Colostrum powder is fast becoming one of the most popular dietary supplements. Often dubbed ‘liquid gold,’ it’s incredibly nutritious and contains a vast amount of antibodies, to help fight bacteria and infection. But what exactly is it? And where does colostrum powder come from? Here we’ll answer all of the important questions and reveal the top 5 bovine colostrum powder benefits...
Colostrum is the thick yellowy-gold breast fluid that is produced by humans, cows and other mammals before their ‘mature’ milk is released.
This powerful liquid contains high concentrates of vitamins and minerals, helping to promote growth in infants and fight off disease. Today, it is commonly sold in dried powder form, as a dietary supplement with a plethora of health benefits.
Although most mammals produce colostrum, supplements are usually made from bovine cow colostrum. This nutritious liquid contains a rich combination of vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, growth hormones and digestive enzymes.
Why take colostrum powder when you could just drink milk? It’s a good question.
Fact is, bovine colostrum powder contains much higher levels of protein, fat, carbohydrates, magnesium, B vitamins and vitamins A, C and E than your average cow’s milk.
But it’s actually the protein-rich compounds that make bovine colostrum powder a truly ‘stand-out’ supplement. These include:
Lactoferrin - A protein that supports your body’s immune system response to infection and viruses.
Immunoglobulins - Antibodies used to protect your body and fight off bad bacteria and viruses (bovine colostrum is rich in IgA, IgG and IgM).
Growth hormones - Bovine colostrum powder is rich in 2 protein-based hormones, IGF-1 and IGF-2, which stimulate growth within the body.
These protein-rich compounds are closely linked to the health benefits of colostrum listed below…
One of the key bovine colostrum powder benefits is its ability to boost the immune system. By increasing the availability of immunoglobulins (igG and igA) in the body, it strengthens the immune system and enhances its ability to fight off viruses.
There has also been some evidence to suggest that taking bovine colostrum orally can help to prevent flu and its related symptoms.
Bovine colostrum powder is thought to support a healthy gut by stimulating the growth of intestinal cells and strengthening gut walling. The lactoferrin in colostrum powder also acts as a prebiotic to stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
Have you heard of ‘leaky gut syndrome?’ It’s a condition that causes particles from the gut to leak into the bloodstream and the rest of the body. The leakage can cause inflammation and consequently increase the chances of heart disease and autoimmune conditions.
Why are we telling you this? Well, it turns out, bovine colostrum powder is pretty great at preventing intestinal permeability i.e. leaky gut syndrome! According to research, the lactoferrin in colostrum powder can bind to endotoxins (the leaked particles) and neutralise them. In turn, this should reduce inflammation and prevent other conditions associated with endotoxin activity.
Colostrum powder’s antibacterial and antiviral properties are also said to help prevent diarrhoea in children. This is backed up by studies, which have found it can significantly decrease the number of diarrhoea episodes.
Some people use colostrum powder to increase muscle gain during exercise and clinical studies have backed it up with promising results. One study looked at the effects of supplementing exercise with colostrum vs whey protein over an 8 week period. At the end of the study, those taking colostrum significantly increased their lean body mass, whereas those taking whey protein increased total body weight.
Bovine colostrum powder is great for athletes, as it not only promotes muscle tissue growth (with its insulin-like growth factors) but also assists in recovery and healing after exercise. The powerful antioxidants and growth factors work to reduce oxidative stress and muscle damage from exercise, improving and speeding up the healing process.
Normal signs of ageing include decreased muscle and bone mass, and loss of skin elasticity, resulting in sagging and wrinkles. This happens as our growth hormones begin tapering off following puberty.
You might be interested to hear that the immune and growth factors (IGF-1 and IGF-2) in bovine colostrum powder may have regenerative effects that can extend to structural cells in the body. What does this mean? Well, essentially, there's a chance you could slow the process of ageing down.
Stimulating growth improves muscle mass and strength, helping to combat some of the signs of ageing. Growth hormones also play a key role in the development and healing of most of the cells and tissues in our bodies. Therefore, taking colostrum to reintroduce and maintain healthy growth hormone levels could potentially help to combat the negative effects of ageing.
Improved bone health - The lactoferrin in colostrum has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-viral properties, making it excellent for bone renewal. B12, another vitamin found in colostrum is also crucial for bone health.
Positive mental health - Studies are on-going but show promise of colostrum reducing symptoms relating to anxiety and depression and boosting serotonin synthesis.
Good skin - Colostrum has anti-inflammatory properties which may reduce the appearance of acne, eczema, rosacea and psoriasis, closely associated with inflammation. It also contains fibroblast growth factor (FGF), which is known to promote wound healing and a high concentration of insulin-like growth factor IGF-1, which speeds up recovery.
Like any savvy consumer, you’re likely doing your research to ensure you buy the best colostrum powder on the market. While we could simply point you in the direction of our Mountainlife colostrum powder, let us first explain what you should be looking for when buying this superfood…
Grass-fed cows - Ideally you want to choose bovine colostrum powder from grass-fed cows that are wild and free to roam outdoors. Let’s be honest, if they’re having a good life outside and have been fed a natural food source, they’re going to create better colostrum. Always choose ‘grass-fed’ bovine colostrum powder.
Ethical source - There are some questions as to whether it’s ethical to take colostrum powder from cows when their calves may need it. Truth is, a cow will produce more colostrum than is needed for their calf. Providing the calf has fed within the 12-hour window of it being born, the colostrum can be safely and ethically collected.
High-grade colostrum - The sooner the colostrum is collected, the more nutritious it’ll be. However, as we’ve just said, it’s unethical to take the colostrum before a calf has fed. This is why we suggest buying colostrum powder that has been collected within 12 hours of a calf being born. This is a high-grade colostrum that has plenty of nutrition and is still very rich in IgG.
Wondering how to use colostrum powder, when to take it and how much you need?
We’d suggest mixing and stirring 10g (approx. 2 tsp) into a glass of water, a protein shake or your favourite smoothie. Colostrum powder is around 85% water-soluble, so you are likely to find a small amount sitting at the top of the liquid. This is perfectly normal.
Alternatively, you can take colostrum powder straight from a spoon. It has a very powdery texture and tastes similar to buttermilk.
It’s best to take colostrum powder on an empty stomach.
One of the benefits of taking colostrum powder over capsules is that the superfood can begin to work in the mouth and down the entire Gastrointestinal tract, whereas capsules are only likely to begin working once they’ve reached the small intestine.
While colostrum is usually associated with newborn and infant health, you now know there are plenty of bovine colostrum powder benefits for adults too. From boosting your immune system to improving gut health, it’s protein-rich compounds have a lot to offer, not to mention the high volume of vitamins and mineral that will improve your health and well-being overall.
For more information about Mountainlife Colostrum Powder or any of our products, feel free to drop us a DM or get in touch via email. We’re always happy to share our knowledge and point you in the right direction!
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