Colostrum is a milky fluid that comes from the breasts of humans, cows, and other mammals the first few days after giving birth, before true milk appears. It contains proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and proteins (antibodies) that fight disease-causing agents such as bacteria and viruses. Antibody levels in colostrums can be 100 times higher than levels in regular cow’s milk.
Some athletes use bovine colostrum to burn fat, build lean muscle, increase stamina and vitality, and improve athletic performance. Bovine colostrum is not on the banned drug list of the International Olympic Committee.
Bovine colostrum is also used for boosting the immune system, healing injuries, repairing nervous system damage, improving mood and sense of well being, slowing and reversing aging, and as an agent for killing bacteria and fungus.
Studies have shown bovine colostrum may be effective for:
- Upper airway infection in people who exercise. Research shows that taking bovine colostrum by mouth for 8-12 weeks can reduce the number of episodes and symptoms of upper airway infections in people who exercise.
- Infectious diarrhea. Taking bovine colostrum seems to prevent infectious diarrhea from developing in adults. It also seems to treat infectious diarrhea that has already developed in children. But it doesn’t appear to further reduce infectious diarrhea in children who are also taking an antibiotic. Most research has used hyperimmune bovine colostrum.
- Diarrhea in people with HIV. Taking bovine colostrum helps reduce diarrhea in people with HIV. Most research has used hyperimmune bovine colostrum.
- The flu (influenza). Taking a specific type of bovine colostrum (Ad Colostrum, Corcon srl) by mouth for 8 weeks helps prevent the flu, including in people that have already been vaccinated against the flu and in people with heart disease who have a higher risk of getting the flu.
- Rotaviral diarrhea. Taking bovine colostrum seems to reduce diarrhea in children with diarrhea due to rotavirus. Most research has used hyperimmune bovine colostrum.
- Bovine colostrum is used in the rectum to treat inflammation of the colon (colitis).
Allergy to cow’s milk: If you are allergic to cow’s milk or milk products, you may also be allergic to bovine colostrum. In that case, it is best to avoid it.