Got (first) milk? Bovine colostrum firm targets food & beverage as immunity trend gathers pace

Got (first) milk? Bovine colostrum firm targets food & beverage as immunity trend gathers pace

  • April 7, 2021

The stuff lactating mammals produce just after giving birth, colostrum is packed with immunoglobulins and other nutrients that help support a newborn’s immune system and seed a healthy gut microbiome in the first few days of life.

But if bovine colostrum is designed for newborn cows, how do we know that it confers any benefit to, say, adult humans?

According to leading bovine colostrum supplier PanTheryx​ – which sources its colostrum from 1,000 dairy farms in the US it says ensure calves first get their fair share – there is a growing body of human clinical data showing benefits to digestive and immune health, two of the hottest areas in functional food and beverage right now, at dosages of 400mg – 3g.

Structure/function claims backed by human clinical trials include everything from ‘supporting the gut’s natural repair process, restoring normal function,’ to ‘helps relieve occasional digestive upsets,’ to ‘helps your child’s digestive system function better,’ to ‘supports the immune system,’ ‘supports respiratory health,’ to sports-related claims such as ‘helps improve recovery from exercise,’ Mike Weiser, Ph.D, director of innovation at PanTheryx, told FoodNavigator-USA.

‘There are over 250 functional components in colostrum’

So what’s in colostrum, and what’s the mechanism of action for some of the above claimed benefits?

There are over 250 functional components in colostrum​, but it’s very rich in immunoglobulins, which are basically antibodies that will bind to things like pathogens, a whole host of different types of bacteria like E Coli, strep and staph, and even viruses like influenza and rhinovirus​,” said Weiser.