FAQ

 

                                         

Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

  1. When should I take Mary's Herbal Garden Nature's Promise 50% IgG colostrum, how much of it should I take, and what time of day should I take it? What kind of healing benefits are there from using colostrum?
  2. What is colostrum and what should it look and taste like?
  3. What  are some of the documented health benefits from using colostrum?
  4. What is the difference between first milking colostrum and transitional colostrum?
  5. What do Ig and IgG mean?
  6. What is the difference between whole, defatted, and filtered colostrum?
  7. What is the difference between water-soluble and insoluble colostrum?
  8. Is fresh-processed (refrigerated) colostrum superior to frozen colostrum?
  9. What colostrum related research has been conducted concerning the prevention of disease and the death of calves?  How does this research relate to choosing a better grade of colostrum?
  10. Can whole colostrum, containing the natural fat, contain a high immunoglobulin content; are the immune and growth factors contained in the natural fat; and is the natural fat content in colostrum necessary for its absorptiion? What is the storage life of whole colostrum with the natural fat content vs. defatted or filtered colostrum?
  11. Are claims for a 6-hour or 12-hour colostrum accurate? What is the best colostrum that I can expect to find on the market? 
  12. What is Transfer Factors™? Is it more effective than colostrum?
  13. Is the colostrum from New Zealand organic? Is it superior to colostrum manufactured in the United States?
  14. Why should I purchase colostrum that is manufactured in the country where I live?
  15. If I am allergic to milk will I react to colostrum? Will I have any cleansing reactions when using colostrum?
  16. What precautions should I take when using colostrum in conjunction with medications and/or prescriptions?
  17. What quality control standards are being met in the production of Mary’s Herbal Garden™ Nature’s Promise™ colostrum?
  18. Why do we avoid using flow agents when encapsulating or bottling our product line?
  19. Why don't we offer our product line in tablet form? What binders of fillers are used when making tablets?
  20. How are the cows/calves that our colostrum is obtained from treated? Are they pasture fed?
  21. How can I know that colostrum in the United States does not contain antibiotics and the feed given to the cattle is free of pesticide contaminates?
  22. What assurance do I have that colostrum in the United States, specifically, Mary's Herbal Garden™ Nature's Promise™ colostrum, is hormone free?
  23. Is there a danger of milk and/or colostrum products from the United States being contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (Johne's, Disease)?
  24. Is there danger of nitrites or nitrates emissions collecting in the colostrum during the drying process?

When should I take Mary's Herbal Garden Nature's Promise 50% IgG colostrum, how much of it should I take, and what time of the day should I take it? What kind of healing benefits are there from using colostrum?

Mary's Herbal Garden Nature's Promise 50% IgG colostrum can be used for better resistance from colds and flu and/or a quicker recovery after exercising. Colostrum is excellent for treatment of H. pylori and/or stomach irritation. If you are dealing with flu-type symptoms, severe colds, inflammation and/or an immune disorder we highly recommend using 50% IgG colostrum. Elements are filtered from our 50% IgG colostrum that could cause allergic reactions. Casein, all traces of milk (including lactose), and all of the fat content are removed. This leaves only the whey type protein which is the only part of colostrum containing the immune factors. The resulting colostrum is rich in protein, containing super-elevated levels of immunoglobulins (Ig), lactoferrin, and IgF-1 to accelerate healing. None of these immune factors are contained in the fat content or casein,

Customers often ask us how many capsules should be taken each day. Dosage always corresponds with the concentration of the colostrum product being used (immunoglobulin or Ig content) and the severity of the illness being treated. We wish to emphasize that more is not always better. Balance is the most important consideration; every individual has his/her own needs that will be distinctly different from those of another. Start by taking just one capsule and, if the required results are obtained, stop there. If greater results are required, increase SLOWLY until the healing benefits occur. If you are using 50% IgG colostrum, one to two capsules are usually plenty; these are very potent products and must be treated with respect. However, in the case of severe illness, more can be used.

If you wish to take colostrum as a powder, the capsule can be opened and the colostrum gently worked out of the capsule. Since colostrum taken as a powder has more contact with the sinuses and mucous membranes, it will facilitate more healing from allergies or sinus problems. Colostrum can be taken orally in several ways, such as dissolving on the tongue, mixing it with yogurt, mixing it with milk kefir, or as a smoothie (colostrum mixed with fruit in the blender). Colostrum is best taken 1/2 to 1 hour before a meal. Make sure there is at least 2 hours after a meal before taking colostrum. Always take colostrum in the morning or early afternoon as it can be very stimulating to some individuals and can cause insomnia if taken close to bedtime.   

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What is colostrum and what should it look and taste like?

Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid produced from a mother's mammary glands during the first 72 hours after giving birth and is considered nature's perfect food. Colostrum contains life-supporting immune and growth factors, is protein rich, and has a perfect combination of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Colostrum is vital to the health, growth, and immunity of the newborn.

All colostrum should be an off-white color and have a very fine texture, unless it is agglomerated (made coarser to dissolve in water) or has high levels of flow agent. High-grade whole colostrum (colostrum containing its natural fat) should have a flavor similar to powdered milk, but more rich and creamy. Although we find it palatable, it can be unpleasant to some individuals. Partially defatted colostrum has a stronger flavor similar to buttermilk. Filtered colostrum has a very flat flavor that is quite unpalatable. Because of its flavor, we only offer it in encapsulated form.

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What are some of the documented health benefits from using colostrum?

According to clinical research and anecdotal evidence, bovine colostrum, ingested in powder form, may be the most potent natural substance to help athletes get the results they want.  Many bodybuilders say that colostrum is the most effective muscle-building agent that they have ever used.

IgF-1 is able to "promote muscle growth by itself", writes Steve Schwade, Associate Editor of Muscle & Fitness, in the May, 1992 issue.  "Bovine colostrum has a higher concentration of IgF-1 than human colostrum", he continues, "and its structure is virtually identical.  Human IgF-1 and bovine IgF-1 differ by only three amino acids in the 67-amino-acid chain that makes up the IgF-1 molecule.  Because of this similarity, bovine IgF-1 is just as potent as the human form".

Schwade also quotes current research showing that colostrum slows protein breakdown, and "... stimulates glucose transport in muscle".  This means that muscles more efficiently use the "fuel" available to them. "The bottom line is that the growth factors (in colostrum) speed protein synthesis and slow protein catabolism (protein breakdown), leading to an increase in lean muscle mass without a corresponding rise in adipose tissue."

Recently, more studies with athletes have been performed.  Writing in Nutrition Science News in May of 1996, Edmund Burke, Ph.D., reports on research involving the Finnish Olympic Ski Team.  "The athletes worked out extremely hard, and their blood creatine-kinase levels were monitored over a seven day period. Creatine-kinase is a critically important muscle-cell enzyme that has been shown to be a marker of muscle-cell damage if detected in the blood.  Thus, when blood creatine levels rise, it is often a sign of significant muscle damage.  Team members who consumed a drink containing colostrum showed roughly one-half the blood creatine-kinase levels four days after acute exercise."  They also said, subjectively, that they were less fatigued, and that their performance seemed to have improved.

In the same article, Burke goes on to say that colostrum also "improves athletic performance through the gut".  Colostrum enhances assimilation of nutrients through the intestines and thus increases the efficiency of carbohydrate and amino acid uptake.  The growth factors in colostrum also help "seal" the gut from ulceration, which reduces the efficiency of uptake of the beneficial properties of colostrum.  Thus, when taking colostrum more of the nutrients from the food you eat can be utilized as fuel for exercise, whether that exercise is of the cardiovascular or muscle-building variety.

Besides it's amazing fitness effects, colostrum contains powerful immune factors (Immunoglobulins, Cytokines, and Interferon) that work to restore potent immune function.  Colostrum also contains PRP (Polyproline-Rich-Peptides), shown in medical studies to help regulate an under-active or over-active immune system, and Lactoferrin, which has been proven in numerous research studies to be potent, broad-spectrum natural antibiotic and anti-viral agent.

Clinical research performed in England in 1980 by Dr. David Tyrell demonstrated that a high percentage of the antibodies and immunoglobulins present in colostrum are not believed to be absorbed, but rather to remain in the intestinal track, where they attack disease causing organisms before they penetrate the body and cause disease.  The remainder is believed to be absorbed and distributed to assist in our internal defense processes.  

The onset of almost all infectious and degenerative disease, including cancer and heart disease, is preceded or accompanied by lowered immune system function.  Studies show that colostrum contains powerful immune factors (Immunoglobulins, Lactoferrin, Cytokines, etc.) that work to restore immune function.

Colostrum also contains PRP (Polyproline-Rich-Peptides), shown in medical studies to help boost an under active immune system.  Colostrum also helps balance the overactive immune system that is frequently present when one has an autoimmune disease -- an illness in which the body actually attacks itself.

^Parts section have been copied by permission of Symbiotics, LLC

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If I am allergic to milk will I react to colostrum? Will I have any cleansing reactions when using colostrum?

Transitional colostrum (colostrum collected from the first to third day) will contain substantial amounts of milk and we do not recommend it for someone with milk allergies. Whole colostrum and partially defatted colostrum, if collected on the first day, will contain very small amounts of milk, which few people will react to. When colostrum is filtered, the fat, casein, and lactose are removed; leaving high protein colostrum saturated with Ig (immunoglobulin) factors (immune factors or antibodies). Filtered colostrum contains only high protein, which is totally free of milk and is safe for use by individuals with milk allergies, provided they are not allergic to the protein molecules.

Some individuals may have cleansing reactions when using bovine colostrum, especially those individuals with allergies. There may be cold-type symptoms lasting one day or longer. Once the body flushes the toxins, the cleansing often stops and relief can be obtained from symptoms that have been problematic for years. Below is the experience of one of our customers:

"I don't get sinus infections anymore, and I mean NONE AT ALL. Several months ago, I went through what I believed to be was a "detoxification" of my sinus passages. I'll spare you the gruesome detains, but suffice it to say, awful things began to come out of my nose -- I carried a box of tissue with me wherever I went. This continued for about three weeks, and when it was over, my sinus passages were clear and have been ever since. It's wonderful to be able to breathe through both sides of my nose -- before one or the other was almost always stopped up."

Pamela Carlucci

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What is the difference between first milking colostrum and transitional colostrum?

The majority of colostrum sold on the market is transitional colostrum. Transitional colostrum is colostrum that is harvested 2 to 3 days after birth. During this phase colostrum gradually changes into milk until the 72nd hour, when it is proclaimed to be milk by the health department. Thus, in purchasing 48 to 60 hour colostrum you might be purchasing as much as 50% or more milk. This results in elevated levels of lactose (milk sugar) that can trigger allergic reactions in those individuals who are lactose intolerant. When colostrum moves into the transitional phase, beneficial factors, such as immune and growth factors, are diluted. Transitional colostrum is often denatured when lactase (an enzyme that aids in the digestion of milk) is added to neutralize lactose.

The first colostrum milking contains the richest and highest levels of immune factors and growth factors. To obtain superior, "first milking" colostrum, a company should not use any milkings from the 2nd or 3rd day in their products. Some companies will claim a first milking colostrum when they have obtained colostrum from the first day and added colostrum from the second and third day to it.

Examples of "First Milking" Colostrum:

 Mary’s Herbal Garden Nature's Promise 50% IgG Colostrum
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What do Ig and IgG mean?

Ig is an abbreviation for immunoglobulin (antibody). Five types of immunoglobulins are present in colostrum, specifically IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, & IgM. A quick harvest ensures the highest levels of immunoglobulins and other immune factors. These energizing elements in colostrum have been scientifically proven to be anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory in nature, thereby giving a healthy boost to the immune system when consumed.

Lab tests on the colostrum products that we sell either measure the total immunoglobulin percentage (IgA, IgD, IgE, IgM, and IgG) or just measure the IgG percentage. A lab test that measures the total Ig percentage will generally run 2% to 3% higher than a test for just the IgG percentage because the total includes all of the Ig factors. Many labs measure just the IgG content, feeling that the tests are more accurate because the highest and most predominant Ig factor in colostrum is IgG.

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What is the difference between whole, defatted, and filtered colostrum?

Whole colostrum contains the natural fat, which includes fat-soluble vitamins. Most "first milking", whole colostrum has a 15 to 20% IgG content. 

Defatted colostrum has part or all of the fat content removed. This raises the immune factors, including the Ig and IgG content, and protects the colostrum from becoming rancid if exposed to heat. It has approximately a 30% IgG content

When whole colostrum is filtered, elements are removed that could cause allergic reactions. Casein, all traces of milk (including lactose), and all of the fat content is removed from the filtered colostrum that we sell. The resulting colostrum is rich in protein, containing super-elevated levels of immunoglobulins (Ig). Filtered colostrum products are very potent, containing 40% or higher immunoglobulins and are intended for the treatment of flu-type symptoms, severe colds, inflammation, and immune system disorders.  

Example:

 Marys Herbal Garden Nature’s Promise 50% IgG capsules
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What is the difference between water-soluble and insoluble colostrum?

Colostrum in its natural state is a very fine powder that is insoluble and will float on the top of any liquid it is placed in. This does not in any way affect its digestibility or absorption.

Water-soluble colostrum powder is agglomerated. This process changes the fine colostrum powder into small granules, making it water dispersible so it can be mixed with fluids. 

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Is fresh-processed (refrigerated) colostrum superior to frozen colostrum?

"Research conducted at the University of California, Davis (P. Jardon, personal communication) showed that colostrum left at room temperature for any period of time, the growth of bacteria in the colostrum was phenomenal. Within six hours, the number of bacteria in colostrum exceeded 10 million per milliliter. These bacteria can markedly affect the health of the calf." (Calf Notes™ - Delays in colostrum feeding - effects on bacterial load, by Dr. Jim Quigley)

At Virginia Tech, researchers introduced bacteria into the newborn calf’s intestine during its first 24 hours of life, resulting in a reduction of the absorption of IgG. Bacteria and colostral IgG competed for binding sites. Bacteria may be absorbed directly into the blood, resulting in septicemia, or infect the calves with disease-causing pathogens. (James, R.E., C. E. Polan, and K. A. Cummins. 1981. Influence of administered indigenous microorganisms on uptake of globulin in vivo by intestinal segments of neonatal calves. J. Dairy Sci. 64:52)

Research we have obtained from universities and veterinary schools have repeatedly emphasized the use of frozen colostrum for the prevention of death and disease in calves (see research articles above and below). This research has shown frozen colostrum to be as effective for the treatment of disease as refrigerated colostrum and that frozen colostrum does not have the possibility of contamination and bacterial growth.

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What colostrum related research has been conducted concerning the prevention of disease and the death of calves?  How does this research relate to choosing a better grade of colostrum?

"Dairy calves are born without antibodies to protect them from diseases. At birth, the cow passes these antibodies to her calf via the colostrum. The colostrum contains the antibodies in the form of immunoglobulins (Ig) which provide the overall disease resistance of the calf. Colostrum, especially the first milking colostrum, contains large quantities of the protective antibodies or Igs. Adequate and timely consumption of colostrum by the calf is the key factor that controls early calfhood diseases and death loss." (John H. Kirk, DVM, MPVM, Veterinary Medicine Extension, University of California, Davis)

Research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has revealed that "Antibody concentration is highest in first milking colostrum. The rapid fall in colostral antibody concentration after calving and during subsequent milking is well recognized." (Colostrum Quality and Absorption in Baby Calves, 1990)

According to the UK National Agricultural Center Calf Unit, when colostrum from a mother cow does not have an adequate antibody concentration, one is supposed to "feed the newborn calf frozen colostrum saved from another cow. Most cows’ produce more colostrum than needed by their calf. Only first-milking colostrum from older cows should be saved. Generally, the colostrum from older cows will have a higher level of immunoglobulin than that of first calf heifers. The colostrum should be thick like freshly melted ice cream. The thicker it is, the higher the immunoglobulin in content."

"In addition to the Igs which colostrum provides, it is rich in vitamins and concentrated in nutrients which the calf can use to get off to a good start. If colostrum if frozen for later use, it should be thawed slowly. Overheating colostrum during thawing (more than 130F) will destroy the Igs." (John H. Kirk, DVM, MPVM, Veterinary Medicine Extension, University of California, Davis)

"Colostrum can be frozen and stored for later use. Colostrum can be taken from cows that lose their calves. Some cows may have low antibody levels in their colostrum while other have high levels, therefore it is better to mix colostrum from several cows before freezing it to ensure a good quality of colostrum." (Why is Colostrum Important? by Melissa Tate, VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech)

"Many studies have shown that if dairy calves receive too few Ig (particularly IgG) from colostrum, they are at a much greater risk of disease and death than calves that receive colostrum right after birth." ("Calf Notes™ - Using Colostral Supplements" by Dr. Jim Quigley)

Summary:

1. Only first milking colostrum with higher concentrations of immunoglobulins is effective in preventing disease and the death of the calf.

2. Colostrum from older cows (cows that have calved several times) contains more immune and growth factors and a higher Ig content than colostrum from young cows calving for the first time.

3. Blending the immune factors of many cows from a large herd or from several herds increases the anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties of the resulting colostrum.

4. If colostrum cannot be refrigerated immediately and processed quickly, freezing is recommended to avoid bacterial contamination. The presence of bacteria can cause illness, death, and affect the absorption of Ig content.

5. Freezing does not destroy the immune properties of colostrum or its quality, however overheating colostrum can destroy the immunoglobulin (Ig) content.

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Can whole colostrum, containing the natural fat, contain a high immunoglobulin content; are the immune and growth factors contained in the natural fat; and is the natural fat content in colostrum necessary for its absorption? What is the storage life of whole colostrum with the natural fat content vs. defatted or filtered colostrum?

Whole colostrum, if it is a one-day colostrum, usually has a 20% immunoglobulin (Ig) content. There are many brands of whole colostrum on the market that have an 8% to 15% Ig content. Usually the only way the immunoglobulin content can be increased beyond 20% Ig is to remove all or some of the fat content, filter the colostrum (remove the fat, lactose, & casein), or to add defatted or filtered colostrum with a higher Ig content to the whole, unaltered colostrum, blending the two different types of colostrum together.

The immune and growth factors in colostrum are not contained in the natural fat. Again, many companies are making this claim, but it is entirely false. Information collected from dairies, universities, lab technicians, and veterinarians pointed to the fact that all of the immunoglobulin, IgF-1, lactoferrin, cytokines, polypeptides, transfer factors, etc. are contained in the protein portion of the colostrum. The natural fat does, however, contain lipoproteins, CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), sphingomyelin, butyric acid, ether lipids, beta carotene, and vitamins A and D. The advantages and benefits of a low fat or filtered colostrum result from raised or increased immune factors. When deciding which product to use, you should ask yourself whether you are more interested in nutritionals and are willing to sacrifice raised immune factors (whole colostrum) or whether you are more interested in raised immune factors and are willing to sacrifice some of the nutritionals (low-fat or filtered colostrum).

Contrary to a great deal of advertising literature, and verbal feedback from various companies, that states that the fat content in colostrum is necessary for the absorption of its immune factors, research and customer feedback have indicated that this is inaccurate. In actuality, our customers have found partially defatted colostrum and filtered colostrum to be very beneficial, yielding excellent results due to the raised Ig content, lactoferrin, IgF-1, and other immune factors.

Whole colostrum with the natural fat content will keep approximately one year and can become rancid when exposed to heat. Low fat colostrum and filtered colostrum have a shelf life of three years or more. 

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Are claims for 6-hour or 12-hour colostrum accurate? What is the best colostrum that I can expect to find on the market?

Although many companies claim to have 6-hour or 12-hour colostrum, 6-hour and 12-hour colostrum does not really exist. It is impossible for dairies to consistently collect colostrum within six to twelve hours after the birth of the calf. Strict schedules only allow for milk and/or colostrum collection during certain times of the day and collecting colostrum at odd hours of the day and night is not cost effective. If a cow calves after the last milking during the late evening or night, then the colostrum collected the next day will go beyond the six to twelve hour collection. Indeed, court proceedings have resulted from such claims, which determined that literature and advertising claiming a 6-hour colostrum must be changed to first milking.

The best grade of colostrum on the market is known as a first milking colostrum or one-day colostrum and is collected any time within 24 hours after the birth of the calf.

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What is Transfer Factors? Is it more effective than colostrum?

Some companies filter the whey portion of the colostrum protein even further to a colloidal-type solution, which contain cytokines and peptides (also known as "Infopeptides"), claiming that this is the only portion of the colostrum that is "intelligent" or that works. Moreover, some literature is claiming that "three 200mg capsules of concentrated Transfer Factor from 4Life Research is equal to 90 500mg capsules of colostrum." We would counter with the question, "What kind of colostrum?" Healing benefits in colostrum correspond to the potency of the product or total antibodies (immunoglobulins). Few benefits will result from colostrum that has 8 to 10 % immunoglobulin content (transitional colostrum). However, if the colostrum has a 30 to 50% immunoglobulin content (standardized, first milking colostrum), the potency is sufficient to obtain excellent results. In the higher potency (50% IgG), often only one capsule is required per day and, at the most, four capsules for very severe symptoms.

Although the above products are beneficial, we still hold to the more traditional form of colostrum that contains the cytokines and peptides found in Transfer Factors as well as all of the general immune factors, such as immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, and IgF-1. From our own use and customer feedback, we have found our colostrum products every bit as effective (if not more effective) than Transfer Factors and and definitely more economical.

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Is the colostrum from New Zealand organic? Is it superior to colostrum manufactured in the United States?

The soil in New Zealand has levels of DDT/DDE which can contaminate the feed and thereby contaminate the cattle. Constant tests must be taken to measure DDT/DDE levels in the milk, and cattle with high DDT levels must be quarantined. Below are some links about this issue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT_in_New_Zealand

Please scroll down to Organic vs. Non-Organic on this link

http://www.frot.co.nz/dietnet/basics/milk.htm

Because the processing plant in New Zealand is a very large facility, it is not equipped to process smaller batches of colostrum. Colostrum is collected any time between 1 to 3 days and contains high levels of milk and corresponding lowered Ig (immunoglobulin) levels. 

DDT/DDE contamination is not a problem in the United States and excellent one day colostrum can be obtained with raised Ig levels ranging between 20 to 50% Ig.

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Why should I purchase colostrum that is manufactured in the country where I live?

Mary's Herbal Garden Nature's Promise comes from the United States. We feel that when using colostrum, if possible, it should be collected from the country in which one lives. For example, if the cattle are in the United States we feel that they will carry resistant factors to the viruses and bacteria that exist in the United States.

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If I am allergic to milk will I react to colostrum? Will I have any cleansing reactions when using colostrum?

Transitional colostrum (colostrum collected from the first to third day) will contain substantial amounts of milk and we do not recommend it for someone with milk allergies. Even when colostrum is collected on the first day it will contain small amounts of milk and casein which people with milk allergies will react to. When our 50% IgG colostrum is filtered, the fat, casein, and lactose are removed; leaving high protein colostrum saturated with Ig (immunoglobulin) factors (immune factors or antibodies). Filtered colostrum contains only high protein, which is totally free of milk and is safe for use by individuals with milk allergies, provided they are not allergic to the protein molecules.

Some individuals may have cleansing reactions when using bovine colostrum, especially those individuals with allergies. There may be cold-type symptoms lasting one day or longer. Once the body flushes the toxins, the cleansing often stops and relief can be obtained from symptoms that have been problematic for years. Below is the experience of one of our customers:

"I don't get sinus infections anymore, and I mean NONE AT ALL. Several months ago, I went through what I believed to be was a "detoxification" of my sinus passages. I'll spare you the gruesome detains, but suffice it to say, awful things began to come out of my nose -- I carried a box of tissue with me wherever I went. This continued for about three weeks, and when it was over, my sinus passages were clear and have been ever since. It's wonderful to be able to breathe through both sides of my nose -- before one or the other was almost always stopped up."

Pamela Carlucci

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What precautions should I take when using colostrum in conjunction with medications and/or prescriptions?

When using colostrum, wait least two hours before or after taking any medication or prescription. Any person using medications needs to closely monitor their dosage with their physician. In some cases, when the health of the individual improves, medications correspondingly need to be reduced. If prescriptions are not closely monitored there could be the possibility of overdosing.

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What quality control standards are being met in the production of Mary’s Herbal Garden Nature’s Promise colostrum?

Only the highest standards are accepted for the processing and packaging of our colostrum. Two USDA registered establishment licenses for the preparation of veterinary pharmaceutical products (biologic products) are maintained by the facility that processes our colostrum. To qualify to sell pharmaceutical products, it is required by law to prove them (in this case colostrum) to be bioactive and beneficial by conducting clinical trials. However, the USDA has no set standards for the processing of colostrum for human consumption. As a result, the need to regulate the quality of our colostrum was seen, and standards were set, in conjunction with the state in which our colostrum is processed, for the regulation of colostrum for human consumption as a dietary supplement. The colostrum that we offer is subject to regular state inspections. Every batch of our colostrum is sent to a quality control laboratory to be tested for the presence of any bacteria and/or antibiotics. In addition, the pH, gravity, and total solids content are measured to assure superior colostrum. Our colostrum products are triple tested so that we can guarantee their IgG content, and thereby offer one of the truly standardized colostrum products on the market.

All of the colostrum collected and processed for our product line follows HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point), meeting the requirements stated in Annex 5 of the U.S. Food Code.  Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) guidelines are also applied according to U.S. code 21-CFR 110. In addition, our colostrum is regulated under the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulation - DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act).

To ensure that our colostrum contains a wide range of immune-factors, it is collected from numerous dairy farms in the United States. We employ smaller dairies, where the cattle are pasture fed and supplemented, when necessary, to maintain their health. The cattle that supply our colostrum are not in enclosed shelters with concrete slabs.

The colostrum used in our product line comes only from Grade A dairies that conform to strict collection protocols. Sanitized, single use containers are used for all of the colostrum collected and, once filled, these containers are immediately frozen in order to maintain the integrity and activity of the product. Any surface that the colostrum comes in contact with is cleaned and sanitized. Those involved with the collection of colostrum are trained technicians.

Nature's Promise colostrum products are dried using a proprietary low-heat process to ensure biological activity. The dryers employ a Low NOx burner with indirect heat. Lab tests have shown our products to be nitrate free.

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Why do we avoid using flow agents when encapsulating or bottling our product line?

Flow agents, such as magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, rice flour, and/or other starch based ingredients, are usually used during the encapsulation process to help the material flow into the capsule and/or bottle. Many legitimate companies use flow agents in their products, which can be necessary, particularly when using a high-speed encapsulation machine. However, some disreputable packaging companies will increase the amount of flow agent used and, in so doing, they increase the number of bottles filled, which results in higher profits. Manufacturers will sometimes make the situation worse by using large amounts of flow agent(s) in their products because the flow agent is very inexpensive in comparison to the price of nutritional being sold. Thus, once again, more bottles are filled with a diluted product and profits are increased. Some products can contain anywhere from 25% to 50% flow agent. We recommend running the any colostrum product that you purchase through your fingers; if the texture is grainy, then you can be assured that it contains high levels of flow agent, since colostrum is normally a fine powder.

Because high-grade colostrum is a very fine powder and has a natural moisture content, it does not flow easily and will cling to the side of any container or capsule it comes in contact with. Few encapsulation plants have the expertise, skill, and/or machinery needed to encapsulate colostrum without the use of a flow agent. The packaging plant we employ does not use any flow agents in the encapsulation or bottling of our product line, so our customers can be assured of purchasing 100% pure colostrum.

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Why we don't offer our product line in tablet form? What binders or filler are used when making tablets?

Most tablets contain binders and fillers to hold the tablet together. Because colostrum powder does not easily compress into a solid tablet, more binders and sucrose and/or fructose are required. Some of the common binders and/or fillers used are magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, starch, modified cellulose gum, acacia gum, sorbital, sugar, fructose, lactose, flavorings, colloidal silicon dioxide, stearic acid (which can be animal or vegetable in origin) and, sometimes, cochineal (shellac), an insect derivative used to create a shiny coating. Even though the label may state that the product is "hypoallergenic" or free from potential allergens, the above ingredients are approved as food additives and their use as raw materials in the manufacturing process is allowed. As a result, most nutritional supplements, especially tablets, contain one or more of these ingredients. Many companies are not even aware that these ingredients are added to their products during the manufacturing process. Not only do these additives create the potential for allergenic reactions or sensitivity, but they can also affect the absorption and digestion of the nutritional or supplement. In addition, they are of no benefit to a healthy individual.

To make matters worse, heat and pressure are required to press the product into a tablet, which further breaks down the vitality of the product. Better quality tablets are cold and soft-pressed, however, even when they are "cold-pressed," some heat and pressure is required to form the tablets. To test how well a tablet will be absorbed, try to break it into two pieces by holding each end; it should break easily or crumble.

Furthermore, tablets will generally cost more money to ship, due to a greater shipping weight, and contain fewer milligrams of the nutritional per tablet, due to the addition of the binders, fillers, sweeteners, and flavorings mentioned above.

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How are the cows/calves that our colostrum is obtained from treated? Are they pasture fed?

Many customers have called us, concerned about the treatment of the calves and cows after birth. Their concern is that some dairies that sell colostrum kill the calf after birth, sell the calf for meat, and milk the mother to get the "maximum" amount of colostrum. Then, as soon as possible, the mother is bred again. In truth, the abuse described creates more waste than profit and reputable dairies do not employ such tactics.

Fortunately the dairies that supply us with colostrum consider each calf a precious commodity. The calves are given the first milking (colostrum) until they are completely satiated. Actually, dairy cows product copious amounts of colostrum after birthing, which supplies the need of the calf and leaves plenty left over for human consumption. The dairies which supply our colostrum collect only the excess colostrum after the calves' needs are met. The calves are raised to maturity, and as adults become additions to the dairy, thus increasing the size of the herd, and the amount of milk and colostrum produced.

The dairies that supply the colostrum for Mary’s Herbal Garden operate under some of the highest standards in the United States. Their cattle are pasture fed and supplemented with silage, grain, and vitamin and minerals. Cattle that are lactating and /or birthing have special needs. Pasture alone is generally not enough to meet the demands posed when constantly producing milk; supplementation and grain are often needed to maintain the health of the herd.

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How can I know that colostrum in the United States does not contain antibiotics and the feed given to the cattle is free of pesticide contaminates?

All dairy cattle feed in the United States is tightly monitored for any pesticide contamination. However, pesticide contaminated feed could be a problem outside of the United States. Any antibiotic usage is also tightly monitored. According to state law, every U.S. milk product approved for food or supplement use must be antibiotic free, which includes colostrum.

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What assurance do I have that colostrum in the United States, specifically, Mary's Herbal Garden Nature's Promise colostrum, is hormone free?

RBST, bovine recombinant SomatoTropin, is used by some dairies to increase milk production. However, it is never administered until 60 days after the birth of the calf and it only stays active in the cow for a few days. There is no way to test for RBST because it is impossible to distinguish between natural hormones and artificial hormones. You will not find RBST in colostrum unless the colostrum is blended with milk (i.e. transitional colostrum). Unfortunately, some companies do market transitional colostrum that is blended with milk. Colostrum that is harvested the first 24 hours (first milking) will not contain any RBST. The dairies that we employ for the manufacturing of our product line (Mary's Herbal Garden Nature's Promise) have agreed to not use the hormone RBST.

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Is there a danger of milk and/or colostrum products from the United States being contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (Johne's, Disease)?

There has been concern over BSE spreading to the United States and the possibility humans contracting Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD) disease from the consumption of contaminated beef products. Recent literature points to the fact that the infection of cattle with this disease occurred from feeding cattle scrapie-containing sheep meat-and-bone meal in the form of contaminated processed feed. "Because the use of ruminant tissue in feed was probably a necessary factor responsible for the BSE outbreak in the United Kingdom, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration instituted a ruminant feed ban in June 1997 that became fully effective as of October 1997."

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/cjd/bse_cjd_qa.htm

"From 1986 through August 2000, >99% of the cases of BSE reported were from the United Kingdom, but endemic cases of BSE were also reported in other European countries, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, and Switzerland. December 2003 one case of BSE was reported in the United States.

To reduce the possible current risk of acquiring CJD from food, travelers to Europe may wish to consider either: (1) avoiding beef and beef products altogether or (2) selecting beef or beef products, such as solid pieces of muscle meat (versus beef products such as burgers and sausages), that might have a reduced opportunity for contamination with tissues that might harbor the BSE agent. Milk and milk products from cows are not believed to pose any risk for transmitting the BSE agent."

Please be assured that BSE is not transmissible through lacteal secretions (colostrum / milk / milk products). There is not scientific research or even theory to even suggest the possibility that this disease can be transmitted into dairy product. The UK outbreak saw numerous government agencies and universities conducting studies that cleared lacteal secretions from being possible vectors for BSE transmission. 

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/cjd/bse_cjd.htm

Our colostrum (Mary's Herbal Garden™ Nature's Promise™) products have been assayed for Mycobacterium paratuberculosis for several years and have never tested positive for the presence of this disease. This is due to the excellent U.S., Grade A dairies we collect from and the consistency of the proprietary pasteurization procedure utilized.

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Is there danger of nitrites or nitrates emissions collecting in the colostrum during the drying process?

Contrary to recent literature there is no danger of nitrite or nitrate emissions collecting in the colostrum during the drying process from using gas dryers, nor are electric dryers superior to gas dryers. Nitrate contamination occurs only from the use of cleaners that contain nitrates, not from the drying process. No nitrate cleaners are used in the collection, processing, or packaging our products. Foreign countries use electric dryers because gas is not accessible to their companies. The "superiority" of electric dryers to gas dryers was a scare tactic used by certain retailers to promote their product line and boost sales. The claim that the United States manufacturers are using old outdated technology to process their colostrum/and or milk is entirely false. In truth, foreign countries studied the management of dairies from the United States to boost their economy and their technology is adopted from the United States. The colostrum collected and used in our product line is dried by the latest technology in gas fired burner systems, which use indirect heat (the product does not pass directly over the burner flame) to dry the colostrum. Nitrites are not a by-product of this proprietary, low-heat spray drying process.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Copyright © 2000 Mary's Herbal Garden. All rights reserved.
Revised: August 01, 2014 .

 

 

 

 

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