IDP® comparison with other milk products


IDP, colostrum and lactoferrin are different, but complementary products.  Each of these products come from milk and are immune-enhancing ingredients.  Colostrum is the whole milk from only the first few days after the calf is born.  It is rich in antibodies (IgG) that provide gut health benefits to the young.  It contains some of the IDP® proteins but not at effective levels, since it is only a dried version of the whole colostrum milk.  Lactoferrin is one specific protein found in milk that can be individually isolated from raw milk.  IDP® is also isolated from milk, but by an extraction process which recovers a suite of beneficial proteins including IgG and lactoferrin.  The predominant IDP® proteins are non-antibody proteins that are produced in milk throughout lactation as a defensive shield against infection and inflammation.  IDP® has 400 times more immune defense proteins than colostrum.  Colostrum acts in an indirect way by enhancing gut-level immunity.  IDP® acts in a direct way by killing pathogenic organisms and reducing inflammation more effectively than either colostrum or lactoferrin on their own.  The table below shows a comparison between the composition of colostrum and IDP®.


APS* Whole colostrum


APS Skim colostrum powder Fonterra colostrum




Protein 53.7% 50% 79% 95% minimum
Fat 23.1% 1.7% 1.4% 0
Lactose 16.1% 35.2 9% 0
IgG 19.2% 13.4% 17.3% 10% minimum
Lactoferrin 1.3% 1.1% <1% 45% minimum

* APS BioGroup Phoenix. USA

†  Fonterra, New Zealand


Colostrum is the first milk produced by lactating mammals.  It contains high levels of antibodies (immunoglobulins) that transfer immunity to the new born animal. This is particularly important for calves as cows do not have the ability to transfer antibodies across the placenta and therefore these first meals of colostrum are essential for the health of the infant calf.

The health building properties of colostrum are valued in human health products and there is a growing market for spray dried colostrum powder. Whole colostrum powder usually consists of more than 50% protein, 16% lactose, more than 20% fat and has IgG content between 10 and 16%.  Skimmed colostrum powders have reduced fat content, protein content between 65 and 80% and IgG levels between 15% and 40% (see APS web-site).  The immunoglobulin activity of colostrum is usually measured using Radial Immuno-Diffusion (RID). This measures the reaction of the colostrum with antibodies specific to IgG. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the principal antibody found in colostrum and includes the subclasses IgG1 and IgG2. IgG1 makes up approximately ninety-percent of the total IgG content in colostrum.


Lactoferrin is naturally present in milk and colostrum. The concentration in milk is usually between 0.05 and 0.15 g/litre but has been found up 0.4g/litre.  In colostrum powder the reported level of lactoferrin is about 1%.

The health promoting properties of lactoferrin have long been recognised and lactoferrin is added to infant formula and sport nutrition products (beverages, tablets, capsules and sachets). It has been included in products for oral health and in topical products for skin health. Lactoferrin has also been shown to promote bone growth and to protect against cancer.

IDP® (Immune Defense proteins)

IDP® is manufactured in New Zealand from fresh, pasteurised skim milk.  IDP is more than 95% protein and contains no lactose, fat or casein. The IDP® proteins are recovered from skim milk in a gentle process. The resulting solution is sterilised by filtration, then frozen and freeze-dried to a powder. The complete process requires no heating and preserves the proteins in their most active form.

While lactoferrin accounts for more than 40% of the protein in IDP®, IgG is present at between 10 and 15%.  The combination of these two proteins with all of the other immune defense proteins from milk provides a group of proteins and peptides that have excellent antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and immune-protective functions.

IDP® Anti-microbial Activity

IDP® has wide antimicrobial activity. The table below compares the antimicrobial activity of lactoferrin and IDP® against some of the bacteria, yeasts or fungi that cause skin and oral infections. The MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) is the lowest concentration that will totally inhibit growth of the organism.

IDP® Lactoferrin
mg/ml mg/ml
Bacterial Infections
Staphylococcus aureus 0.2 10
Streptococcus pyogenes 0.1 5
Yeast and Fungal Infections
Malassezia furfur 0.1 2
Candida albicans 0.5 1


IDP® Anti-inflammatory Properties

Tests using activated neutrophils have confirmed (as reported in other research) that lactoferrin has a pro-inflammatory action. The two graphs below compare the inhibition of the release of cytokines (TNF-a and IL-6) from neutrophils. The neutrophils are stimulated with LPS (extract of bacterial cell walls). The bar on the left side of the graph shows the amount of cytokine released when the cells are stimulated with LPS, the overlaid % figures show cytokine inhibition for each given product.  100% inhibition occurs when the drug chloroquine is added before the cells are stimulated with LPS. Both graphs show an even greater amount of cytokine is released (negative inhibition) when lactoferrin is present at 100mg/ml.  IDP® inhibits the release of both TNF-a and Il-6 to a similar level as aspirin or the anti-inflammatory drug voltaren (diclofenac).


IDP®  In Vivo Tests

The safety of the oral consumption of IDP® was confirmed in an in vivo study on twenty healthy volunteers. The subjects were split into placebo and test groups and double-blinded, with the test groups receiving 50 mg IDP® daily for 4 weeks. No negative effects or serious adverse effects were observed in either the IDP® treatment or placebo group.


A number of markers were measured at 7 day intervals during the study including IL-6, TNF-α, high sensitivity C reactive protein (hsCRP), oxidised LDL and WOMAC scores for pain and joint mobility.  The IDP® treatment group had a lower incidence of elevation of anti-inflammatory markers, suggesting an inflammatory protective effect.  In particular, the mean levels of TNF-α and ox‐LDL were consistently lower in the IDP® treatment group.  The only subject with an elevated WOMAC Index Score exhibited reduced pain and stiffness after 3 weeks and 4 weeks of IDP® treatment compared to pre-treatment.


IDP® Antioxidant Properties

IDP® shows similar antioxidant activity to some berry fruits based on the tabulated USDA data on dried foods (US Department of Agriculture


Food TE


cinnamon ground 267500
acai berries 102700
cocoa powder 80900
wild black raspberry 34000
wild blueberry 36000
IDP® 25500
elderberry 24000
goji berry 22000
red raspberry 16000
ginger ground 28800
green pepper 15000