The growth, development and health conditions for children living under deprived conditions in developing countries are so adverse that immediate public health measures to reduce morbidity and improve nutrition are urgently needed. Preventing and shortening the course of diarrhoeal episodes, eliminating protozoal colonization, and balancing intestinal microflora would all contribute to these goals. The consumption by humans of part of the colostrum produced when a dairy animal gives birth is an established tradition in many traditional societies. Recent advances in food technology in industrial dairying allow for continuous availability of stabilized bovine colostrum concentrate, both natural and hyperimmunized against specific human pathogens. This is safe for the calves of the producers themselves, for laboratory animals, and generally for humans, with the caveat of the milk-allergic. Moreover, substantial amounts of orally ingested bovine colostrum concentrate survive their passage through the stomach to remain intact and active in the lower reaches of the bowel. Studies in animals, human volunteers and naturally infected humans have demonstrated a therapeutic efficacy of oral bovine colostrum with certain infections. Similarly, attempts to prevent gastrointestinal infections in animals, exposed volunteers and at-risk populations have met with limited success with specific pathogens. It is time to begin to assess the feasibility and potential effectiveness and efficiency of employing seasonal or chronic bovine colostrum feeding in populations of deprived infantile populations to reduce the rates of recurrent gastroenteritis and decrease immunostimulation to improve vitality and nutritional status in early life.
Solomons NW. Modulation of the immune system and the response against pathogens with bovine colostrum concentrates. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 August Center for Studies of Sensory Impairment, Aging and Metabolism, (CeSSIAM), Guatemala City, Guatemala.