Frequently Asked Questions About Bovine Colostrum & PRO Colostrum-LD®

What is Colostrum?

Colostrum is the pre-milk, or rather the first lacteal secretion that is produced by all mammalian mothers immediately following the birth of their young. Colostrum is frequently referred to as "life's first food". It not only supports life but also makes it flourish. Colostrum is produced in the first few days following the birth of the newborn, afterwhich “true milk” replaces colostrum. As a nutritional supplement, colostrum is the most researched and beneficial healing and preventative superfood presently known.

It is all-natural, non-allergenic, and has no known negative interactions with drugs, foods or other supplements.

What is the purpose of colostrum in nature?

In newborn mammals, the primary function for colostrum is the transfer of passive immunity from the mother to the child. During her lifetime, the mother has been exposed to a variety of environmental factors and organisms to which her immune system has produced antibodies. In transfer of passive immunity, the mother passes on her complement of antibodies to these various factors to her offspring. Humans and primates differ from other mammals in the location and timing of immune transfer. A pregnant woman or female primate passively immunizes her young in utero when her antibodies cross the placental barrier. This transfer is only about half of what can ultimately be transferred. Further immunity and growth factors transfer during breastfeeding from her colostrum and milk. For all other mammals whose antibodies do not pass through the placental barrier, the young are passively immunized immediately after birth with colostrum. The maternal antibodies present in the colostrum are directly absorbed through the gut lining in the first few days after birth.

What also separates humans and primates from other mammals is that without colostrum, non-primate mammals will die within a few days. These mammals are born without any immune system, and as they pass through the birth canal, they are immediately exposed to pathogens. The physical trauma of birth causes bruising, inflammation and pain for the animal. Colostrum helps attenuate all of these insults. It stimulates bone and tissue growth so that offspring can quickly recover and survive their hostile environments, perhaps running or swimming to avoid predators within a couple of days.

Why is colostrum significant?

Colostrum is the first food that is available to the newborn. It is not only highly nutritious but also contains substances (immunoglobulins and immunomodulators) that help to stimulate and augment the newborn's immune system, thus helping to protect the vulnerable newborn from its new and potentially harmful environment. Furthermore, it contains growth factors which stimulate the development, maturation and proliferation of various tissues and organs. Human colostrum is not as powerful as other mammalian colostrum, and the amount of colostrum decreases over time. Human development is much slower than other species, so unlike a baby gazelle, for example, a human infant does not "hit the ground running" right after birth. This necessitates mothers breastfeed their babies for at least 2 years (and perhaps as long as 4 years) in order to provide optimal growth, development, and protection against disease-causing pathogens.

The significance of colostrum is best illustrated in farm animals, such as the horse, cow, goat, sheep and pig. In these animals, passive transmission of immunity occurs after birth in the form of colostrum. If these animals do not receive colostrum in the first 12 - 24 hours following birth they have a very good chance of not surviving. Human babies won't die without colostrum, but they'll certainly have more developmental problems. Limited breastfeeding or substituting formula for breast milk increases the incidence of SIDS, respiratory, ear and gastrointestinal infections, lower I.Q., allergies, autoimmune conditions including diabetes, autism, ADD, etc.

Colostrum also has a significant role in the first few days of an infant's life. Babies are born with holes in their stomachs and small intestines, a natural condition known as intestinal permeability, or "leaky gut". This allows for the immunoglobulins to easily pass through into the bloodstream. Mom's colostrum closes these holes after a couple days of breastfeeding. If babies are not continuously breastfed for the first 2 years, the holes re-open and leaky gut syndrome develops. Even if babies receive adequate breastfeeding, specific lifestyle factors and medications can cause leaky gut syndrome (LGS). LGS is generally accepted as a primary cause of autoimmune diseases including diabetes, autism, asthma, allergies; increased incidence of infantile stomach and digestive issues’ elevated risk of sudden infant death; and more frequent infections of all types, including ear infections.

How does colostrum differ from plain milk?

Colostrum is not milk. It is a concentration of immunomodulators and growth factors, vitamins and minerals, fats, sugars, and essential amino acids. It contains a high concentration of immunoglobulins, antibodies, lactoferrin, and proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs). These substances are also present in cow’s milk but at negligible levels.

What are antibodies?

Antibodies are specialized molecules produced by the body's immune system. They are produced in response to the host being exposed to an foreign substance (antigen) such as an infectious microbe. Their action is to destroy and prevent the colonization and/or neutralize disease-causing microbes. An important feature of antibodies is that they are directed specifically to the pathogen that induced their formation.

What are growth factors?

Growth factors are very small bioactive molecules which promote growth and maturation of various cell types and tissues. They are found in very high concentrations in colostrum. They not only stimulate normal growth and development but help regenerate and accelerate the repair of aged or injured muscle, skin, bone, cartilage and nerve tissues. Growth factors also stimulate the body to burn fat for fuel instead of muscle tissue in times of fasting or dieting. They help build lean muscle and have been shown to have a positive effect on athletic performance. Additionally, specific growth factors help destroy cancer cells within the body. Some growth factors stimulate the growth and development of immune cells, including macrophages, NK (natural killer) cells, and T-cells to prevent infections of all types. Others help maintain capillary growth and development to maintain flexibility of the arterial walls for improved blood pressure and blood flow to the extremities.

The major growth factors in PRO Colostrum-LD® include:

  • Insulin-like Growth Factor I (IGF-1) – a protein hormone with a similar structure to insulin and a major growth factor that stimulates cell proliferation in wounds.
  • Insulin-like Growth Factor II (IGF-2) – a protein hormone with a similar structure to insulin and a major fetal growth factor; promotes growth during gestation.
  • Epithelial/Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) – stimulates the proliferation and differentiation of epidermal (skin) cells, including the intestinal lining, to maintain gut integrity.
  • Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1 & 2 (TGF-β1, TGF-β2) – controls cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis; stimulates production of IgA by B lymphocytes; is a vital factor in skeletal growth, bone mass maintenance, and fracture healing.
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) – creates new blood vessels during embryonic development and new blood vessels after injury.

What are PRPs?

PRPs (proline-rich polypeptides), sometimes referred to as colostrum peptides are short strings of amino acids that act as signaling molecules between various cells to modulate the activity of the immune system. The two primary and most important types of PRPs in PRO Colostrum-LD® have either anti-microbial activity or anti-inflammatory activity. PRPs can increase the immune system's activity when it's necessary to fight off an infection or quell the immune system's activity to prevent tissue damage once the infection has been defeated.

What is lactoferrin?

Lactoferrin is a broad-spectrum immunomodulator which defends against pathogens of all types. Its antiviral activity is particularly important as there are few pharmaceutical drugs which have proven at all effective against viruses. Lactoferrin has been shown to have antiviral activity against many viruses, including rotavirus, herpes simplex virus 1 and 2, canine herpes virus, feline herpes virus, echovirus, enterovirus, human papilloma virus, polio virus, HIV and cytomegalovirus, Hepatitis B and C viruses, adenovirus, hanta virus, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, Sindbis and Semliki Forest viruses. Lactoferrin can destroy viruses on contact. Lactoferrin is also active against disease-causing bacteria, but promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacilli and BifidobacteriaI in the GI tract. Lactoferrin destroys bacteria by removing the iron that bacteria require to replicate themselves or by taking up residence on target cell binding sites (so the bacteria has no place to bind).

What are immunoglobulins?

The immunoglobulins are a group of specialized bio-active proteins found in serum and other tissue fluids, including the milk of all mammals. There are five classes of immunoglobulins which are recognized in mammals -- Immunoglobulin G (IgG), Immunoglobulin A (IgA), Immunoglobulin M (IgM), Immunoglobulin E (IgE), and Immunoglobulin D (IgD).

The function of these molecules is to bind to invading organisms and to activate specific actions that help prevent infection and rid the body of disease-causing agents. They help destroy diseased and damaged cells, reduce inflammation and prevent bacterial and viral attachment. The most prevalent class of immunoglobulins in all species is IgG. Immunoglobulins play an integral role in the immune defense system in that they form antibodies to specific antigens.

What are immunomodulators?

In addition to immunoglobulins, there are other substances in colostrum that have a beneficial impact on immune function. Collectively, they have been termed "immunomodulators” or “immune factors". Their function is to complement the various functions associated with the immune response.

What is passive immunity?

In all mammalian species, the transfer of passive immunity occurs as a result of the mother passing on her complement of antibodies to her young. For the newborn, this helps protect against potentially pathogenic agents until the time the child's own immune system is sufficiently developed to ward of infection on its own.

What is the immune system?

The immune system is a natural defense mechanism by which the body fights infection. It is divided into two functional systems, the innate and adaptive immune systems. Colostrum has the ability to stimulate an underactive immune system and suppress an overactive immune system.

What is the innate immune system?

This is the first line of defense by which the host combats infectious agents and pathogenic microbes. This is a non-specific response, which proves effective against most infective agents. The skin is part of the innate immune system as it acts as a preventive barrier to most infective agents.

What is the adaptive immune system?

The adaptive immune system produces a specific antibody in response to an infective agent which is designed to neutralize the invading agent. An important feature of the adaptive immune system is that it involves memory and gives rise to resistance to repeated exposure or infection by the same invading agent. The importance of this memory factor is seen in childhood diseases such as chicken pox, measles, and mumps in which the adaptive immune system produces a life-long immunity once the infection is gone.

Why bovine colostrum?

Bovine colostrum is not species specific which means that its immunomodulators and growth factors are significantly beneficial for all other mammals, including humans.

Because calves are born without any immunity to disease-causing organisms, their mothers' colostrum must contain large quantities of immunomodulators. As a result, bovine colostrum has 30-40 times the amount of these factors than what is present in human colostrum. Furthermore, bovine colostrum is quite plentiful (after the baby calf has been satisfied).

Is bovine colostrum safe?

Bovine colostrum has been used for decades as a food supplement; its use and safety is well documented. Colostrum has no negative side effects and is a whole and natural food that can be consumed in ANY quantity. There are absolutely no toxicity levels. Through quality control of the entire manufacturing process -- from colostrum collection at the dairy all the way through to packaging and storage -- PRO Colostrum-LD® is delivered in perfect condition and certified fit for human consumption.

Is it safe to take colostrum if I am allergic to dairy?

Absolutely. In actuality, very few 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 intestinal hyperpermeability (“leaky gut”). In fact, milk allergy is a relatively new phenomenon; prior to the invention of antibiotics and the homogenization of milk, people drank milk from ruminant animals worldwide without problems.

If colostrum is non-allergenic, why do some people experience an unpleasant reaction?

New or first-time users of colostrum may experience a detox event which can mimic flu-like symptoms and may cause temporary mild diarrhea or constipation. This is referred to as a Herxheimer reaction. As colostrum begins killing off the pathogens in the GI tract, the dead pathogens release toxins and cause unpleasant symptoms. This is normal, and one out of five first-time colostrum users experience this. It is not a reason to stop taking colostrum. Reducing the recommended dosage to a minimum amount) until the body adjusts and then increasing the dosage upwards will remedy the unpleasantness.

Should colostrum be pasteurized?

Absolutely! Cow feces can easily splash onto the udders contaminating them with E-coli, salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria. This creates the potential for contamination of all dairy products. Dairy products intended for human consumption must be pasteurized to kill these pathogens. There are two ways of pasteurizing colostrum - the optimal flash (15 second) pasteurization and a slow 30-minute vat process. Flash pasteurization utilizes high-tech equipment found that does not denature or inactivate the colostrum’s bioactive componeents. With the 30-minute pasteurization process, a huge vat of colostrum is heated from the outside. It takes a long time to heat a large kettle of colostrum to the required temperature, and during this interval, bacteria grow in the colostrum. As the bacteria feed upon the colostrum, it denatures and destroys its effectiveness.

PRO Colostrum-LD® is pasteurized to the most demanding of International Standards - 161°F for 15 seconds - to ensure the highest microbiological quality. There is only minimal loss of immunomodulator and growth factor content.

Why do I need colostrum as an adult?

Once puberty has passed, adult bodies begin the aging process by gradually producing less of the immunomodulatros and growth factors that help fight off disease and heal damaged body tissue. Colostrum is the only natural source of these life-giving components. PRO Colostrum-LD® is standardized to contain all of the bioactive components necessary to induce health benefits. Additionally, most adults have intestinal hyperpermeability, or leaky gut syndrome. PRO Colostrum-LD® has been clinically proven to heal and prevent intestinal hyperpermeability.

What if I don’t like the taste of PRO Colostrum-LD®?

Not every batch/bag of PRO Colostrum-LD smells, tastes, or looks the same. Some people find that colostrum is not particularly appealing in taste. If not to your liking, add a teaspoon each of raw cocoa powder and stevia; blend with some ice and water. Or add 2 strawberries or 5 blueberries and blend with ice and water.

What is the recommended method for taking PRO Colostrum-LD®?

PRO Colostrum-LD® powder is water-activated so it works best when mixed with 6-8 oz. of water and taken on an empty stomach in the morning. Wait 20 minutes before eating. In the evening, wait two hours after eating before taking PRO Colostrum-LD®. Avoid taking colostrum with any protein. This can result in “digesting” the colostrum rather than it reaching the small intestine for absorption. Capsules should also be taken on an empty stomach in the manner described above.

How long until I feel results after starting PRO Colostrum-LD®?

PRO Colostrum-LD® begins its work immediately, killing off pathogenic microbes, cleansing the body of waste, and healing the tight junctions that maintain gut integrity. It stimulates the production of antibodies, natural killer cells, macrophages, and T-cells to prevent and eliminate infections. Many people report improvements within a few days of taking PRO Colostrum-LD®, and most within 30 days.

The proper and consistent use of PRO Colostrum-LD® cannot be understated. On again, off again use won’t help. The steady supply of growth factors and immunomodulators that PRO Colostrum-LD® provides is critical to better health. The daily dose can be reduced to a maintenance dose, but should never be completely eliminated from one’s diet.

I just starting taking PRO Colostrum-LD® and I feel worse.

This is completely normal; it’s a sign that PRO Colostrum-LD® is doing its job as the . Iimmunoglobulins begin killing off the pathogenic (“bad”) bacteria in the GI tract. The dead bacteria release toxins and as they are expelled from the body, they create discomfort. Symptoms can include diarrhea, gas, tummy rumbling, mild headache, and other flu-like symptoms; these are called Herxheimer reactions.

One out of five first-time users experience this, but its not a reason to stop taking colostrum. Reduce your dosage to a minimum amount (suggested: 1 capsule per day or ½ teaspoon) until the body adjusts, and then increase your dosage to the dosage your provider has recommended.

Can I take PRO Colostrum-LD® with other supplements and medications?

Yes. Colostrum is a food, and has no known interactions with either drugs or supplements. However, you may find that the other supplements and medications you are taking could have a more pronounced effect because colostrum increases villi height in the small intestine, which in turn increases absorption. Check with your provider to see if a medication adjustment is necessary.

How does PRO Colostrum-LD® interact with other supplements and medications?

PRO Colostrum-LD® actually assists the body by regulating absorption rates. In effect, you will be getting more bang for your buck with everything you consume whether it's water, supplements, food, or oral medication. You will receive greater benefits since your body will be able to utilize them more. You may even find that you don't need to take as much as you normally do since your body is able to absorb all the nutrients. There are no known contraindications with colostrum use with medications or supplements. As for prescribed medications, check with your provider to see if a medication adjustment is necessary.

Can I add PRO Colostrum-LD® to my morning coffee or tea?

No. Boiling or hot water destroys the active healing components in PRO Colostrum-LD®. Room temperature water is OK, assuming nothing else is added to the coffee or tea (i.e., sugar, milk, or creamer).

Can I add PRO Colostrum-LD® to my smoothie or mix it with whey protein?

No. The proteins in your smoothie or those in whey protein powder will sit in the stomach and destroy the healing bioactives in PRO Colostrum-LD®. Even with liposomal delivery, the bioactives cannot survive digestion by the harsh stomach acids.

Can children and infants take PRO Colostrum-LD®?

Absolutely. In fact, PRO Colostrum-LD® is strongly recommended for infants who are not being breastfed for at least 2 years. PRO Colostrum-LD® can help growing children in many ways -- from better concentration, increased memory to fewer illnesses such as autism, diabetes, and juvenile arthritis. Children tend to catch colds and illness from peers and schoolmates; both PRO Colostrum-LD® and PRO Colostrum-IC® will help immensely.

How does PRO Colostrum-LD® produce the anti-aging results?

PRO Colostrum-LD® works with the body to utilize its natural substances and increases overall health. After puberty, the body begins slowing down the production of growth hormones which are necessary for the reproduction of virtually all of the body's cellular tissue. By age 80, individuals produce virtually no growth hormones, and so aging occurs more rapidly and death is the eventual outcome. 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.

I am vegetarian and I do not eat animal food.

Colostrum is neither animal nor vegetable. Dairies supplying raw colostrum to Sovereign Laboratories take very good care of their cattle, making sure they are healthy and have long and happy lives. Mother Nature produced colostrum for every mammal on earth, and it is by far the healthiest choice. With that said, the choice is completely yours.

I don't want to take colostrum away from the baby calves that need it!

Don't worry. Calves are never deproved of their mothers’ colostrum. Calves need it as much as any mammal, and many calves would die without it. Dairy farmers make sure the calves get their fill first, and then Sovereign Laboratories receives the remainder.

I play sports and work out intensely. Should I take PRO Colostrum-LD®?

The bodies of athletes and avid exercisers need optimum nutrition, as they frequently experience muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries as well as an increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and intestinal hyperpermeability (“leaky gut”). PRO Colostrum-LD® is vital, both for optimum and faster rates of healing after injury. PRO Colostrum-LD® also increases muscle mass and improves stamina, strength, and performance. It decreases URTIs and restores normal intestinal permeability. Supplementing with PRO Colostrum-LD® is a safe and legal alternative to doping and synthetic growth hormone injections.

What if I'm lactose intolerant?

Virtually all of the lactose in PRO Colostrum-LD® has been removed by the addition of the lactase enzyme. Any discomfort you experience would more likely be a sign that colostrum is healing the digestive tract.

What if I'm overweight?

PRO Colostrum-LD® is great for making the body work more effectively, helps stop catabolism (the digestion of lean muscle) while dieting and enables anabolism (the utilization of stored fat for fuel) which makes weight loss easier. Colostrum helps balance blood glucose levels, so you're less likely to over-eat, and increases lean body mass so you'll burn more calories at rest. It also contains leptin, the satiety hormone.

What about my pets? Can they benefit from PRO Colostrum-LD®?

Yes! As a matter of fact, most pets love colostrum. Bovine colostrum is not species specific, so dogs and cats will gain many health benefits from colostrum. Aging pets with arthritis or joint problems are particularly responsive to PRO Colostrum-LD®.

Why can't I get colostrum from a local farmer?

You can, but there are limitations. First, it needs to be refrigerated and consumed before it spoils (about 2 weeks). Second, calves on small farms are birthed once a year so the colostrum is only available for a short period of time. Third, raw colostrum is not pasteurized and contains immunomodulators from just one cow. This differs from processed colostrum, which is pasteurized for safety and concentrated to provide a broad base of immunomodulators that have been pooled from hundreds and sometimes thousands of cows.

When is PRO Colostrum-LD® collected?

The first colostrum collected after birth is reserved for the newborn calf. Sovereign Laboratories is the first real milking of the colostrum after the calves get their needs met. It usually is collected within first 2-12 hours.

What is PRO Colostrum-IC®?

PRO Colostrum-IC® is a super concentrate of all of colostrum's most important immune-modulating components, especially the proline-rich polypeptides and lactoferrin. One dose of oral PRO Colostrum-IC® spray equals approximately 48 capsules of regular colostrum in terms of overall immune benefits. PRO Colostrum-IC® is not a substitute for PRO Colostrum-LD® because it does not heal intestinal hyperpermeability. PRO Colostrum-IC® is absorbed directly into the bloodstream long before reaching the GI tract. PRO Colostrum-LD® is typically recommended as a companion product to PRO Colostrum-LD®, especially for a patient with either an overactive or an underactive immune system; its action is both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, respectively.

What is the difference between PRO Colostrum-LD® and PRO Colostrum-IC®?

Powdered PRO Colostrum-LD® (same as in capsules) is whole bovine colostrum that has been pasteurized, dried, and micronized. The powder is intended for healing and preventing intestinal hyperpermeability, or leaky gut syndrome. PRO Colostrum-IC® is an all-around immune health supplement. Depending on your specific health need, your provider may recommend PRO Colostrum-IC® in addition to PRO Colostrum-LD®.