Frequently Asked Questions

Symbiotics

Here’s a collection of brief answers to many of the questions our customers have asked us over the years. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us.

  • Why bovine (cow) colostrum?

    Colostrum is the pre-milk substance produced by all mammals at birth. Undiluted colostrum can be collected during the first milking within 16 hours of birth. After this window, it becomes transitional milk and by 5 days after birth it is milk.

    Research has shown that the immune and growth factors in cow’s colostrum are nearly identical to those in human colostrum. Since bovine colostrum is not species-specific, it works effectively in humans as well as other animals.*

  • Why do I need colostrum, as an adult?

    Once puberty has passed, our bodies begin the aging process by gradually producing less of the immune and growth factors that help us fight off disease and heal. colostrum is the only natural source of these life-supporting components. Research has shown that colostrum not only supports immune function, but can help enhance fat utilization for fuel and optimize cellular reproduction*. As far as we know, no other substance on the planet can provide all of these marvelous benefits.

  • How safe is colostrum?

    Colostrum is a natural food that has been used for years as a food supplement.

  • What if I'm lactose intolerant?

    The amount of lactose in colostrum is scant – 163 mg. in two capsules compared to 13,000 mg. in one 8-oz. glass of milk. Discomfort may be a sign that colostrum is working effectively in the digestive tract, but please discontinue use and consult your health care practitioner if discomfort persists or if it is serious.

  • What if I'm pregnant or nursing?

    Consult with your medical professional prior to taking any prescription drugs, over the counter medications, herbs or nutritional supplements. This includes colostrum.

  • Can I give colostrum to my children?

    Pediatricians recommend that infants, who have not been breast fed, be given colostrum to supplement their formula. We suggest that you consult with your pediatrician for proper use and serving size information.

  • What about my pets?

    Bovine colostrum works wonderfully with cats, dogs and other mammals because it is not species-specific. The colostrum powder can be sprinkled over their food or a small amount added to their water. Most pets love the taste of colostrum. Encourage them to drink water after they take colostrum. Start by introducing small amounts so that your pet can become accustomed to colostrum.

  • How much should I take?

    Each person is unique (age, weight, health problems) as to the amount of colostrum needed to achieve an optimal benefit. Remember, colostrum is a food and can safely be taken when used as recommended on the label.

    If you are interested in supplementing your diet with colostrum to help lean muscle mass recovery following strenuous exercise, recent research suggests that servings of up to 20 g per day are most effective.*

  • Can I take colostrum with other supplements / medications?

    Colostrum works to support healthy digestion in the GI tract; potentially all substances taken internally (food, herbs, natural healing substances, and medications) may become more bio-available to the body.* Although colostrum has no known drug interactions, see your health care practitioner prior to use, as you may find that the other supplements and medications that you are taking will have a more pronounced effect.

  • What is the difference between the powder and the capsules?

    Some research suggests that to receive the maximum benefit from colostrum, it should be taken both encapsulated and in powder form. We recommend that colostrum be taken encapsulated, on an empty stomach with a full glass of water to enable the colostrum to reach the small intestine – where the immune factors have been shown to do their best work. To receive the optimal benefit from the growth factors (rebuild lean muscle mass after strenuous exercise, fat utilization for fuel, anti-aging*), colostrum should be taken in powder form so it can mix with the acid in the stomach or mouth. The powder can either be mixed as an addition to your favorite smoothie or made into a shake with water or juice .

  • Are there any side effects from taking colostrum?

    Side effects are very rare. If you experience any serious or undesirable side effects stop taking immediately and see your health care practitioner before resuming use. Due to its detoxifying nature, certain side effects may occur, so we recommend introducing colostrum into your diet slowly. It’s possible for released toxins to produce minor rashes, bowel changes or flu-like symptoms until they are cleansed from the body – so going slowly is advisable. Most side effects stem from other supplements or medications that that are taken with the colostrum that are finally being utilized by the body. If taking any prescription drugs, over the counter medications, herbs or nutritional supplements, consult with your health care provider for assistance in adjusting or re-evaluating your needs.

  • I'm a vegetarian. Isn't colostrum an animal food?

    Colostrum is a food produced by all lactating mammals to give their newborns an immune boost. Bovines (cows) produce the colostrum that is commercially available. Bovine colostrum has been an important part of the strict vegan diet of India’s Hindu Rishis (spiritual leaders) for thousands of years. It’s interesting that cows are sacred in India, a country where vegetarianism is most prevalent.

  • Is colostrum nature's antibody?

    Colostrum is a food taken to supplement the diet. It has been shown to have many beneficial health effects. However, colostrum is not a drug. With any nutritional or dietary supplementation, the hope is to support good health. There are numerous studies describing the health benefits of colostrum, and the advantages that are derived from the use of this supplement.

  • Why is some colostrum de-fatted (skim)?

    There are no growth factors in the fat content of colostrum; growth factors are proteins and are not a part of the fat. De-fatting or Skimming colostrum is important to keep the colostrum from going rancid on the shelf. Instantizing colostrum further enhances its easy mixing in liquid.

  • How safe are the gelatin capsules?

    Gelatin caps are generally considered safe; gelatin must be made from animals certified free of BSE.

  • Should colostrum be pasteurized?

    Absolutely! Cow manure can easily splash onto the udders contaminating them with E-coli, salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria. This creates the potential for contamination of ANY dairy products. Dairy products (for human consumption) must be pasteurized to kill these pathogens. There are two ways of pasteurizing colostrum – the optimal flash (15 second) pasteurization and a slow 30-minute vat process. Flash pasteurization uses the expensive, high-tech equipment found in the modern dairy that does not denature the colostrum. Our colostrum is produced using flash pasteurization to ensure that it is healthful and to secure the stability of the functional components.

  • What is best time to collect colostrum?

    A high level of IgG (immunoglobulin) may be most important for a newborn calf, as it is the calf’s sole source of immune protection at birth; however, for humans taking colostrum as a supplement, the level of IgG in a colostrum product is not the main benchmark of quality. Although the first milking is higher in IgG, it is subsequently lower in many other important healing components, such as Lactoferrin and Proline-Rich Polypeptides (PRPs). In order to obtain a colostrum product that is perfectly balanced, with significant amounts of the beneficial components found naturally in colostrum, it should be collected within the first 16 hours following the calf’s birth. Our colostrum is collected after the calf has had its fill, and within the first 16 hours of birth.

  • Is estrogen found in colostrum?

    There is a scant amount of naturally occurring bovine estrogen in bovine colostrum. This form of estrogen is not bio available to humans when taken orally. Our colostrum producing dairies certify that there are no adulterants in the colostrum, and to verify this assertion, all of our colostrum is tested before manufacturing our products to ensure that there are no adulterants such as rBHT hormones, antibiotics or other additives.

  • Why can't I get colostrum from a local farmer?

    You can. Note that colostrum needs to be refrigerated and consumed before it spoils. Also, raw colostrum is not pasteurized. Purchased directly from a local farmer, the colostrum will contain immune factors from just one cow, or perhaps one herd. This differs from commercially processed colostrum, which is concentrated and provides a broad base of immune factors that have been pooled from hundreds and sometimes thousands of cows. Additionally, our colostrum is subjected to purity and safety testing in an FDA-registered laboratory – quality assurance that a local farmer cannot duplicate.

  • Why should colostrum be fresh processed (not frozen)?

    Quality dairy products, including colostrum, are never frozen because freezing changes the composition. colostrum’s effectiveness is diminished by the freezing/thawing process. Check to make sure your colostrum is fresh processed and never frozen.

  • Am I taking colostrum away from the baby calves?

    Our colostrum is harvested sustainably! We don’t deprive calves of their colostrum; their needs are always met first. Our dairies make sure the calves get their fill and then we get the remainder, within the first 16 hours following birth to ensure a full range of the most potent components.

  • How long do you need to take it to see results?

    Every person is different, and every body is unique. Keep in mind that colostrum is a natural food supplement product, not a drug. For best results and ongoing benefits, we recommend adding colostrum as a food supplement, and we invite you to read the research about the support that your body may experience for your immune system, digestive health and lean muscle mass. Some of colostrum’s more active components have been identified to support these healthy body functions and you can find many scientific studies discussing colostrum’s Proline-Rich Polypeptides (PRP’s), Immunoglobulin (IgG), and Lactoferrin.

  • Why do dietary supplements or colostrum don’t have an FDA approval?

    The FDA, by law, classifies dietary supplements as a sub-category of food. Supplements are intended, quite literally, to supplement the diet, supporting the normal healthy functioning of the body. Supplements are regulated as a special sub-set of foods. Supplements are not drugs, and as a food, they do not need to be pre-approved by FDA. In contrast, drugs are developed for and used to cure or mitigate disease conditions. Dispensed by prescription through medical doctors, drugs must be pre-approved by the FDA before they are released for prescription use by patients.

    Dietary supplements are produced under quality assurance regulations that FDA enforces, referred to as current good manufacturing practices (CGMP). Our colostrum is produced in compliance with cGMP.

  • Why is cow colostrum good for humans?

    Scientific research, conducted in the last decade in major medical research centers and universities throughout the world, has shown that the molecular combinations of the immune and growth factors in cow’s colostrum are identical to human. Research has also shown colostrum from a bovine (cow) is not species specific, and it’s up to 100 to 1000 times more concentrated than our mother’s colostrum. This means that every mammal on earth can benefit from bovine colostrum (Please see our Library for some relevant research articles.)