How is colostrum different from normal milk?

We all know that bovine colostrum is a superfood. The benefits of colostrum are countless, and this lends itself to huge demand among consumers. Colostrum cannot be substituted by regular milk, because of its unique composition and high nutrition. Colostrum supplements can be found in the form of colostrum powders, colostrum tablets, and colostrum capsules. 

But have you ever wondered how colostrum has so many health benefits? Or how it differs from ordinary milk? Well, we’ve answered these questions for you. Read on to find out about how colostrum is different from your regular milk. 

Difference in Source

Colostrum is a thick, whitish-yellow coloured milk, secreted by mammals after they give birth. This milk is the first milk that newborns receive after birth. For the first few hours, the colostrum produced is extremely dense and packed with nutrition. It’s also produced in very small quantities. This colostrum acts as a building block and strengthens the newborn’s digestive system and immune system. 

Colostrum produced during the first 12 hours, or “first milking”, is considered the best. Since the newborn calf can consume this colostrum in small quantities, the remaining colostrum is used to produce health supplements. Over the next 48 hours, colostrum is produced and milked. After the next two to four days, colostrum transforms into “transitional milk”. This transitional milk is cream-coloured, and it’s produced in a large quantity, but it no longer retains the nutrition present in colostrum.

After about two weeks, transitional milk transforms completely into mature milk. This mature milk, also known to us as the “regular milk” is whiter, thinner, and clearer. This milk is also nutritious, but it no longer contains the benefits of concentrated colostrum. This “regular” milk may continue to be produced months, or even years after the newborn is born and is produced according to the demand of the infant.

Difference in Composition 

The composition is perhaps the most significant point of difference between colostrum and regular milk. 

Colostrum has a very high concentration of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It also contains some amount of fat and very little sugar. The priority of colostrum is to deliver essential nutrients like lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, and IGF (Insulin-like growth factors) which will help newborns to develop immunity and aid in the digestion of food. 

As opposed to this, mature milk has a different role to play. This milk contains proteins, but also fats and lactose in copious quantities. This is to ensure that newborns get energy and they gain weight essential for growth. Milk also has both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. 

Difference in Benefits 

Colostrum and its supplements have numerous benefits. Colostrum plays a major role in maintaining a healthy gut. In infants and adults, colostrum coats the inner linings of the intestinal tract, thus protecting it from inflammation and infections. This is also the reason why colostrum supplements have proven effective in treating conditions like indigestion, inflammation, or the leaky gut.

It is also a natural vaccine because it is enriched with antibodies and immunoglobulins that are passed down from the parents. These nutrients provide passive immunity and protect you from bacteria and viruses in your immediate surroundings. Colostrum helps to build lean mass, as it has nutrition without significant fats or lactose. Colostrum boosts energy, improves vitality, and even promotes healing and de-ageing. 

Regular milk is good for an individual’s overall health. For babies, milk is their only food, and it gives them strength and energy. Milk also helps to reduce infections and diseases and is good for enhancing natural sleep. However, when you compare the two, you’ll find that Colostrum has many specific health benefits that cannot be found in any other dairy product, including milk. 

Difference in Availability 

Bovine colostrum is widely available in the market in the form of colostrum supplements. These supplements can be in the form of powders, tablets, or capsules. Consuming colostrum is as simple as taking a spoonful of colostrum powder and mixing it in a glass of water. Owing to an increase in demand, many verified Pharmaceutical companies collect raw colostrum straight from the farms. They then process this raw colostrum at sub-zero temperatures, pasteurize it and make it fit for human consumption.

Milk is even easier to find. Fresh milk can be found at farms that own cattle and milk them in the morning. Milk doesn’t require sub-zero temperatures, although it still must be processed in a cool place. Milk is often consumed raw or after giving it a couple of boils. Processed milk is also available, in the form of milk powder and milk solids.  


Source, composition, benefits, and availability are the major points of difference between colostrum and regular milk. Both of these liquids are very different from each other, even though they are both produced by mammals. For better health benefits, we would recommend you to incorporate colostrum into your regular diet. 

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