As new information continues to emerge regarding the health benefits of organic bovine colostrum, interest in this natural dietary supplement continues to grow. In response, many manufacturers now offer both non-organic and organic bovine colostrum supplements that are obtained from a variety of different colostrum sources and processed using a variety of different techniques.
Since there can be a correspondingly wide variation in the safety and overall effectiveness of these supplements, further consideration of both their colostrum sources and processing techniques has become increasingly important for choosing the most beneficial among them.
Choosing organic bovine colostrum is good in the same way that choosing organic foods is good. Although it has been difficult to determine with scientific certainty the overall effects of pesticides on human health, it is believed that organic foods are more nutritious largely because organically grown plants are more healthy.
In a similar way, the quality of bovine colostrum depends largely on the health of the cow that manufactures it. Cows that have been fed diets based on pesticide-laden plants, or have been subjected to drugs like growth hormones or antibiotics, are in general less healthy than their organically raised counterparts. This reduces the quality of the colostrum they produce, and increases their potential for harm through the transmission of the toxins these cows ingest.
Choosing organic bovine colostrum that is taken immediately after calves are born and harvested from very large source herds is even better. Colostrum taken within 24 hours after calving will have higher concentrations of beneficial components and greater immunotherapeutic potential, and larger source herds produce colostrum having a higher degree of uniformity from batch to batch.
Another issue that may be important to consider has to do with the diet of the source cows. Because pasture-fed cows are exposed by grazing to the complete spectrum of antigens in their natural habitat, they must develop a stronger natural immunity.
It is suggested that this may make organic bovine colostrum from pasture-fed sources more effective through the adoptive transfer of this enhanced immunity to humans. Since organic herds in the US are in general not pasture fed, many manufacturers now source their colostrum from New Zealand and Australia, where pasture feeding is common.
Choosing an organic bovine colostrum supplement that is processed fresh, and uses a low-heat drying technique will ensure that its beneficial components retain their maximum activity and health benefits. Many manufacturers require freezing of their source colostrum for transport, and some require the application of heat for the processing of their colostrum supplements.
Previously frozen products are limited in how they can be processed, and alternate processing techniques can yield colostrum supplements that are insoluble in water and therefore less biologically active in the body.
Finally, the application of heat in the manufacturing process can denature many of the protein components of the source colostrum, and colostrum supplements manufactured using excessive heat in general contain lower levels of important colostrum components and decreased biological activity.
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