Colostrum

Colostrum is a form of milk produced by the mammary glands of mammals (including humans) in late pregnancy. Most species will generate colostrum just prior to giving birth. Colostrum contains antibodies to protect the newborn against disease, as well as being lower in fat and higher in protein than ordinary milk.

Colostrum is very rich in proteins, vitamin A, and sodium chloride, but contains lower amounts of carbohydrates, lipids, and potassium than normal milk. The most pertinent bioactive components in colostrum are growth factors and antimicrobial factors. The antibodies in colostrum provide passive immunity, while growth factors stimulate the development of the gut. They are passed to the neonate and provide the first protection against pathogens.