Colostrum and its benefits: a review
human milk, colostrum, immunity, wound healing, growth factors
Colostrum, a nutrient-rich fluid produced by female mammals immediately after giving birth, is loaded with immune, growth and tissue repair factors. It is a complex biological fluid, which helps in the development of immunity in the newborn. It contains significant quantities of complement components that act as natural anti-microbial agents to actively stimulate the maturation of an infant’s immune system. Bovine colostrum, a raw material for immune milk preparations, can be used to treat or prevent infections of the gastrointestinal tract. It is possible that colostral preparations aimed at specific consumers may play a significant role in healthcare in the future. Besides providing immune support, colostrum has remarkable muscular-skeletal repair and growth capabilities. Studies have shown that colostrum is the only natural source of two major growth factors namely, transforming growth factors alpha and beta, and insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2. These growth factors have significant muscle and cartilage repair characteristics. They promote wound healing with practical implications for trauma and surgical patients. Colostral growth factors have multiple regenerative effects that extend to all structural body cells, such as the gut.
Uruakpa, F. O., M. A. H. Ismond, and E. N. T. Akobundu. "Colostrum and its benefits: a review." Nutrition Research 22, no. 6 (2002): 755-767.
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