Discover the Function, Sources and Benefits of the Health Supplement Ingredient Bovine Colostrum
Bovine colostrum – also known as bovine immunoglobulin or simply as colostrum – is a milky fluid secreted by a cow’s mammary glands in the first few days after calving, prior to full lactation. Colostrum is also produced by humans and other mammals; however, the primary source of colostrum in dietary supplements is cattle. It contains a number of beneficial substances, including immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, proline-rich polypeptides, cytokines, growth factors, and other vitamins and minerals. Adults can obtain the benefits of colostrum through natural health and bodybuilding supplements such as HGH 30,000 Nanograms pills, DBol-GH, Growth Factor Plus and protein shake mixes.
Functions of Colostrum
The nutrients, antibodies and growth factors contained in colostrum contribute to the health and development of newborns. Similarly, these substances can have beneficial effects for adults when colostrum extract is consumed via dietary supplements. Immunoglobulin and lactoferrin have antiviral and antibacterial properties that support immune system function, while proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs) and cytokines help regulate immune system activity. Furthermore, the cytokines and growth factors in colostrum appear to enhance the protective and repair capabilities of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Colostrum’s growth factors are also believed to improve athletic performance, increase lean body mass, and accelerate muscle recovery and repair.
Sources of Colostrum
Female mammals secrete colostrum from their mammary glands following the birth of a newborn, before full lactation occurs. Infants consume colostrum during their first few days of nursing. Adults generally obtain colostrum through health supplements that contain bovine colostrum – the extract of a cow’s first milk.
Bovine Colostrum Benefits and Uses
Evidence suggests that the health benefits of bovine colostrum include supporting and stimulating immune system function, preventing infections, providing GI protection, treating diarrhea and colitis, and accelerating healing. Bovine colostrum is also used as an ingredient in human growth hormone (HGH) releasers and bodybuilding supplements, as the naturally occurring growth hormones in colostrum are believed to enhance athletic performance, improve body composition, and promote faster recovery from injuries and intense workouts. These performance-related benefits derive from the growth hormones’ ability to help increase lean muscle mass, metabolize fat for fuel, improve stamina, and stimulate cell and tissue growth.
Side Effects of Bovine Colostrum and Potential Interactions
Dietary supplements containing bovine colostrum are generally considered safe for healthy adults, as few side effects have been reported. However, individuals who are allergic to cow’s milk may also have an allergic reaction to bovine colostrum. There have been rare reports of side effects in HIV-positive patients, such as nausea and vomiting. Colostrum may contain high levels of naturally occurring estrogen, so patients with hormone-sensitive cancer should avoid it. There are no known interactions of bovine colostrum with medications. Information on bovine colostrum contraindications is provided on the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center website, while details on colostrum side effects can be found on WebMD. As with any medication or health supplement, it is best to consult your physician before taking dietary supplements containing bovine colostrum.
Colostrum Research and Studies
Considerable research has been conducted on the effects of bovine colostrum, particularly in relation to its health benefits and impact on athletic performance. Scholarly articles published in Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, the Alternative Medicine Review and the British Journal of Nutrition explored the clinical uses of bovine colostrum and reported that hyperimmune bovine colostrum has been proven effective in treating diarrhea caused by rotavirus, E. Coli, cryptosporidium, shigellosis, C. difficile infection (CDI) and other GI infections.
In terms of athletic performance, body composition, and healing and recovery, numerous studies suggest that bovine colostrum can have positive effects. In the Journal of Applied Physiology, European researchers asserted that bovine colstrum has the ability to naturally increase levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which may promote protein synthesis. A review of studies published in Sports Medicine cited evidence suggesting that bovine colostrum supplementation is most effective during periods of high-intensity training and recovery from high-intensity training, producing improved intramuscular buffering capacity and increases in lean body mass. In the Australian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, researchers noted that bovine colostrum improves recovery time. Scientists reported in Nutrition that when bovine colostrum is combined with exercise, it may increase bone-free lean body mass in active men and women. And in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, researchers stated that colostrum supplementation helped improve leg-press and upper-body strength and generated increases in muscle thickness, lean tissue mass and cognitive function in older adults during resistance training.
For additional bovine colostrum research, refer to the PubMed site sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
HGH.com Supplements Containing Bovine Colostrum
Bodybuilders, athletes and fitness enthusiasts can reap the health benefits of bovine colostrum with these natural HGH releasers and bodybuilding supplements from HGH.com:
HGH 30,000 Nanograms Pills – Bovine colostrum is featured in the proprietary blend of ingredients in HGH 30,000 Nanograms capsules. These oral supplements are formulated to naturally boost HGH production while supporting muscle growth and recovery, enhanced muscle conditioning, increased strength and stamina, anti-aging effects and other benefits.
DBol-GH – With a proprietary blend of bovine colostrum and other active ingredients, DBol-GH is designed to help users achieve lean mass and muscle growth as well as anabolic muscle building. It also aids in muscle recovery during intense bodybuilding training. The ingredients are designed to stack and work together, delivering visible results and boosting HGH levels.
Growth Factor Plus – The active ingredients in Growth Factor Plus include L-group amino acids, soy protein isolate and 50mg of colostrum. This powerful combination is intended to increase bone density, improve bone and joint strength, and contribute to a measurable growth in height.
CytoSport EvoPro Berry – Each scoop of EvoPro Berry shake mix contains purified bovine colostrum extract and 26 grams of protein. The formula is more complete than whey, yet has very little fat or carbohydrates. This product has the potential to increase lean muscle mass, stimulate growth receptors and sustain an anabolic state for enhanced protein synthesis.
Mega Shake Strawberry – Blending colostrum extract with other powerful active ingredients, Mega Shake provides 32 grams of total protein per serving. It is formulated to help increase muscle tone, reduce body fat, provide energy, and support muscle growth and repair.
References (Function, Sources, Benefits/Uses and Side Effects/Interactions):
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “Bovine Colostrum”; published under “About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products” within Integrative Medicine area of website; last updated April 29, 2013; accessed November 5, 2014. <http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/bovine-colostrum>
Deuster, Patricia; Maier, Steven; et al. “Protein and Amino Acids Producers: Colostrum Protein”; Dietary Supplements and Military Divers: A Synopsis for Undersea Medical Officers, published by Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; January 2004. <http://hprc-online.org/dietary-supplements/files/DietarySupplementUMO.pdf>
Bruno, Gene. “Colostrum”; Smart Supplementation, published by Huntington College of Health Sciences; 2005. <http://www.hchs.edu/literature/colostrum.pdf>
WebMD and Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. “Colostrum”; published under “Vitamins & Supplements”; accessed November 5, 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-785-COLOSTRUM.aspx?activeIngredientId=785&activeIngredientName=COLOSTRUM&source=3>
Antonio, Jose; Sanders, Michael S.; and Van Gammeren, Darin. “The Effects of Bovine Colostrum Supplementation on Body Composition and Exercise Performance in Active Men and Women”; Nutrition; March 2001. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11312068>
Buckley JD, Abbott MJ, Brinkworth GD, Whyte PB. “Bovine Colostrum Supplementation During
Endurance Running Training Improves Recovery, But Not Performance”; Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport; June 2002. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12188088>
Duff, Whitney R.D.; Chilibeck, Philip D.; et al. “The Effect of Bovine Colostrum Supplementation in Older Adults During Resistance Training”; International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism; June 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24281841>
Kelly, Gregory S. “Bovine Colostrums: A Review of Clinical Uses”; Alternative Medicine Review; November 2003. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14653766>
Korhonen, Hannu; Marnila, Pertti; and Gill, Harsharnjit S. “Bovine Milk Antibodies for Health”; British Journal of Nutrition; November 2000. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11242458>
Mero, Antti; Kähkönen, Jonne; et al. “IGF-I, IgA, and IgG Responses to Bovine Colostrum Supplementation During Training”; Journal of Applied Physiology; August 2002. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12133885>
Mitra, Amal K.; Mahalanabis, Dilip; et al. “Hyperimmune Cow Colostrum Reduces Diarrhoea Due to Rotavirus: A Double-Blind, Controlled Clinical Trial”; Acta Paediatrica; September 1995. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8652974>
Shing, Cecilia M.; Hunter, Denise C.; and Stevenson, Lesley M. “Bovine Colostrum Supplementation and Exercise Performance: Potential Mechanisms”; Sports Medicine; December 2009. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19902984>
Steele, Jennifer; Sponseller, Jerlyn; et al. “Hyperimmune Bovine Colostrum for Treatment of GI Infections: A Review and Update on Clostridium Difficile”; Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics; July 2013. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23435084>