Bovine colostrum contains a variety of essential nutrients, antibodies, cytokines, hormones, and growth factors that are important for nutrient supply, host defense, growth and for general neonatal adaptation. We have investigated the effect of bovine colostrum on the phagocytic activity for latex particles by normal peripheral blood polymorphonuclear leukocytes using flow cytometric analysis. The phagocytosis promoting effect was observed in colostrum. The promoting activity showed dose-dependent increase up to 25% at a concentration of colostrum. This activity was maximum in the colostrum obtained at parturition and gradually decreased with the time course of lactation as well as IgG level. Colostrum possessed the higher promoting activity than milk and normal serum. These results indicate that bovine colostrum strongly activates polymorphonuclear leukocyte phagocytosis, suggesting the concernment with development of nonspecific immune system in newborns.

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