What is Colostrum – Nutrition, Research and Benefits

What is Colostrum?

Colostrum is a milky fluid of the breast produced by humans, cows and basically mammals before breast milk is released.  Colostrum is nutrient dense and contains high levels of antibodies, immune factors, growth hormones, vitamins, minerals and digestive enzymes.  Colostrum promotes growth, immune and gut health.  Although mammals produce colostrum, supplements are usually made from bovine colostrum.

What’s in Colostrum?

Colostrum is richer in nutrients than your average milk.  It’s actually higher in protein, magnesium, and antioxidant vitamins A, C and E and B-vitamins.  In addition, colostrum is also rich in immune boosting protein compounds including Lactoferrin, Growth Hormone and Growth Factors including Insulin-like growth factors or IGF-1 and IGF-2, as well as Immunoglobulins such as IgA and IgG.

What are the Benefits of Colostrum?

Colostrum may help bolster your immune system, help fight infection and even promote gut health.

Immune Health

Supplementing with bovine colostrum may help strengthen your immune system and help your body fight infection due to the presence of immune boosting compounds such as Immunoglobulin – IgA and IgG.

In one study on 35 distance runners who consumed either bovine colostrum or placebo for 12-weeks, experienced significant 79% increase in IgA.  This research suggests that higher IgA levels may help bolster immunity and enhance the body’s ability to fight URTIs (upper respiratory tract infections) 1.

In a review of double blind, placebo controlled studies; subjects had been randomly allocated to consume 60g/day of concentrate bovine colostrum or whey protein for 8-weeks2.  Studies showed that bovine colostrum enhanced resistance to the on-set and development of URTIs.

Fight Infections

Supplementing with bovine colostrum provides antibodies including Lactoferrin and Immunoglobulins, which can help prevent and treat bacterial and viral infections of the stomach and gut, including E.coli and Shigella dysenteriae.

In one study, 30 healthy adults given 1.2 g per day of bovine colostrum containing antibodies that fight E.coli were 91% less likely to develop traveler’s diarrhea versus those taking placebo3.

Gut Health

Colostrum may stimulate the growth of intestinal cells, strengthen the gut wall and prevent permeability of the intestinal wall.  This is likely due to the presence of growth factors in colostrum.

In one double-blind placebo controlled study, supplementation of 500 mg of bovine colostrum for 20 days in 16 athletes during peak training for competition, evaluated effectiveness for decreasing intestinal permeability4.   After supplementation, those who received colostrum had decreased permeability.

How to Take Colostrum?

If you have an allergy to milk you should stay clear of colostrum.  In addition, you want to be sure that the colostrum you’re consuming is clean and free of hormones.  Be sure to check out the company background to ensure they use 3rd party testing to ensure quality and purity of the colostrum you’re purchasing.

Bovine colostrum is pasteurized, dried and made into a powder.  It can be found in pill, tablet or powder formulations, and can be combined with other ingredients.

There are plenty of colostrum products on the market to choose from, but they’re also super expensive ranging from $50 to $100 per product.  N8Ked Calorie + Shake provides

2.5 grams of patented HIgGH Gold Bovine IHHhColostrumTM providing 1.2 g of Immunoglobulin G (IgG), which is enough colostrum to ensure its benefits.  In fact, for just $6.00 per serving you’ll not only get a full dose of colostrum but also 26 g of Grass Fed Whey, 9 g of MCTs from coconut milk and 2 Billion CFU of patent probiotic.  Go here to get yours!

References:

  1. Crooks CV, et al. The effect of bovine colostrum supplementation on salivary IgA in distance runners.  Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006. 16(1): 47-64.
  2. Brinkworth GD, Buckley JD. Concentrated bovine colostrum protein supplementation reduces the incidence of self-reported symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection in adult males.  Eur J Nutr.  42(4): 228-32.
  3. Otto W, et al. Randomized control trials using a tablet formulation of hyperimmune bovine colostrum to prevent diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic E.coli in volunteers.  Scand J Gastroenterol.    46(7-8): 862-8.
  4. Halasa M, et al.  Oral supplementation with Bovine colostrum decrease intestinal permeability and stool concentrations of zonulin in athletes.  Nutrients. 2017. 9(4): 370.