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Processed bovine colostrum milk protein concentrate increases epithelial barrier integrity of Caco-2 cell layers

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 21:45 authored by Rachel AndersonRachel Anderson, Julie DalzielJulie Dalziel, Neill Haggarty, Kelly Dunstan, Pramod Gopal, Nicole Roy
Colostrum plays an important role in initiating the development of the intestinal barrier in newborn mammals. Given its bioactivity, there is much interest in the potential use of bovine colostrum to improve human gastrointestinal health throughout the life span. There is evidence that bovine colostrum is effective at improving small intestinal barrier integrity and some indication that it may alter colonic motility. However, for colostrum to be used as a product to improve intestinal health, it needs to be bioactive after processing. The aim of this study was to determine whether industrial processing of bovine colostrum affects its ability to improve small intestinal barrier integrity or alter distal colon motility. Three colostrum sample types were compared; raw whole colostrum powder (WCP), raw skim colostrum powder (SCP), and industrially produced colostrum milk protein concentrate (CMPC). To determine whether these colostrum powders had different effects on small intestinal barrier integrity, their effects on the transepithelial electrical resistance across an in vitro intestinal epithelial layer (Caco-2 cells) were measured, both with and without a challenge from the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α. These results showed that CMPC enhanced transepithelial electrical resistance across unchallenged epithelial cell layers, whereas the raw colostrum samples, WCP and SCP, did not have an effect. The colostrum samples were also compared to determine how they affect contractility in the distal colon isolated from the rat. Skim colostrum powder was the only sample to act directly on colonic tissue to modulate motility, increasing the amplitude of contractions. The results show that bovine colostrum is able to improve small intestinal barrier integrity and alter colon motility, and they implicate different components. The barrier integrity enhancement was apparent only in the industrial CMPC, which may have been due to the increase in protein concentration or the release of small peptides as a result of processing. The ability to alter colon motility was present in SCP but absent in WCP, again implying that an increase in protein concentration is responsible for the effect. However, this effect was not apparent for the industrially processed CMPC, suggesting denaturation or degradation of the active component. The beneficial effect of colostrum on small intestinal barrier integrity was present after processing, confirming that it is feasible to industrially produce an active product for gut health.


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© American Dairy Science Association®, 2019.


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No



Journal title

Journal of Dairy Science




Anderson, R. C., Dalziel, J. E., Haggarty, N. W., Dunstan, K. E., Gopal, P. K., & Roy, N. C. (2019). Processed bovine colostrum milk protein concentrate increases epithelial barrier integrity of Caco-2 cell layers. Journal of Dairy Science, 102(12), 10772–10778. doi:10.3168/jds.2019-16951


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