What is colostrum?
Colostrum is the first milk that all mammals produce and contains all the antibodies needed to protect the newborn against disease, as well as being lower in fat and higher in protein than ordinary milk.
Newborns have a very immature digestive system and colostrum delivers its nutrients in a very concentrated low-volume form. Colostrum is known to contain immune cells and many antibodies, which are the major components of the adaptive immune system.
Colostrum is also very rich in proteins, vitamin A, and sodium chloride, but contains lower amounts of carbohydrates, lipids, and potassium than mature milk. The most abundant bioactive components are growth factors and antimicrobial factors and the antibodies in provide passive immunity, while growth factors stimulate the development of the gut.