New Year New Gut

A new year is a great time to establish new health goals. Before doing so, it’s a good practice to assess honestly where you’re at and what areas of your health you want to focus on.

I recently shared in my stories my startling experience in church recently where I spoke with three women, ALL of whom shared the same story about how they were under the weather for the holidays and now taking antibiotics! After all I’ve been through on my gut-healing journey, this was gut-wrenching (pun intended) to hear. 

Often, this is where our healing journeys begin: healing the gut. And so, it’s where we’ll start now, at the beginning of a new year. Let’s take the first step towards greater health in 2024 together with this question: “How would you describe your gut health?”

Like me, your answer may be along the lines of: “I wish I hadn’t taken so many antibiotics.” 

I’m sure you’ve heard all about my journey to better gut health after multiple rounds of antibiotics for UTIs. Like me, maybe you have your own story that also includes multiple rounds of antibiotics. It’s well-known that antibiotics are harmful to the gut. I’ve personally spent years and decades rebuilding mine. It can be a painstaking process, but I can save you years of trial and error and point you toward something that has worked wonders for me. And I don’t apologize for suggesting something that is not homeopathic, because honestly, this has helped me and many others so much. (While I have had a resounding health turn-around due to homeopathy, colostrum has undoubtedly done wonders to help me heal my gut.) 

Here are a few common questions I get about colostrum: 

What is colostrum?

Colostrum is the first milk that comes from mammals. It provides antibodies and beneficial bacteria that lines the underdeveloped gut of mammals. Deprived of colostrum, mammals start off their lives in detriment. You may have heard that in the fifties and sixties mothers were warned against breastfeeding. The babies during this period never got colostrum, therefore, their immune and digestive systems were underdeveloped. Adults who were not breastfed have a higher likelihood of developing immune deficiencies, while breastfed children are less susceptible to autoimmune diseases.

Research has shown that once we pass puberty, our bodies gradually produce less of the immune and growth factors that help us fight off disease and heal damaged body tissue. With the loss of these vital components, we age faster, we become more vulnerable to disease, our energy level and enthusiasm lessens, our skin loses its elasticity, and we gain unwanted weight and lose muscle tone. These health problems are further compounded because we live in a toxic environment, with pollutants and allergens all around us. 

Colostrum is the only source of these life-giving immune factors and growth factors in the perfect combination as intended by nature. These growth hormones enhance our ability to metabolize fat, build lean muscle mass, and enhance the rejuvenation of our skin, muscles and organs. Colostrum also enables us to resist the harmful effects of pollutants, contaminants and allergens that we’re inundated with. 

Unlike the colostrum from other animals, cow colostrum can be universally donated to all mammals. This means that when you take colostrum from bovines, all the beneficial properties from their ‘liquid gold’ is donated to you. It’s not the same with goat colostrum. (I hear camel colostrum is similar, but that’s a little harder to get.) 

How does colostrum help your gut? 

Colostrum is a food. It can be consumed in any quantity without side effects or drug interaction. Colostrum naturally has a range of peptides (building blocks of proteins) that speed up the healing of your gut, as well as antimicrobial proteins that neutralize bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites and endotoxins. This is great for damaged guts…it’s like colostrum presses the ‘speed up’ button when it comes to healing your gut. Colostrum also reduces gut inflammation and promotes mucosal integrity and tissue repair, and has proteins that help bind vitamins and minerals for better assimilation. All of these factors help to seal your gut. You can watch my free 1-hour webinar on colostrum and gut health here. 

Do colostrum products take this essential colostrum from baby calves?

This question is very near and dear to my heart, which is why I reached out to the CEO of the company I work with, Anovite, to ensure that the calves’ needs are always met first. Because Mama cows make tons of colostrum, and there is always extra–often anywhere from 4-8 quarts, the baby calves get all that they need. 

I have had a family milk cow for many years myself, so I am aware of how the process works. It’s always a good idea to save some colostrum and freeze it after each birth, because in the future there may be a birth that doesn’t go well. If a mother cow dies, the baby will need to get their colostrum. If the calf doesn’t get colostrum, the calf will die. Freezing colostrum is a  common practice among farmers. 

Why can’t I just get raw colostrum from my local dairy farmer?

Raw colostrum differs from the colostrum from the brand I use because it contains immune factors from just one cow or one herd. The colostrum brand I use is an ideal source of colostrum because it combines colostrum from hundreds and sometimes thousands of cows, providing broad-based immune factors/antibodies. That means you are adopting a much larger variety of antibodies, not just a limited amount of antibodies from just one cow or herd. These antibodies are powerful…think about those health issues that comes from ticks. If you suffer from that, perhaps taking colostrum which has the antibody for that illness could be beneficial for you. People have reported the benefits to me many times over.

I am lactose intolerant. Can this work for me?

Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid produced by mammalian mothers before birth. It is not milk. TRUE colostrum should contain no lactose, so those who are lactose intolerant should have no problems with high-quality colostrum, but always speak with your physician. Ultra-sensitive people should always go slow with their initial dosing as well. 

But here’s the problem. Most products labeled ‘colostrum’ out there is really just powdered milk mixed with some colostrum. That’s because the farmer collects the colostrum many hours after the cow gave birth. But when properly collected within 6 hours of birth, the colostrum is more pure and not mixed with the transient milk. Many people tell me ‘I tried colostrum, and I didn’t respond well because I’m lactose intolerant.’ But then when they try the brand that I use, there are no issues.  That’s because my colostrum is actually pure colostrum–with minimal transient milk–due to when it’s collected. 

If concerned, you might consider taking a lactose digestive aid for a while, which many with lactose sensitivity have been known to do. Consumers should also make sure that products labeled colostrum are 100% colostrum (not colostrum-whey or concentrates of milk-whey or transitional milk). Again, the colostrum I use is collected within 6 hours of birth, thus ensuring that it is a high-quality colostrum without any of the milk that starts coming in after the calf is born.

How much should I take and when? 

It has been suggested that for best results, colostrum should be front-loaded (taken in larger doses initially and then lowered after desired results are obtained). But in an abundance of caution, I tell people to start low and slow, maybe ½ tsp once or twice a day and increase from there. 

Keep in mind that some people may experience “a healing reaction” (i.e. a detox response) as the body releases toxins (digestive problems, skin eruptions, rashes or flu-like symptoms). These symptoms usually disappear in a couple of days and are actually a GREAT sign that your body needs colostrum. Once the detox reaction has passed, people often have a significant return to health. Also, colostrums’ growth factors may create initial pain in areas of old wounds or injuries as the body begins to balance. If this becomes uncomfortable, you may want to cut back, increasing your intake slowly as you reach optimum levels. 

I don’t recommend doing the capsules because you want the colostrum to come into contact with your teeth/gums for oral wellness. The powder can be a tiny bit tricky to learn how to swallow and chew, but you’ll get the hang of it. You could take Colostrum when you wake in the morning and your stomach is empty and then again in the early afternoon, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Do it when you remember. The goal is to take as much as you can tolerate and feel well on. That’s what worked for me. 

Does colostrum help holes in teeth?

Research has shown colostrum may be very beneficial for oral health. It can be used by applying colostrum directly to the gum area just before retiring, or pack any holes in teeth with colostrum. I have benefited greatly from this, and even have a free Colostrum and Oral Health class available. One of the interesting things about the colostrum I use is that it is guaranteed to have the antibodies for Strep Mutans, which is the most common cavity-causing bacteria. I have an amazing healing journey that I share with you in the class where my cavities improved significantly after starting colostrum. 

Each person’s body assimilates and uses colostrum differently, so you may need to adjust to determine what dosage is best for you. Capsules should be taken on an empty stomach without any food or other supplements (at least 30-minutes before you eat or at least 45-minutes after you eat) with 8-12 oz. of water. But just do your best. I never followed these recommendations personally, and I still saw a lot of benefits from colostrum. A good schedule may be to take it before breakfast, again several hours after lunch, and an hour before dinner. Try to get into a regular routine so you always remember.

Should I take colostrum in capsule form?

I don’t recommend doing the capsules because you want the colostrum to come into contact with your teeth/gums for oral wellness. If someone is really averse to the powder then they should start by taking 2-3 capsules two to three times a day. Having said that, Colostrum has a half-life of 8 hours, so for maximum benefit it is important to take it two to three times a day. 

If you want to learn more about Colostrum, join my upcoming Colostrum Q & A Session happening at 3:30 central time on January 10th. 

This webinar will be held on Wednesday, January 10th at 3:30 Central (4:30 Eastern)

Learn about the brand of colostrum I use here: PaolaBrown.com/Colostrum

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