What Makes up Bovine Colostrum


The biologically active components in bovine colostrum change very rapidly after the calf is born. Due to these rapid changes, it becomes necessary to know that it has the highest amount of biologically active substances and that you know exactly what makes up bovine colostrum.


Proteins can give the most significant health benefits and is one of the biologically active substances found in bovine colostrum. The highest amount of proteins found in the mother are a few hours before birth and six to eight hours after birth. After about 24 hours after birth the only two proteins found in the mother of nutritional worth are albumin and casein.

Colostral Fat

Although some people disagree, the milk fat in the ?first milking? is very important and also contains the necessary protein, casein. Some companies choose to remove the milk fat from their colostrum claiming it deteriorates their product faster and doesn't have any purpose They claim the substitute fat they add is more digestible. On the contrary, the casein found in the milk fat of true colostrum serves a very important purpose. In the stomach it breaks down into absorbable peptides and amino acids. These peptides and amino acids create a cottage cheese-like curd that is used to create new muscle protein in the stomach. The ?first milk? colostrum contains that important protein, casein, as well as other significant biologically active substances and should be left in the colostrum product.

20-30% of the ?first milking? colostrum is milk fat. Some beneficial biologically active substances found in that milk fat are corticosteroids, steroid hormones, some growth factors, vitamins A, D, E and K and insulin.

Lactose (Milk Sugar)

Bovine colostrum contains 10-15% lactose. When lactose is broken down in the saliva and the stomach of the calf, it creates an immediate metabolic energy source for the calf. The mother's milk increases in its lactose content as the calf develops. 6 hours after the birth of the calf the lactose content is half of the lactose content 12 hours after birth and a third of the lactose content 24 hours after birth.

Humans also have the lactase enzyme in their stomach and in their saliva. So when the enzyme is broken down it also gives humans an immediate metabolic energy. Some people are lactose intolerant due to their bodies producing none or very little of the lactase enzyme. Most of these individuals need not worry about using colostrum as a dietary supplement.

Additional Compositional Considerations

The following comparative facts about colostrum and milk further stress the value of a complete first milking colostrum in maximizing the health related benefits.

Vitamin A is found to be 10 times greater in colostrum than milk.

Colostrum contains 3 times more vitamin D than milk.

Colostrum has 10 times the amount of iron than milk

Colostrum has more magnesium, phosphorous and calcium than milk.

Biologically Active Components

The ?first milking? colostrum biologically active components can usually be divided into categories. Most components fit into these basic categories: Growth Factors, Immune Factors and Metabolic Factors. Sometimes different suppliers of colostrum will give claims of their interpretation of results found in studies rather than the facts found by the scientific investigator. It is important to keep that in mind as you examine different colostrum suppliers.