Colostrum is known as the first milk from a mammal and is a thick yellowy fluid.
It contains valuable nutrients, calories, and immunoglobulins. Colostrum is available in supplement form and has been shown to have certain benefits.
The form that is available in supplements is usually from bovine. Bovine colostrum has shown benefits for the immune system, athletic performance, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Colostrum has shown to be beneficial in athletes.
The Health Benefits of Colostrum
For example, an article published by the British Journal of sports medicine (2006) found that athletes who had taken bovine colostrum have increased stamina. Those athletes were able to perform at a higher level than normal training groups. The Journal of Sports Science also published results showing colostrum increased anaerobic exercise performance.
Colostrum can also help increase lean body mass in men and women in 8 weeks of exercise training as this was published by Journal of nutrition.
Immunological properties have been found in colostrum.
The European Journal of nutrition published a study showing that colostrum helped reduce the development of upper respiratory tract infections. This is due to the fact that colostrum is rich in amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of immunoglobulins which help strengthen the immune system.
Colostrum has been useful in gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea.
In fact it has been used in patients with HIV. In the journal of Clinical Investigation stated that in the treatment of HIV diarrhea due to cryptosporidiosis or absence of pathogens, colostrum lead to a complete or partial remission of diarrhea in 64% of all patients.
Colostrum has also been found to be useful in colitis, when administered as an enema.
Possible Side Effects
Colostrum has many benefits but does have some side effects such as mild nausea and flatulence have been reported.
Long-term use and safety has not been studied. As with all supplements it is important to always check with a physician before attempting any supplements, as there can be interactions with various medications.
- Shing CM, et al. The influence of bovine colostrum supplementation on exercise performance in highly trained cyclists. British Journal Sports Medicine. 2006 Sep;40(9):797-801. Epub 2006 Jul 6.
- Buckley JD, et al. Effect of bovine colostrum on anaerobic exercise performance and plasma insulin-like growth factor I. J Sports Sci. 2003 Jul;21(7):577-88.
- Brinkworth GD, et al.Concentrated bovine colostrum protein supplementation reduces the incidence of self-reported symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection in adult males. Eur J Nutr. 2003 Aug;42(4):228-32.
- Antonio J, et al. The effects of bovine colostrum supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in active men and women. Nutrition. 2001 Mar;17(3):243-7.
- Plettenberg A, et al. A preparation from bovine colostrum in the treatment of HIV-positive patients with chronic diarrhea. Clinical Investigation. 1993 Jan;71(1):42-5.
- Khan Z, et al .Use of the ‘nutriceutical’, bovine colostrum, for the treatment of distal colitis: results from an initial study. Aliment Pharmacology Therapy. 2002 Nov;16(11):1917-22.