on December 05, 2010
at 03:44 PM
Colostrum is generated by the mother shortly after the birth of the baby. It is meant to be the baby's first milk and is specially formulated by the mother to be higher in protein, lower in carb, and specially fully of antibodies and nutrients.
Colustrum is extra useful for newborns because their intestinal walls are porous for the first 6 hours after birth and so large proteins like antibodies can pass more freely through the intestinal walls. This allows the mother to seed the baby with very important ingredients that are in the colostrum. Later, when the instestinal walls are more normal, intake of colostrum is not as useful. Farmers try to make sure the baby gets colostrum right away by having it saved and stored in advance.
Some studies seem to suggest that intake of cow colustrum may aid in immune system function. THese studies were done in SAD eaters. If colustrum will still have additional benefits for paleo eaters is an interesting question. And of course, this stuff is still milk and those with milk allergies could potentially still react. However, in my opinion, for those with no obvious milk issues and who have immune system problems, colustrum may be worth a shot. Colostrum is also being researched as a potential exercise recovery aid and supposedly the US swim team has been using it.