Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the Most Commonly Asked Questions About Bovine Colostrum


WHY BOVINE (COW) COLOSTRUM?
Scientific research, conducted in the last decade in major medical research centers and universities, throughout the world, has shown that the molecular combinations of the immune and growth factors in cow's colostrum are virtually identical to human. Research has also shown that only bovine colostrum is not species specific and can work in human and lower mammals.

WHY DO I NEED COLOSTRUM AS AN ADULT?
Research has shown that once we pass puberty, our bodies gradually produce less of the immune and growth factors that help our bodies fight off disease and heal damaged body tissue. With the loss of these vital components, we age and die. Colostrum is the only source of these life giving components ...the actual immune factors and all of our body's growth factors (hormones) in perfect combination as nature intended (synthesized and isolated hormones throw the other hormones out of balance and have been shown to have significant side effects). Research has shown that colostrum has the demonstrated ability to kill bacteria and viral invaders, stimulate tissue repair (particularly the bowel lining), stimulate fat utilization for fuel and optimize cellular reproduction (anti-aging). No other substance on the planet can provide all of these marvelous benefits.

WHY CAN'T I JUST GET RAW COLOSTRUM FROM THE LOCAL DAIRY FARMER?
You can, but there are limitations. First, it needs to be refrigerated and consumed before it spoils. Second, raw colostrum is not pasteurized and contains immune factors from just one cow. This differs from processed colostrum, which is pasteurized for safety and concentrated to provide a broad base of immune factors that have been pooled from hundreds and sometimes thousands of cows. There are very few producers of colostrum in the world that have the ability to accomplish this.

SHOULD I TAKE COLOSTRUM IN TABLET OR CAPSULE FORM?
It takes tremendous pressure (which creates high temperatures) to form a tablet. When you apply this heat to Colostrum, you destroy the biological activity of colostrum's immune and growth factors. Some manufacturers choose this route either because they lack knowledge about Colostrum or because it is so much cheaper. The goal is to have colostrum reach the small intestine intact where it does its best work. It is very important to take colostrum capsules on an empty stomach with lots of water to aid its transit into the upper intestine.

HOW SAFE IS COLOSTRUM?
Colostrum is a food and can be consumed by most people without any side effects. Colostrum has no known drug interactions. People with milk protein allergies should be cautious when using colostrum. In actuality, only about 1 in 1,000,000 people are truly allergic to the casein in milk. What people call “milk allergy” is the crossover of partially digested milk proteins into the bloodstream as a result of Leaky Gut Syndrome. Pregnant or nursing women should consult their physician prior to taking ANY supplements. There is no known toxicity level with colostrum.

HOW DOES COLOSTRUM INTERACT WITH OTHER SUPPLEMENTS OR PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS?
Although colostrum has no known drug interactions, you may experience side effects from other supplements, herbs or medications you take that you never experienced before. Colostrum heals the bowel. This means you are better utilizing the nutrients from the food you eat as well as anything else you put in your body. You may want to cut back or even rethink other herbal and nutritional supplements. Medications may need to re-evaluated for dose and need by your medical professional.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I TAKE AND WHEN?

The amount of colostrum you take varies from person to person. For healthy individuals who want to maintain a healthy immune system and prevent Leaky Gut Syndrome, 2 capsules (or 1 teaspoon powder) twice daily are recommended. For anyone whose has compromised health situation, GI or digestive health issues, auto-immune conditions, inflammatory conditions, cancer, heart disease, is recovering from an injury, wants to get rid of allergies, or detects a cold or flu coming on, 4 capsules (1 tablespoon powder) twice a day are recommended. For athletic use and anti-aging, 10-20 grams daily optimizes growth hormone levels which translates to 2 heaping tablespoons of powder twice a day.

Some researchers believe it is better to ‘front-load’ colostrum (take an advanced dose initially and then decrease to suggested use) while others believe that colostrum should be taken in lower doses initially and built up to advanced use. It is best for you to discuss this with your health care professional. There is no known toxicity level with colostrum.

Some people may experience a healing incident (called Herxheimer reactions) as the body releases toxins (digestive problems, skin eruptions, rashes or flu-like symptoms). These symptoms usually disappear in a couple of days. It's interesting that if you listen to your body, you become aware of where colostrum has gone in your body to do its work. Colostrum's growth factors may create initial pain in areas of old wounds or injuries as it heals. If this becomes uncomfortable, you may want to cut back on the colostrum for a few days and then resume at a lower quantity, increasing your intake slowly as you reach optimum levels.

WHAT IF I'M PREGNANT OR NURSING?
Colostrum definitely won’t hurt you, your fetus, or your infant, but as always with anything you take during pregnancy or while you are nursing, you should check with your health care professional first. Colostrum will help supplement your immune system which takes at hit during childbirth. It will help also you recover faster and help you lose those extra pounds associated with pregnancy quicker.

CAN I GIVE MY CHILDREN COLOSTRUM?
Colostrum is strongly recommended for infants who are not being breastfed for at least 2 years. Colostrum can help growing children in many ways, from better concentration, increased memory to fewer illnesses such as autism, diabetes, and juvenile arthritis. Children have a tendency to catch colds and illness from peers and schoolmates, so Colostrum will help immensely. As always, we suggest that you consult with your health care provider.

WHAT ABOUT PETS?
Bovine colostrum is not species specific and works wonderfully with cats and dogs and other mammals. Simply open capsules (or use loose powder) and sprinkle it over your pet’s food...most pets love the taste of colostrum! Encourage them to drink water along with it. It is usually recommended to use 1/3 tsp per 25 lbs. of weight each day. For chronic conditions, you may increase usage as needed. Aging pets with arthritis or joint problems are particularly responsive to colostrum.

I CAN'T SWALLOW THE CAPSULE. HOW CAN I TAKE COLOSTRUM?
Colostrum works best if it is taken in capsule form, on an empty stomach with 8-12 ounces of water. If you cannot swallow capsules, you may open the capsule and mix it with a few tablespoons of yogurt, applesauce or other food. Don't forget the water. Do not take any other supplements with colostrum and wait at least twenty minutes before you eat.

I DON'T WANT TO TAKE COLOSTRUM FROM THE CALVES. DO THEY GET ENOUGH?
The first milking must be reserved for the calf! Unlike humans, calves receive all of their immune factors from their mother’s colostrum, without this vital fluid most calves will die. It is essential that you choose a company that ensures that the calves’ needs are met first. Many companies are promoting first milking colostrum as superior. The first milking does contain more immunoglobulins than subsequent milkings, however, it also contains blood and mucous which are NOT suitable for human consumption. Other factors, such as lactoferrin and the growth factors are not present in the first milking of colostrum. It is best to buy colostrum collected over the first 48 hours.

HOW CAN COLOSTRUM HELP ME LOSE WEIGHT?
Colostrum contains IGF-1, the most powerful growth factor in our bodies. Medical research has shown that without adequate amounts of IGF-1, our bodies, during times of fast (diet), will burn muscle protein before they burn fat (catabolism). Colostrum contains the only natural source of IGF-1. Supplementing your exercise regime with colostrum can help to burn fat and build lean muscle mass. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat, so while you may not notice a change on the scale, you will see the difference in the way your clothes fit!

I NEED TO GAIN WEIGHT, CAN COLOSTRUM HELP?
Within about two hours of eating, our body's blood glucose levels are depleted and we utilize sources of stored fuel (fat and muscle protein) for energy. It is easier for our bodies to burn muscle tissue rather than fat. By increasing food intake along with exercise and colostrum, weight gain will come through increased muscle mass (muscle tissue weighs more than fat per volume). If you are an athlete, this can be very beneficial for performance.

HOW IS COLOSTRUM ANTI-AGING?
After puberty our body begins slowing down the production of our body's Growth Hormones. These hormones are necessary for the reproduction of virtually all of our body cellular tissue. It has been shown that by age 80 we are producing virtually no growth hormone, and so we age and die. Colostrum's growth factors are the actual hormones that stimulate the normal reproduction of body cellular tissue. Normal reproduction means just that (normal) not aged, cancerous, wrinkled, or weakened. The New England Journal of Medicine (a few years back) stated that the most effective anti-aging process would be simply the replacement of growth hormones at proper levels to slow , possibly stop and even reverse the aging processes. Does it work? Just try and take colostrum away from someone who's used colostrum for a while and you'll see.

CAN COLOSTRUM HELP WITH MY DEPRESSION?
Most of us are in search of a means to increase the brain's feel-good chemicals, serotonin and dopamine. To accomplish this, we look to nicotine, drugs and certain (usually unhealthy and fattening) foods. We begin to rely on these substances to maintain that ‘feel-good’ sensation. Colostrum is a natural and healthy means of stimulating the brain to release serotonin and dopamine and prolong their re-uptake. Lactalbumin in colostrum has been clinically proven to improve mood during stress. In fact, for most people, Colostrum is so effective that we do not recommend taking it after 3 or 4 PM (the increased energy may interfere with sleep).

DOES COLOSTRUM HELP WITH CUTS, AND BURNS? AFTER SURGERY OR ACCIDENTS?
Colostrum's immune factors are highly effective anti-bacterial and anti-viral agents to help reduce and eliminate infections in external injuries (cuts, burns, abrasions and surgical wounds). Colostrum also contains epithelial (skin) growth hormone that stimulates accelerated healing and powerful anti-inflammatory agents that can eliminate swelling and pain.

Open the capsule and mix with sterile water or a saline solution to form a paste. This can be applied directly to the affected area. Bandage if needed. Reapply two to three times daily until healing is complete.

DOES COLOSTRUM HELP WITH GINGIVITIS?
Colostrum's powerful antibacterial factors have been shown to help prevent and treat Gingivitis. Application is made by applying colostrum directly to the gum area just before retiring. Reapply nightly until better. Colostrum has also been shown to help control any pain before or after dental work.

WHAT ABOUT MAD COW DISEASE?
No transmission of mad cow disease has ever been connected with the dairy industry, either in the U.S. or abroad. To be certain, choose a company that certifies their colostrum to be free of List A diseases like BSE (cause of mad cow disease).

HOW CAN I AFFORD COLOSTRUM?
How can you NOT afford colostrum? The next time you visit your neighborhood drug store and pharmacy, become aware of how many products and drugs are on the market that only treat the symptoms. Colostrum can help heal the body at the cellular level and prevent the onset of certain conditions. Colostrum is one of the most potent natural antibiotics. Most high quality colostrum products retail for about $40 a month.

We must remember that a cow gives birth only once a year. High quality colostrum is taken from only select hormone, pesticide and antibiotic free cows. It must then be processed without excessive heat to keep its components biologically active and encapsulated in a capsule that will dissolve in the small intestine - this processing is very expensive. With all the varying qualities of colostrum on the market, we have a perfect example of the expression - you get what you pay for.

I'M A VEGETARIAN, I DON'T EAT ANIMAL FOODS.
The Rishis (India's spiritual leaders) vegan diet has included colostrum for thousands of years. Today, in India, the milkman delivers colostrum to the wealthy. It's interesting that that the cow has been deified in India. Colostrum is really neither animal nor vegetable but is unique unto itself - Colostrum is the first food of life - it is the gift of new life!

WHAT IF I AM LACTOSE INTOLERANT?
Most people with lactose intolerance do not experience a problem with colostrum, as there is only a small amount of lactose present. If, however you have a severe milk protein allergy, you should consult your doctor prior to taking colostrum, due to its high protein count.

WHERE CAN I PURCHASE COLOSTRUM?
High quality colostrum can be purchased through health food stores, herb shops, and mail order catalogs, through health care professionals and on the Internet. We recommend Sovereign Laboratories, LLC.

Expanded Colostrum FAQs available HERE.

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The Sovereign Health Initiative is committed to the belief that each person holds sovereignty over his or her body. We further support the principle that in order to take ownership of one’s health, it is necessary to make informed decisions through self-education. To this end, it is our aim to offer critical information to educate the public on how to live a lifetime in optimal health.

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