Nutraceutical, a term combining the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceuticals”, is a food or food product that provides health benefits as an adjuvant or alternative therapy, including the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases in children and adults. There is emerging evidence that bovine colostrum (BC) may be one of the promising nutraceuticals which can prevent or mitigate various diseases in newborns and adults. Immunity-related disorders are one of the leading causes of mortality in the world. BC is rich in immunity, growth and antimicrobial factors, which promote tissue growth and the maturation of digestive tract and immune function in neonatal animals and humans. The immunoglobulins and lactoferrin present in colostrum are known to build natural immunity in newborns which helps to reduce the mortality rate in this population. Also, the side-effect profile of colostrum proteins and possible lactose intolerance is relatively less in comparison with milk. In general, BC is considered safe and well tolerated. Since colostrum has several important nutritional constituents, well-designed, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies with colostrum products should be conducted to widen its therapeutic use. The objectives of this review are to create awareness about the nutraceutical properties of colostrum and to discuss the various ongoing alternative treatments of colostrum and its active ingredients as well as to address colostrum’s future nutraceutical and therapeutic implications in humans.
Siddhi Bagwe, Leo J.P. Tharappel, Ginpreet Kaur* and Harpal S. Buttar