bovine colostrum_cow_calfColostrum Three Times More Effective Than Flu Vaccine

by Jeffrey Dach MD

Dr Maria Cesarone from Italy published her placebo controlled study in 2007 in which she compared the efficacy of oral colostrum to that of influenza vaccination in preventing flu illness.  Dr Cesarone found a two month treatment with oral colostrum was three times more effective in preventing flu illness than was influenza vaccination.(1-2) Left image courtesy of bovine colostrum.

What is Colostrum ?

Bovine colostrum_Cow_calf2Colostrum is the first 24-48 hours of milk produced by the cow after the calf is born, and contains immune system and growth factors needed by the calf.  If the calf does not receive mother’s colostrum within 24 to 48 hours after birth, the calf will die.  Bovine colostrum is similar to human colostrum. Left Image courtesy of Embryology UNSW.

Mouse Model Shows Colostrum Stimulates Immune System

In a mouse model of influenza published by Dr. Wong in 2014, the authors found:

“Colostrum supplementation enhanced NK cell cytotoxicity and improved the immune response to primary influenza virus infection in mice.”….

“Colostrum-supplemented mice demonstrated less reduction in body weight after influenza infection, indicating a less severe infection, increased NK cell cytotoxicity, and less virus burden in the lungs compared with controls.”. (3)

Jeffrey Dach MD

Links and References

1) Cesarone, Maria Rosaria, et al. Prevention of Influenza With Colostrum Compared with Vaccination  in Healthy and High-Risk Cardiovascular Subjects The Epidemiologic Study in San Valentino.” Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis 13.2 (2007): 130-136.

2) Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2007 Apr;13(2):130-6.
Prevention of influenza episodes with colostrum compared with vaccination in healthy and high-risk cardiovascular subjects: the epidemiologic study in San Valentino. Cesarone MR1, Belcaro G, Di Renzo A, Dugall M, Cacchio M, Ruffini I, Pellegrini L, Del Boccio G, Fano F, Ledda A, Bottari A, Ricci A, Stuard S, Vinciguerra G.

The efficacy of a 2-month treatment with oral colostrum in the prevention of flu episodes compared with antiinfluenza vaccination was evaluated. Groups included healthy subjects without prophylaxis and those receiving both vaccination and colostrum. After 3 months of follow-up, the number of days with flu was 3 times higher in the non-colostrum subjects. The colostrum group had 13 episodes versus 14 in the colostrum + vaccination group, 41 in the group without prophylaxis, and 57 in nontreated subjects. Part 2 of the study had a similar protocol with 65 very high-risk cardiovascular subjects, all of whom had prophylaxis. The incidence of complications and hospital admission was higher in the group that received only a vaccination compared with the colostrum groups. Colostrum, both in healthy subjects and high-risk cardiovascular patients, is at least 3 times more effective than vaccination to prevent flu and is very cost-effective…

anti-influenza mouse model

3) Nutr Res. 2014 Apr;34(4):318-25.  Bovine colostrum enhances natural killer cell activity and immune response in a mouse model of influenza infection and mediates intestinal immunity through toll-like receptors 2 and 4.
Wong EB1, Mallet JF2, Duarte J2, Matar C2, Ritz BW3.
Oral administration of bovine colostrum affects intestinal immunity, including an increased percentage of natural killer (NK) cells. However, effects on NK cell cytotoxic activity and resistance to infection as well as a potential mechanism remain unclear. Therefore, we investigated the effects of bovine colostrum (La Belle, Inc, Bellingham, WA) on the NK cytotoxic response to influenza infection and on toll-like receptor (TLR) activity in a primary intestinal epithelial cell culture. We hypothesized that colostrum would increase NK cell activity and that TLR-2 and TLR-4 blocking would reduce interleukin 6 production by epithelial cells in response to contact stimulation with colostrum. Four-month-old female C57BL/6 mice were supplemented with 1 g of colostrum per kilogram of body weight before and after infection with influenza A virus (H1N1). Animals were assessed for weight loss, splenic NK cell activity, and lung virus titers. Colostrum-supplemented mice demonstrated less reduction in body weight after influenza infection, indicating a less severe infection, increased NK cell cytotoxicity, and less virus burden in the lungs compared with controls. Colostrum supplementation enhanced NK cell cytotoxicity and improved the immune response to primary influenza virus infection in mice. To investigate a potential mechanism, a primary culture of small intestine epithelial cells was then stimulated with colostrum. Direct activation of epithelial cells resulted in increased interleukin 6 production, which was inhibited with TLR-2 and TLR-4 blocking antibodies. The interaction between colostrum and immunity may be dependent, in part, on the interaction of colostrum components with innate receptors at the intestinal epithelium, including TLR-2 and TLR-4.

link to this page:

Jeffrey Dach MD
7450 Griffin Road Suite 190
Davie, Fl 33314

Disclaimer click here:

The reader is advised to discuss the comments on these pages with his/her personal physicians and to only act upon the advice of his/her personal physician. Also note that concerning an answer which appears as an electronically posted question, I am NOT creating a physician — patient relationship. Although identities will remain confidential as much as possible, as I can not control the media, I can not take responsibility for any breaches of confidentiality that may occur.

Copyright (c) 2015 Jeffrey Dach MD All Rights Reserved. This article may be reproduced on the internet without permission, provided there is a link to this page and proper credit is given.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues of significance. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Serving Areas of: Hollywood, Aventura, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Davie, Coral Springs, Cooper City, Sunshine Ranches, Hallandale, Surfside, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Normandy Isles, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Golden Beach ,Kendall,sunrise, coral springs, parkland,pompano, boca raton, palm beach, weston, dania beach, tamarac, oakland park, boynton beach, delray,lake worth,wellington,plantation.