  • Preliminary evidence suggests that bovine colostrum may have antiviral activity, and caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements with antiviral activity due to possible additive effects.
  • Bovine colostrum may affect the brain's mood-regulating chemicals (serotonin and dopamine). Thus, combined use with other herbs that affect the central nervous system may have additive or contradictory effects.
  • Human colostrum contains CoQ10. Thus, it is likely that bovine colostrum also contains CoQ10. Combined use with CoQ10 supplements or herbs or supplements with antioxidant activity may have additive effects.
  • There is conflicting data regarding the use of bovine colostrum for exercise performance enhancement. It is unclear whether bovine colostrum would interact with other exercise performance enhancers in humans.
  • Results from in vitro studies suggest that the presence of insulin in bovine colostrum is at least partially responsible for some of its effects. Thus, using herbs or supplements with hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) effects in combination with bovine colostrum may have additive effects.
  • Colostrum may have effects on the immune system, although clinical significance in humans is unknown. Use cautiously with other immunomodulator herbs or supplements.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Ashraf H, Mahalanabis D, Mitra AK, et al. Hyperimmune bovine colostrum in the treatment of shigellosis in children: a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Acta Paediatr. 2001;90(12):1373-1378.
  2. Bolke E, Orth K, Jehle PM, et al. Enteral application of an immunoglobulin-enriched colostrum milk preparation for reducing endotoxin translocation and acute phase response in patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery--a randomized placebo-controlled pilot trial. Wien.Klin Wochenschr. 11-30-2002;114(21-22):923-928.
  3. Casswall TH, Sarker SA, Faruque SM, et al. Treatment of enterotoxigenic and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli-induced diarrhoea in children with bovine immunoglobulin milk concentrate from hyperimmunized cows: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial. Scand.J.Gastroenterol. 2000;35(7):711-718.
  4. Crooks CV, Wall CR, Cross ML, et al. The effect of bovine colostrum supplementation on salivary IgA in distance runners. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc.Metab 2006;16(1):47-64.
  5. Lindbaek M, Francis N, Cannings-John R, et al. Clinical course of suspected viral sore throat in young adults: cohort study. Scand J Prim.Health Care 2006;24(2):93-97.
  6. Mero A, Nykanen T, Keinanen O, et al. Protein metabolism and strength performance after bovine colostrum supplementation. Amino.Acids 2005;28(3):327-335.
  7. Nakajima K, Kinoshita M, Matsushita N, et al. Capillary affinity electrophoresis using lectins for the analysis of milk oligosaccharide structure and its application to bovine colostrum oligosaccharides. Anal.Biochem 1-1-2006;348(1):105-114.
  8. Niklowitz P, Menke T, Giffei J, et al. Coenzyme Q10 in maternal plasma and milk throughout early lactation. Biofactors 2005;25(1-4):67-72.
  9. Paddle, B. M., Wong, V. K., and Muller, B. D. The cytotoxic effect of anthrax lethal toxin on human lung cells in vitro and the protective action of bovine antibodies to PA and LF. J Appl Toxicol 2006;26(2):162-168.
  10. Renehan AG, Zwahlen M, Minder C, et al. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, IGF binding protein-3, and cancer risk: systematic review and meta-regression analysis. Lancet 4-24-2004;363(9418):1346-1353.
  11. Rollison DE, Newschaffer CJ, Tao Y, et al. Premenopausal levels of circulating insulin-like growth factor I and the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Int J Cancer 3-1-2006;118(5):1279-1284.
  12. Schernhammer ES, Holly JM, Hunter DJ, et al. Insulin-like growth factor-I, its binding proteins (IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-3), and growth hormone and breast cancer risk in The Nurses Health Study II. Endocr.Relat Cancer 2006;13(2):583-592.
  13. Schoen RE, Weissfeld JL, Kuller LH, et al. Insulin-like growth factor-I and insulin are associated with the presence and advancement of adenomatous polyps. Gastroenterology 2005;129(2):464-475.
  14. Severi G, Morris HA, MacInnis RJ, et al. Circulating insulin-like growth factor-I and binding protein-3 and risk of prostate cancer. Cancer Epidemiol.Biomarkers Prev. 2006;15(6):1137-1141.
  15. Shi R, Berkel HJ, Yu H. Insulin-like growth factor-I and prostate cancer: a meta-analysis. Br J Cancer 9-28-2001;85(7):991-996.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.


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