Bovine colostrum is a protein–rich substance and a complete natural foodstuff, which is secreted from the udders of cows during the first few days after giving birth. This ‘first milk’ transfers passive immunity from the mother to the baby, in the same was as human colostrum does. Colostrum contains a precise balance of vitamins, minerals and amino acids which are beneficial for growth and development.
Bovine colostrum contains immunoglobulins, anti–microbial peptides and other bioactive molecules including growth factors, which are beneficial in assisting the body to combat general wear and tear. The immunoglobulins (antibodies) present in bovine colostrum are specific to many human pathogens. Before the development of antibiotics, colostrum was the main source of immunoglobulins used to fight infections. The immunoglobulins used in the first oral polio vaccine came from bovine colostrum.