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Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid produced by mammals shortly after giving birth, before actual breast milk is produced. This substance contains antibodies, growth factors, nutrients, protein, vitamins, minerals, and lipids and provides passive immunity to the newborn. Because the neonate has no antibodies at birth, colostrum helps guard against microbial attack and strengthens the immune system during this critical period. Colostrum supplements are derived from bovine sources (dairy cows).
Supplementing with colostrum may provide the same immune-boosting properties to adults, warding off microbial infection.The growth factors contained in colostrum (insulin-like growth factor 1, or IGF-1 and insulin like-growth factor 2, or IGF-2) are particularly of interest to athletes and bodybuilders. Some research has shown that men and women supplementing with colostrum, in addition to a vigorous exercise regimen, have gained more lean muscle mass than those not supplementing with colostrum.1 Preliminary research also suggests that colostrum may be beneficial to athletes by aiding in recovery from exercise, improving endurance, and increasing fat metabolism.2,3
Dosage recommendations vary widely depending upon reason for use. General recommendations suggest supplementing with 650mg-1000mg, 1-3 times daily.
colostrum is available in tablet, powder, bar, and liquid form. This supplement should be taken on an empty stomach.
Do not use colostrum if you are allergic to dairy products. Pregnant/nursing women should not use colostrum.
1. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Apr;45(4):193-202.
2. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004 Jan;91(1):53-60. Epub 2003 Sep 20.
3. Br J Sports Med. 2006 Sep;40(9):797-801. Epub 2006 Jul 6.