The significance of the immune system and 24-hour Colostrum

08/05/2023

Children are extremely sensitive to pathogens due to their immature immune systems. To fill the “immune gap” during this period, children need to be supplemented with immune nutrients from breast milk or food sources rich in antibodies such as 24-hour colostrum.

What is the immune system?

Simply put, the human immune system is a defense system that protects the body against “invaders” such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, or even cancer cells and some toxins. A healthy immune system helps the body fight many types of infectious diseases, especially respiratory and digestive diseases. However, the immune system also needs time to develop and gradually improve.

How many types of immunity?

According to the dictionary of terms of the National Cancer Institute (NIC) under the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), immunity includes 3 types: innate immunity, adaptive immunity (active immunity) and passive immunity.

All children are born with innate immunity, with the very first defense system being the skin and mucous membranes that help prevent harmful foreign substances from entering the body. However, it takes the first 7-8 years of life for a child’s immature immune system to be complete. During the process of growing up, children can develop an active immune system, promoting the immune system to synthesize antibodies through vaccination or helping the body develop “immune memory” for certain diseases. However, this is a long process, and in the meantime it will leave an “immune gap” that will make children sick more often during this time. In addition to the mechanism of self-synthesis of antibodies, children can also receive passive immunity from the mother or other animal sources.

Hệ miễn dịch ở người là hệ thống phòng thủ bảo vệ cơ thể chống lại vi-rút, vi khuẩn, nấm, ký sinh trùng, hay thậm chí là tế bào ung thư và một số chất độc (Ảnh: Freepik)

The human immune system is a defense system that protects the body against viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, or even cancer cells and some toxins (Photo: Freepik)

How do children receive passive immunity? Why is passive immunity important during week immune system’s period of children?

In addition to the mechanism of self-synthesis of antibodies, children can also receive passive immunity in the mother’s womb thanks to the mechanism of active transport of Immunoglobulin antibodies from mother to child through the placenta. In particular, the highest amount of Immunoglobulin received by children is in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy. Immunoglobulin antibodies are immune proteins that recognize and destroy antigens such as disease-causing bacteria and viruses, so premature babies are at a higher risk of developing infections..

After giving birth, the mother’s body secretes colostrum for about 2 – 4 days with high levels of Immunoglobulin IgA, IgG, and IgM antibodies that are superior to breast milk in the later stages (specifically in colostrum, IgG content is 2 times higher and IgA, IgM content is 3-4 times higher). Many international organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), also recommend breastfeeding babies immediately after birth in order for them to enjoy excellent nutrition from this first colostrum. It is considered a “first natural vaccine” to help children fight against dangerous pathogens.

Tổ chức Y Tế Thế Giới WHO khuyến nghị cho trẻ bú mẹ ngay sau khi sinh để trẻ được hưởng dinh dưỡng tối ưu từ dòng sữa non (Ảnh: Freepik)The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding babies immediately after birth so that they receive optimal nutrition from colostrum (Photo: Freepik)

A meta-analysis of studies shows that delay in breastfeeding after birth increases the risk of upper respiratory tract infections and vomiting in the first 6 months. In the following stages of breastfeeding, breast milk still contains a large amount of antibodies to help children prevent respiratory and digestive tract infections and some other infections. According to a 2004 study, breastfed children have a 38% lower mortality rate before age 1 compared to non-breastfed children. Therefore, breast milk is still the most ideal source of nutrition for children’s immune system.

Sữa mẹ vẫn là nguồn dinh dưỡng lý tưởng cho hệ miễn dịch của trẻ nhỏ (Ảnh: Freepik)Breast milk is still the ideal source of nutrition for children’s immune systems (Photo: Freepik)

The advantage of passive immunity is that it provides quick protection, while active immunity takes a long time to form. However, the effectiveness of passive immunity only lasts from a few weeks to a few months, so while the immune system is still immature, it’s necessary for children to be regularly supplemented immune factors to strengthen their resistance. So, besides breast milk, what are the nutritional sources that contain many of the immune factors mentioned above?

24-hour colostrum – Source of immune nutrition that helps children prevent infectious diseases

Cow’s milk is a super familiar source of nourishment in human life thanks to its high nutritional content, easy to drink, and suitable for humans. Cow milk also contains a certain amount of Immunoglobulin antibodies like bovine colostrum, especially colostrum harvested in the first 24 hours after giving birth to a calf (24-hour colostrum), this kind of milk is also rich in immunological value and nutrition.

Research shows that the protein content in 24-hour Colostrum is 3 times higher than regular cow’s milk, while, bovine colostrum contains 100 times more Immunoglobulin antibodies (IgG, IgA, IgM) than regular cow’s milk. Bovine colostrum has an exceptionally high content of IgG antibodies (accounting for 85 – 90% of the total amount of antibodies) has been studied extensively in vitro, studied on animal (in vivo), and clinical studies in infants and adults demonstrate the ability to prevent upper respiratory tract and gastrointestinal infections..

Mechanistically, IgG is able to attach to several human pathogens and allergens, thereby neutralizing the infection between cells. Not only that, IgG also binds to receptors, helping to enhance phagocytosis, kill bacteria and present antigens.

Several studies have shown the effects of IgG and bovine colostrum in viral respiratory infections. Bovine immunoglobulin can bind to and even neutralize respiratory syncytial virus and Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, a common pathogen that leads to upper respiratory tract infections in young children and infants, especially during the first years of life.

Sữa non từ bò có nhiều tác dụng trong việc giảm nhiễm trùng đường hô hấp ở trẻ (Ảnh: Camelmilk)Bovine colostrum has many effects in reducing respiratory infections in children (Photo: Camelmilk)

Clinically, the following 5 infant trials have shown the effect of colostrum supplementation in reducing the incidence or severity of upper respiratory tract infections in children.

First double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted in IgA-deficient children with viral upper respiratory tract infections given a 14 mg colostrum tablet three times daily enables reduction of  infection severity after 1 week.

In another study, 195 children aged 3–9 years received three colostrum or control milk powder tablets per day for 2 months corresponding to 0.5 g of colostrum or control milk powder per day. Children who received colostrum tablets, especially in the 3–6 year age group, had a reduced frequency of upper respiratory tract infections compared to the placebo group, as well as a reduced number of reported sick days.

An open, uncontrolled study in children with recurrent upper respiratory tract infections and diarrhea who were given powdered colostrum showed a decrease in these infections from baseline.

In another large, uncontrolled open study, episodes of diarrhea and upper respiratory tract infections were significantly reduced in Indian children given colostrum for 12 weeks. The same was noted in a study comparing two groups of children, one group received a product containing colostrum plus probiotics for 4 months and the other group received a bacterial extract for 3 months. These studies suggest that bovine colostrum may prevent upper respiratory tract infections in young children worldwide.

For gastrointestinal infections, Immunoglobulins in colostrum are also effective in preventing and treating diseases. Proposed effects of bovine IgG at different sites in the gastrointestinal tract. In the small intestine, IgG eliminates pathogens by preventing the adhesion of pathogens to epithelial surfaces, while promoting the absorption of immune complexes of IgG with pathogens through the Fc receptor (short for “fragment, crystalline”), leading to a regulatory immune response and IgA induction. In the colon, IgG prevents the leakage of Lipopolysaccharide (a major component of the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria and can cause an acute inflammatory response by triggering the release of large numbers of inflammatory cytokines in various types of cells), that allows altering microbiota composition and short-chain fatty acid production, and preventing pathogen adhesion.

Bổ sung sữa non có tác dụng trong việc giảm tỷ lệ mắc bệnh hoặc mức độ nghiêm trọng của bệnh nhiễm trùng đường hô hấp trên ở trẻ em (Ảnh: Euronews)Colostrum supplementation is effective in reducing the incidence or severity of upper respiratory tract infections in children. (Photo: Euronews)

In clinical studies in infants, colostrum immunoglobulin was effective in treating E.coli and Rotavirus. The following four independent studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of treating rotavirus diarrhea with hyperimmune colostrum products. Two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies (67, 68) conducted in Bangladesh and two other controlled studies in Europe (58, 69) showed significant clinical effects. This includes reducing the duration of diarrhea and the number of bowel movements, the duration of rotavirus elimination, and the need for oral rehydration solutions. (ORS). All of these treatment studies were performed in infants of similar age (∼4–30 months) but with colostrum immune globulin doses ranging from 3 g (100 ml colostrum) to 20 g (based on infant weight). 10kg receives 2g of colostrum/kg of body weight). For intestinal infections caused by E.coli, A study of the effects of supplementing colostrum containing Immunoglobulin (1 g/kg/day) for 10 days in infants (10 days−18 months old) with E. coli diarrhea showed that laboratory results stools were negative for E.coli after 10 days of supplementation in 84% of cases, whereas the control group that did not receive Immunoglobulin-rich colostrum had only 11% (1/9) of cases testing negative for E.coli in stool.

Thus, adding Immunoglobulin IgG, IgM, IgA antibodies from bovine colostrum, especially 24-hour colostrum, to nutritional milk products for infants and young children is a promising method of supporting immune resistance in these kind of groups with weak immune systems.

Strong immunity, weight gaining with ColosCare containing 24-hour Colostrum rich in IgG antibodies from the US

ColosCare is a nutritional product from Nutricare Nutrition Joint Stock Company, supplemented with 24-hour colostrum imported 100% from the US, with high biological activity and an outstandingly high IgG antibody content of more than 1200mg, giving children a healthy immune system. Combined with the trio of nutrients HMO, Lactoferrin and Beta-Glucan, ColosCare helps strengthen children’s natural resistance, limit infections, and improve respiratory and digestive health.

In particular, ColosCare contains energy that meets the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), and also supplements Protein, Calcium, and Vitamin D3 to support baby weight gaining and significant height increased. The HMO fiber duo combined with Probiotic bacteria in the product supports intestinal health, reduces constipation, meets nutritional needs, thereby helping children gain weight healthily.

During the first years of a child’s life, the immature immune system makes children susceptible to infections. Parents need to protect their children’s immune system by breastfeeding them for at least 6 months so that they can enjoy optimal nutrition from breast milk. At the same time, parents can also refer to additional nutritional products: 24-hour Colostrum imported from the US containing exceptionally high levels of IgG antibodies such as ColosCare to accompany and provide your kids with an enhanced immune system and healthy weight gaining.

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