Colostrum, the first fluid produced by mammals to feed their newborns, is a highly nutritious substance with numerous benefits. In order to take advantage of those benefits beyond what they received as infants, people can take colostrum supplements. These supplements, typically made using bovine colostrum, offer many of the same positive effects as colostrum in its natural form.
In order to make colostrum supplements, the fluid must be collected from cows that have just given birth. Colostrum is only produced for a short time before the mother starts to change over to producing milk, so the window of opportunity is fairly short. Typically, the highest quality fluid is collected during the first milking within a few hours after the calf’s birth, though collection can continue through the first 72 hours. It is then used to create supplements that can either be taken internally, such as pills or capsules, or as a topical cream that can be applied to the skin.
People may take colostrum supplements for many different reasons. Perhaps the most important one is its positive effects on the immune system. One of natural colostrum’s primary jobs is to build immune function in newborns and pass on the mothers’ antibodies to help the babies fight infections. Colostrum supplements offer some of these same benefits, boosting immunities and helping people who take them to ward off illness or recover more quickly. It has been shown to be effective in fighting ailments like colds, sinus infections, and yeast infections.
Colostrum supplements are also considered to be very good for overall health and wellness of the body. It is rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, iron, and calcium, as well as antioxidants. It is thought to help build muscle and reduce fat and to promote weight loss and anti-aging. There is evidence that colostrum helps improve digestive function and may be effective in combating issues like ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. Colostrum’s anti-inflammatory properties may be useful in managing chronic problems such as arthritis.
There are no known significant side effects to taking a colostrum supplement. However, people with milk allergies or intolerance to lactose may want to use caution when taking these products, as colostrum is produced by cows and contains some of the same components as milk. As with any nutritional supplement, users may want to consult with their physicians before taking colostrum supplements, to ensure they will not interfere with other medications or have any other unexpected effects.