Bovine Colostrum: Its Constituents and Uses

Raymond John Playford and Michael James Weiser Barts

Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 265



Colostrum is the milk produced during the first few days after birth and contains high levels of immunoglobulins, antimicrobial peptides, and growth factors. Colostrum is important for supporting the growth, development, and immunologic defence of neonates. Colostrum is naturally packaged in a combination that helps prevent its destruction and maintain bioactivity until it reaches more distal gut regions and enables synergistic responses between protective and reparative agents present within it. Bovine colostrum been used for hundreds of years as a traditional or complementary therapy for a wide variety of ailments and in veterinary practice. Partly due to concerns about the side effects of standard Western medicines, there is interest in the use of natural-based products of which colostrum is a prime example. Numerous preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated therapeutic benefits of bovine colostrum for a wide range of indications, including maintenance of wellbeing, treatment of medical conditions and for animal husbandry. Articles within this Special Issue of Nutrients cover the effects and use bovine colostrum and in this introductory article, we describe the main constituents, quality control and an overview of the use of bovine colostrum in health and disease.