Vital Health News

Colostrum is Safe & Effective Alternative to Risky Donor Breast Milk

BreastfeedingThe Center for Nutritional Research strongly encourages mothers who want to breastfeed their babies but are unable, to consider bovine colostrum as a healthy, sterile and viable alternative to breast milk sharing. Sharing or buying human milk over the Internet is fraught with health risks to the infant. A recent study in Pediatrics (Microbial Contamination of Human Milk Purchased Via the Internet) reported that 74% of breast milk samples purchased via the internet contained infectious bacteria and 21% contained cytomegalovirus (a herpes-type virus).

Proper handling and storage, temperature issues, questions about a milk donor’s prescription or illicit drug use, and alcohol consumption are definitely NOT an issue with bovine colostrum supplementation. Colostrum contains a plethora of pathogen-fighting substances and growth factors which help the infant establish a healthy immune system and develop optimally. CNR advocates breastfeeding and for the first two years of life but there’s an understanding among medical professionals that that long-term breastfeeding might not be feasible for all women. In that case, high quality colostrum is ideal. Unlike human milk, bovine colostrum is pasteurized to eradicate any disease-causing pathogens. Infants receive the health benefits attributed to colostrum’s many and varied components, including immunoglobulins, antibodies, growth factors and Proline-rich Polypeptides. It is the opinion of CNR that while good intentioned, breast milk sharing is too risky for an infant’s developing immune system, and substituting infant formula is no better. Only bovine colostrum is an acceptable substitution for human breast milk.

Maternal milk offers passive protection to a newborn infant against enteric pathogens, primarily via the transfer of immunoglobulins and growth factors from mother to infant. The historical concept of ‘immune milk’ (the transfer of passive immunity via lacteal antibodies) dates back to the 1950’s. In the 1960’s, the underlying mechanisms of passive immunity were realized when the chemical structure of immunoglobulins was discovered. Later in the 1970’s, the secretory immune system was identified which gave way to the role of secretory antibodies in the prevention or treatment of enteric infections in mammals. Since the 1980’s, there has been considerable interest in utilizing antibodies from the milk and colostrum of heterologous species, particularly ruminants. Studies show that bovine antibodies can be effective in the prevention or treatment of human and animal diseases caused by enteropathogenic microbes (bacteria, viruses, protozoans, and fungi). Bovine colostrum is the most prevalent preparation available today, and it passes immunity to all the disease-causing pathogens that the cow has encountered in her lifetime, including the antibodies she received from her mother – a broad spectrum pharmacy.

Early weaning or exclusive formula use deprives the child of the immunity provided by the mother Immunoglobulins are not present in pasteurized milk or infant formula. Breastfeeding not only helps prevent disease in infants, but research shows that longer breastfeeding is associated with better mental health through childhood and into adolescence. In modern times, the length of breastfeeding has been determined by social norms, mothers returning to the workplace, and the successful marketing of infant formulas. From 1900 to 1960, negative attitudes caused a significant decline in breastfeeding, however, the trend has been reversing. Experts now recommend that children be breastfed within one hour of birth (for mother’s colostrum), exclusively breastfed for the first six months, and subsequently breastfed until age two complimented with age-appropriate and nutritionally adequate foods.

When mothers discontinue breastfeeding before the age of two, bovine colostrum supplementation is strongly recommended for continued support and growth of all body tissue for optimum development and health.The efficacy of any bovine colostrum supplement is determined by the antimicrobial activity of the specific antibodies and complement factors, which must be preserved during the manufacturing process. To achieve the gastrointestinal benefits of bovine colostrum, it is crucial that the active components will bypass digestion in the stomach and be bioavailable for uptake and distribution to the body’s cells. Additionally, colostrum must be soluble for free dispersion throughout the GI tract as well as be able to readily disperse in water or formula. Liposomal Delivery enhances the bioavailability, and extensive research shows that such an enhanced delivery method allows ingested bovine colostrum to achieve the intended results.

Sovereign Health Initiative

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The Sovereign Health Initiative is committed to the belief that each person holds sovereignty over his or her body. We further support the principle that in order to take ownership of one’s health, it is necessary to make informed decisions through self-education. To this end, it is our aim to offer critical information to educate the public on how to live a lifetime in optimal health.

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