“Admitted coffee lovers that we are, our family couldn’t resist naming this fall’s baby cow De-Calf, but we could just as well have called him Debt-Relief. We owe the local 4-H cattle project the first cow from my daughter’s big brown heifer since she was donated to us (the heifer, not my daughter) by the area Cattlemen’s Association. So keeping the little bull-to-be healthy from the start has been a high priority. Thankfully, his mother (the cow, not me) has done her duty since the night he was born. Unlike some animals we’ve endured, she’s blessed with sufficient maternal instincts to nurse De-Calf freely, which means he received healthy doses of colostrum during his first few days of life.
“Colostrum is the nutrient-rich, pre-milk fluid produced by all mammals immediately after giving birth. It’s essential for jump-starting a newborn’s immune system-including baby humans. That’s why breast-feeding advocates encourage mothers who plan to bottle-feed their babies to nurse them for at least a couple of days, in order to impart this life-changing substance.
How Does It Work?
“From observing the results of blood transfusions, health researchers about 60 years ago discovered the value of “immune response factor protein molecules.” When these key compounds are transferred from a healthy blood donor to a sick recipient, the recipient’s recovery improves. It came to be called a “transfer factor” because it was first recognized in blood “transfers” from one patient to another.
“Because of HIV and hepatitis dangers, blood transfusion nowadays is a risky way to boost a person’s immune system. But a risk-free way to the same benefit was discovered about ten years ago in the form of bovine (cow) colostrum. Bovine colostrum is packed with transfer factors like hydrogen peroxide and immunoglobulins (antibodies), and even though it comes from cattle, it is effective “cross-species” which means the benefits are as pronounced in humans as in cows.
“Healthy cells make hydrogen peroxide on their own to regulate metabolism and fight off invading pathogens, but sick cells need the reinforcement colostrum can provide. The immunoglobulins go after and stop a microorganism called cryptosporidiosis, a cause of severe diarrhea. Children and adults with acute or chronic diarrhea can be helped by taking a small, white capsule of colostrum such as Beeyoutiful’s Colostrum Transfer Factor.
“Although cancer cells are always developing in our bodies, our immune systems usually kill them before they spread and do damage- unless we are weakened or unhealthy. Most of us are compromised in some way these days because of diets “rich” in processed and over-preserved foods, so colostrum is a vital supplement to fortify your body. If you already have cancer, colostrum is a powerful ally in the fight. It contains phytic acid which inhibits iron from reaching and nourishing cancer cells. It also isolates and starves fungi and viruses which would otherwise thrive on the iron in your system.
“I’ve wondered if this colostrum factor accounts for some of the health differences between my younger sister and me. Our mother bucked the bottle-feeding trend of the time and nursed me, but when little sister was born less than two years later, our by-then overwhelmed mother kept her on a bottle from day one. Throughout our early years and into adulthood, I have never been sickly, but my sister, who fell victim to seemingly every stomach bug and cold that swept through our elementary school, is now a breast cancer survivor and suffers from frequent sinus infections and bronchitis.
“Recently on a family trip, our five-year-old son’s chewing gum fell out of his mouth onto the floor of a gas station restroom. Before we could stop him, he’d popped the gum back into his mouth and managed a couple more chews! The next morning he woke up with a low-grade fever and severe diarrhea which continued for two days straight. On Day 2 I remembered the anti-diarrheal ability of Colostrum Transfer Factor, and since he can’t yet swallow a pill, every two hours I opened two capsules into a bit of yogurt or applesauce which he ate happily. By Day 3 his stool firmed up and the diarrhea stopped! Although Beeyoutiful gave it a happy ending, this story now tops the list of absolutely gross things one of our eight children have done.
How Do You Change the Past?
“Researchers believe the benefits of colostrum don’t end with infancy. If, like my sister, you or your loved ones did not get the benefit of colostrum as a baby, Beeyoutiful gives you a second chance!
“While an organic, natural diet, free from processed foods, is the ideal protection against disease, you’re probably all too aware of the difficulty of achieving exemplary eating patterns. I, for instance, know my family’s weakness for cookies (and did I mention coffee?) and how Real Life throws my healthy cooking intentions out the window more than I’d like. I’ve worried over how we would fare if an epidemic swept our country like the Ebola outbreak in Uganda a few years ago. Fortunately, studies suggest that taking colostrum offers hope for stopping communicable diseases-whether Ebola, bird flu, AIDS, SARS, or the host of new antibiotic resistant illnesses on the rise.
“Consider the diseases that can be combated with colostrum, according to Joseph B. Marion’s book The Anti-Aging Manual: campylobacter, Candida and E. coli, clostridium (botulism), food poisoning, helicobacter pylori, listeria, rotavirus, salmonella, shigellosis, and streptococcus. Marion also explains that colostrum counters leaky gut and irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, ulcers, chronic fatigue, diabetes, autoimmunity, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and cancers, and that it may even inhibit schleroderma, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.
“Notice that many conditions in Marion’s list have to do with intestinal function, and bear in mind that colostrum is a form of probiotic, the opposite of an antibiotic. While antibiotics can disrupt digestive functioning because they kill all bacteria (good and bad), probiotics balance the effect. So if you have to take an antibiotic, you might want to offset the downside effects with a probiotic. In addition, if you are a frequent user of NSAID drugs like ibuprofen, your stomach will appreciate the acid neutralizing powers of colostrum. Try alternating Beeyoutiful’s Colostrum Transfer Factor with Tummy Tuneup.
“Rapidly approaching 50 and feeling my metabolism slow down, I’m encouraged by what the book Prescription for Nutritional Healing offers: ‘colostrum can boost the immune system…It may also accelerate the healing of injuries, increase vitality and stamina, and have an anti-aging effect.’
“So whether it’s the offspring from a 4-H heifer or cows in general for providing a proven health helper like colostrum, to our bovine friends I say: We owe you!”
This article originally titled “How Now? from the Cow” was written by Nancy Webster and appeared in Beeyoutiful’s Spring 2008 Catalog.