Colostrum is the first milk secreted, a fluid produced by female mammals immediately after giving birth. It differs from the milk secreted later as it is richer in nutrients, containing more lactalbumin, lactoprotein, and antibodies that provide immunity to the newborn.
Colostrum (human -HC or Bovine -BC) has amazing nutritious compounds, making it a superfood:
- ⬆️ Immune Factors (Immunoglobulins, Proline-rich Polypeptides, Lactoferrin, Glycoproteins, Lactalbumins, Cytokines, Interleukins, Interferon, and Lymphokines, Lysozyme)
- ⬆️ Growth Factors (Insulin-like Growth Factor I and II, Epithelial Growth Factor, Transforming Growth Factors A & B, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor)
- ⬆️ Vitamins, Proteins, Minerals, Enzymes, and Amino Acids
Benefits of Colostrum
IMMUNITY AND HEALING
This nutrient-dense elixir provides immune support and has been used for the treatment of a wide variety of conditions. For instance, gastrointestinal issues, H pylori infection, diarrhea. and immune-deficiency related diarrhea have been addressed with colostrum supplementation. Colostrum increases bifidobacteria and other strains that protect the small intestines and secretes antimicrobial substances, modulate the immune response, and influence metabolic activities.
Colostrum’s immune factors (immunoglobulins and lactoferrin) can kill, inhibit, and prevent the reproduction of pathogens and protect against toxins. Colostrum is the only natural source that transforms growth factors alpha and beta, and insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2, which promote wound, muscle, and cartilage healing. In addition, colostrum improves neuroendocrine function and has natural anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Colostrum enhances the growth of bifidobacteria and acts as prebiotics, helping improve the balance and proliferation of beneficial flora.
Colostrum’s epithelial growth factors help repair intestinal membranes at the cellular level, and alpha-lactalbumin boosts glutathione levels. This helps improves conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.
The lactoferrin in colostrum binds to pathogens or competes with pathogens for binding sites on the intestinal wall, inactivating them. This has shown to improve intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome) and irritable bowel syndrome, which are caused by exposure to infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, yeast, parasites, and toxins.
Colostrum’s alpha-lactalbumin helps to protect against alcohol or stress-induced gastric injury. It helps regenerate the gastric mucosa, ulcers, and other gastrointestinal pathologies.
LEAN BODY MASS
Amino acids are organic compounds involved in protein manufacture, biochemical reactions, growth and development, healing, repair, digestion, and energy production. Colostrum is very unique as it contains nine essential amino acids and nine non-essential amino acids (essential amino acids are those that your body can’t make and need to obtain from the diet and non-essential amino acids those that your body can create). This is one of the reasons why colostrum supplementation helps stimulate muscle growth and prevent muscle deterioration.
Colostrum has also shown to attenuate catabolic wasting (muscle and weight loss) in patients with cancer, AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions. It helps maintain a healthy weight by decreasing muscle loss and increasing glutathione and nutritional status. This is also helpful for older adults who lose muscle year after year.
FAT LOSS AND PERFORMANCE
Colostrum has been shown to aid in fat loss efforts. It’s components play a role in satiation and glucose balance. It’s peptides and amino acids elevates leptin levels whic increase satiety, decreasing food intake and stimulating energy expenditure. Colostrum is very high in leucine which helps maintain lean muscle mass and generate more fat loss.
Another study tested colostrum supplementation on body composition and exercise performance (aerobic and heavy-resistance training at least three times per week). Results showed an increase of bone-free lean body mass after 8 weeks of training.
Additionally, colostrum supplementation has a positive effect on performance and recovery. A study tested the effect of colostrum supplementation (60 g·day−1 ) on running performance and recovery. Subjects performed two treadmill running tests to exhaustion (RUN1 and RUN2) separated by 20 min of recovery on weeks 1, 4, and 8. Results showed that performance during the second run improved by 5.2% in the average subject after 8 weeks of supplementation.
Colostrum supplementation seems more effective during high-intensity training and recovery from high-intensity training. It seems that increased insulin-like growth factors and salivary immunoglobulin A, improved intramuscular buffering capacity along with lean body mass contribute to improved performance and recovery.
BONE HEALTH, COGNITION, AND ANTI-AGING
Colostrum has shown to have a positive effect on bone density. As you may know, osteoblasts and osteoclasts are involved in bone growth and healing and colostrum contain TGF-B, which is produced by osteoblasts. It also has osteopontin, lactoferrin, epidermal/epithelial growth factor, and insulin-like growth factor, which help prevent the bone loss and bone porosity that may accompany aging.
Colostrum contains colostrinin, a proline-rich polypeptide (PRP). which is anti-aging and offers protection against many conditions. It replenishes growth hormone, keeping your skin young and guarding against neurodegeneration seen in dementia and Alzheimer’s, and autoimmune degeneration present in allergies and asthma. It’s growth factors rejuvenate cells in the skin, cartilage, muscles, and blood vessels.
Colostrum’s lactoferrin helps manage the immune response in skin cells too. It helps increase the skin’s anti-inflammatory response, addressing symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and acne. Besides consuming colostrum to deal with these issues, you can also apply it on your face. You can mix 1-2 tablespoons of powdered colostrum with coconut oil, olive oil, or water to make a paste. Apply it to your face, allow it to dry, and then rinse with cool water and pat dry. This is also a great protocol to diminish the appearance of lines and keep a youthful appearance.
Now that you learned all about the phenomenal effects of colostrum, start to incorporate it into your diet. As with any other supplement, you have to make sure that the colostrum supplement you buy is high quality. I take colostrum from Ancestral Supplements which has no fillers and is a whole food product from bovines pasture-raised and grass-fed in New Zealand without hormones, pesticides, or GMOs. Colostrum is not only amazing for its immuno-modulating properties but also for optimal gut function, fat loss, performance and recovery, cell regeneration, and anti-aging qualities.
To a Healthier Fitter You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor