Early in the 20th century scientists noted that antibody level in the first milk produced after birth were much higher than those found in milk produced after 72 hours and prior to the development of sulphur drugs and antibiotics, colostrum was recognised for its natural antibiotic properties. Physician, Albert Sabin who is credited with development of the first polio vaccine had long been an advocate of colostrum use and had in fact originally isolated the first antipolio antibodies from bovine colostrum.
About forty years later Campbell and Peterson, using an orthodox vaccination protection theory, were to develop a programmed whereby cows were immunised with a mixture of attenuated pathogens prior to the birth of their calf. The colostrum collected from these animals was referred to as immune or hyperimmunised. Reasearch conducted on this hyperimmunised milk showed it to be prophylactically and therapeutically sucessful in preventing and treating pathogens capable of causing infections in the intestinal tract ranging from E coli, infant rotovirus, cryptococcidiosis, diarrhoea in AIDS and other immunodeficient patients, dental carie formation and a variety of other conditions.
In 1992 Kummer was the first to demonstrate that colostrum from non immunised cows can prevent gastrointestinal disease in infants. Then in 1998 a study carried out at Otago University in conjunction with the New Zealand Dairy Group demonstrated that it was possible to produce a colostrum from pasture-fed, non-immunised cows that showed greater antibody volume and activity than that of the hyperimmunised variety.
The New Zealand Dairy Industry pioneered the first commercial colostrum collection system. Hundreds of dairy farmers with more that 400 cows invested in separate stainless steel tanks and the companies developed the means by which to collect, pasteurise, dry, and store colostrum in large quantities.
In 1993 from the first batch produced, New Image International pioneered the supply of colostrum to the public with the creation of their product called Lifeline Supplied in powdered form and used to mix a colostrum drink, Lifeline was to become one of the best known and leading colostrum’s in the world.