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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.

7 Healthy Benefits of Using Probiotics

Probiotics are the ‘good’ live bacteria that can help keep your gut healthy.  These probiotics can be consumed via fermented foods, yoghurt or via supplementation.  Most probiotic supplements come from either Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium.  Probiotics promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which is essential to digestive health and even immune health, but that’s not all.  Here is an overview of the 7 health benefits of probiotics and how to take them!

  1. Help Boost Your Immune Function

Probiotics encourage the growth of ‘good’ bacteria; this helps keep the ‘bad’ – harmful gut bacteria from over taking your gut. The ‘good’ bacteria help encourage the production of immune cells and natural anti-bodies that can bolster your immune function.  In fact, 70% of the immune system is located in the gut.

Studies have showed that probiotics can regulate the functions of systemic, mucosal immune cells and epithelial cells and this could be therapeutic for immune response related diseases.  This regulation is most likely gene-specific and dependent on the probiotic and targeted cells1.

In studies in athletes, that may have compromised immune status due to high training loads, probiotics supplementation during intense training helped reduce the incidence of infection, particularly from URTI (upper respiratory tract infection).  Additionally, positive changes in circulating immune markers were evident2.

  1. Help Change Body Composition and Increase Fat Loss

Probiotics may also assist in modulating body composition.  Probiotic supplementation, both with and without weight training, can decrease levels of body weight and fat mass in overweight individuals and athletes.  A review on the effects of probiotic supplementation on body weight, body mass index, fat mass and fat percentage.  The review showed that supplementation of probiotics resulted in a significantly larger reduction in body weight, BMI and fat percentage compared to placebo3.

The method by which probiotics exert this action could be due to different mechanisms, but also the type of bacteria.  Probiotics may work on different hormones and neurotransmitters related to appetite, or calorie burning, while other probiotics may work by increasing excretion of fat by the gut.

In one study, dieting women who took Lactobacillus rhamnosus for 3 months lost 50% more weight than women who didn’t take a probiotic4.  Another 12-week, study of 210 people showed that those taking low doses of Lactobacillus gasseri had an 8.5% decrease in abdominal fat5.

  1. Improve Athletic Performance

Research indicates that probiotic supplementation can promote improvements in exercise performance through various pathways.  Supplementation with multiple strains of probiotics has been reported to increase VO2 max, aerobic power, training load and time to exhaustion.  Although the exact mechanism is not known, it’s suggested that probiotics may enable better performance by reducing the risk of infections and supporting the immune response during and after exercise.

Another mechanism could be through tryptophan regulation.  Higher tryptophan levels may enhance tryptophan transport into the brain, supporting serotonin metabolism and thus improving mood and reducing sensation of fatigue.

As for weight training, probiotic supplementation when added to a protein supplement expedited recovery and decreased muscle soreness.  This was evident by lowering serum TNF-alpha concentrations; a factor linked to suppressed protein synthesis, disordered sleep and impaired muscle performance6.

  1. Help Keep Your Heart Healthy

Probiotics may help keep your heart healthy by decreasing bad cholesterol or LDL and increasing good cholesterol or HDL.  It was shown that probiotics create acids as they process food in the gut that counter cholesterol production.

Probiotics break down liver bile acids, which are mostly made up of cholesterol.  The result, the liver has to make more bile acids, using up more cholesterol in the process and preventing re-absorption in the gut, where it can enter the bloodstream7. Probiotics have also been shown to break down cholesterol and use it as fuel.

A meta analysis of 32 randomized controlled trials of 1971 patients showed that supplementation with probiotics including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium significantly reduced serum total cholesterol8.

  1. Help Improve Mood

Probiotics may also help improve mood via a few different mechanisms of the central nervous system.  Probiotics can alter the CNS biochemistry such as affecting Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), Gama Butyric Acid (GABA), 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), and Dopamine, which all influence mood and behavior9.

Probiotics help balance the gut micro-biome, which helps influence the production of specific metabolites that improves CNS function indirectly, and thus can promote improvement in mood, promote relaxation and decrease feelings associated with stress.

In one randomized double blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted on 70 individuals.  After 6-weeks of intervention, using either probiotic yoghurt or probiotic capsules, there was a significant improvement in mental health parameters10.

  1. Help Reduce Symptoms of IBS

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a gastrointestinal disorder that is directly affected by its gut micro-biome.  Probiotics are thought to improve IBS symptoms such as bloating and abdominal pain by balancing out gut bacteria.

In an analysis of 7 studies, supplementation with probiotics in IBS patients significantly improved symptoms compared to placebo.  Overall, the beneficial effects were more distinct in the trials using multi-strain supplements with an intervention of 8-weeks or more, suggesting that multi-strain probiotics used over a longer period of time have the potential to improve symptoms of IBS11.

  1. Help Reduce Allergies

Probiotics may help reduce the incidence and severity of allergic reactions, although the mechanisms are not completely understood.

Recent studies suggest that probiotic supplements demonstrate the capability to successfully modulate allergies. In humans, effects have been reported for alleviation of intestinal inflammation, normalization of gut mucosal dysfunction, and down-regulation of hypersensitivity reactions, thereby preferentially targeting allergic conditions with intestinal involvement12.

The probiotic performance of strains differs; each probiotic strain is a unique organism itself with specific properties. It’s most likely that many strains of probiotics would be required to elicit a positive effect on allergies.  Results seem to be determined by the diet of the individual, the age and the strain of the probiotics used.

How to Take Probiotics:

Consider upping your intake of foods that contain probiotics or ‘live good bacteria’ such as cultures found in dairy products like yoghurt or Kefir in fermented foods like pickled vegetables, cabbage or sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and even soy products.

Another option – take a supplement in the form of a capsule or powder.  Just be sure you’re getting what you pay for.  Make sure the probiotics are heat stable and are cold stored.  Be sure to read the label.  You also want to be sure that the product you choose provide the dose you need – at least 1 Billion CFU (colony-forming units) per serving/day.

Want to make your life easier?  Consider using N8KED Calorie + Shake, which delivers the patented probiotic Ganeden BC30 delivering 2 Billion CFU per serving!  Plus 26 g of clean grass fed whey protein isolate.

References:

  1. Yan F, Polk DB. Probiotics and Immune Health.  Curr Opin Gastroenterol.    27(6): 496-501.
  2. ISSN Position Stand: Probiotics. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2019. 16: 62.
  3. Borgeraas H, et al. Effects of probiotics on body weight, body mass index, fat mass and fat percentage in subjects with overweight or obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.  Etiol Patho.
  4. Sanchez M, et al. Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 supplementation on weight loss and maintenance in obese men and women.  Br J Nutr.    111(8): 1507-19.
  5. Kadooka Y, et al. Effect of lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 in fermented milk on abdominal adiposity in adults in a randomized controlled trial.  Br J Nutr.  110(9): 1696-703.
  6. Lang CH, et al. TNF-alpha impairs heart and skeletal muscle protein synthesis by altering translation initiation. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2002. 282:E336–E347.
  7. Saini R, et al. Potential of probiotics in controlling cardiovascular diseases.  J Cardiovasc Dis Res. 2010. 1(4): 213-4.
  8. Lang Wang MN, et al. The effects of probiotics on total cholesterol.    2018. 97(5): e9679.
  9. Wang H, et al. Effect of probiotics on central nervous system functions in animals and humans: a systematic review.  J Neurogastroenterol Motil.  22(4):589-605.
  10. Mohammadi AA, et al. The effects of probiotics on mental health and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in petrochemical workers.  Nutr Neurosci. 2016. 19(9): 387-95.
  11. Fjeldheim Dale H, et al. Probiotics in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: An up-to-date systematic review.   Nutrients. 11(9): 2048.
  12. Isolauri E, Salminen S. Probiotics: use in allergic disorders: a Nutrition, Allergy, Mucosal Immunology and Intestinal Microbiota (NAMI) Research Group Report.  J Clin Gastroenterol.  42(Suppl 2): S91-6.

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