Welcome to Natural Colostrum

Colostrum is a form of milk produced by the mammary glands of mammals in late pregnancy and the few days after giving birth.

Colostrum is an amazing phenomenon.
One's health can benefit from consuming colostrum on daily basis.

Colostrum contains lots of growth factors, promotes anti-aging, increase your physical strength, and promotes one's body's to recover from damage caused by age, injury and more

In this blog I gladly present you my collections of resources about this amazing substance.

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Colostrum sports supplement: Why Mother's Milk Is Best for Athletes

Colostrum – the milk produced by a mammalian mother’s mammary glands for the first 72 hours after she gives birth – contains a variety of essential nutrients, growth-promoting compounds, immunoglobulins (proteins which fight disease), vitamins, minerals and amino acids. As you might expect, the stuff is good for newborns, giving them a head start in life by stimulating overall growth and fortifying immune-system function. Many athletes hope that colostrum will give them a boost, too, arguing that colostrum is so rich in anabolic and energy-enhancing compounds that it should aid recovery during periods of difficult training. Some athletes even go so far as to suggest that colostrum might have a direct, positive effect on performance. In fact, colostrum is now commercially available in the sports supplement marketplace (albeit in bovine rather than human form) and several colostrum studies have appeared recently in the scientific literature. In one very recent investigation, 17 experienced endurance runners took 60 grams of colostrum powder per day for eight weeks, while 13 similarly experienced controls took the same amount of a protein-powder placebo. At the beginning, middle and end of the study period, members of both groups completed two separate, highly demanding VO2max tests on the treadmill; each test involved 30 minutes of progressively faster running, with a 20-minute rest period in between.

Colostrum’s role in recovery

After eight weeks of supplementation, the amount of work completed in the second part of the VO2max test – and the top running speed achieved – was significantly greater in the colostrum group, suggesting that colostrum could boost recovery from high-intensity exercise. This would be a boon for athletes carrying out interval workouts, participating in heats over the course of a day’s competition or even attempting to ‘hold on’ during a race after a high-intensity surge. In follow-up work carried out in Australia with 28 well-trained cyclists (VO2max equalling 61 ml/kg-min), 10 athletes (the placebo group) supplemented their diets for eight weeks with 60g of whey protein per day, nine consumed 60g per day of bovine colostrum and another nine took a combined supplement, comprising 20g of colostrum and 40g of whey protein. At the beginning and end of the study period the athletes carried out an intensive exercise test in the laboratory; after warming up and stretching for 10 minutes, they started cycling (on a bicycle ergometer) at self-selected cadences between 70 and 100 rpm. The power was initially set at 100 watts for three minutes, jumping to 200w for a further three minutes and then increasing by 50w every three minutes until exhaustion. Oxygen consumption was monitored throughout the test, and each athlete attained VO2max. Once exhausted, each athlete ‘cooled down’ at an easy intensity on the ergometer for three minutes and then walked around the laboratory at a modest level of effort for an additional 17 minutes. After this recovery period, they repeated the test. Two days after their VO2max efforts, the athletes again reported to the lab, but this time they rode for two hours on their ergometers at an intensity of 65% of maximal heart rate. During this time, the athletes consumed food and drink ad lib, using the same intake patterns they normally employed in their long workouts and races. Immediately after the two-hour ride they completed 207 kilojoules of work on the bikes as quickly as they possibly could. The amount of work performed during these intense blasts after eight weeks of colostrum supplementation was compared with the amount completed at the beginning of the study.

The limits of supplementation

During the study period, the three groups followed identical diets in terms of carbohydrate, protein and fat consumption, and total energy intake. Training volume was also similar, with each group averaging about 88 minutes of cycle training per day.

As it turned out, neither of the dosages of cow colostrum had any effect on body mass, body composition or max aerobic capacity over the eight-week study period. Supplementation was also unable to improve performances to any significant degree during the all-out VO2max tests. Things were different, however, during the intense exertion that followed the two-hour ride. While the placebo group (those taking whey protein alone) improved the time it took to complete the 207kj of work by just 34 seconds (from 819 to 782 seconds) between the beginning and end of the study, the colostrum-only group improved by 134 seconds and the protein-and-colostrum group by 158 seconds! Why did bovine colostrum improve the cyclists’ ability to handle tough efforts at the end of the two-hour ride? There are several possible explanations: for one thing, bovine colostrum contains a very important compound called plasma insulin-like growth factor I, or IGF-1. IGF-1 spurs the passage of nutrients into cells and – as its name suggests – can stimulate growth. Bovine IGF-1 happens to have the same basic structure as human IGF-1, and thus it is possible that the IGF-1 in bovine colostrum might boost energy levels within muscles, kick-start protein synthesis, and aid recovery after strenuous workouts. However, blood concentrations of IGF-1 did not increase in this study, in contrast with the findings of previous studies on the effects of colostrum on runners. Nonetheless, colostrum’s IGF-1 may have produced somewhat more subtle effects. For example, there is good evidence to suggest that IGF-1, when present in the gut, stimulates increased absorption of nutrients from the small intestine. Thus, it is possible – although not proven – that the colostrum-fed athletes might have enjoyed higher muscle glycogen levels than the placebo cyclists, leading to better performances during the intense trials which followed the two-hour rides at 65% of max heart rate.

The news about colostrum has also been good in a variety of other scientific investigations. For example, in research carried out at the University of Delaware, active male and female subjects took in either 20g of colostrum powder or the same amount of whey protein daily while engaged in both ‘aerobic’ and heavy-duty resistance training at least three times a week for several weeks. By the end of the study period, the colostrum group showed a significant increase in bone-free lean body mass (averaging 1.5kg) which the controls were unable to match. In another study completed at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, 19 adult male and female athletes consumed 20g of colostrum per day for two weeks, while 11 matched controls took in the same amount of a maltodextrin placebo(5). For the colostrum group only, blood concentrations of IGF-1 increased significantly over the two-week period, along with salivary levels of an important immunoglobulin called IgA. This fascinating study corroborated research carried out several years earlier by the same group(6). In this previous study, nine male sprinters and jumpers followed three different eight-day supplementation regimes, in which they took in 25ml of liquid colostrum per day, 125ml of the same preparation and a milk whey placebo. Blood IGF-1 was significantly increased after supplementation with 25ml of colostrum (compared with placebo) and shot up even further after the higher-dose supplementation.

Colostrum is worth trying

The bottom line? These colostrum studies, carried out by a variety of different independent laboratories, are consistently positive, with two studies demonstrating an improvement in performance and several others detecting an increase in either lean body mass or blood levels of the important anabolic compound IGF-1. Thus, it appears that colostrum is worth trying. If you are interested in so doing, the commercial options are almost endless, as you will soon learn by keying in the word ‘colostrum’ to your favourite internet search engine. If you want ‘100% pure New Zealand colostrum’, for example, you might give Metafood’s Colostrum a try online at http://www.metafoods.com/offers/gtc/ (or at Metafood’s toll-free number – 1-800-282-7809). Metafoods offers a no-questions-asked full refund if you don’t suddenly begin running like Peter Snell; their colostrum product is said to be ‘flash-pasteurised’ and two bottles of their 500mg, 120-count V-Caps will set you back about £20. If you absolutely must have goat colostrum instead of the commoner bovine variety, visit www.primaldefense.net, where you may purchase GOATEIN IG caplets, with 100 mg of goat colostrum per caplet. Unlike most goats, these are ‘not fed pesticides’, and the caplets are ‘pre-digested’, saving your stomach and duodenum unnecessary work. It may get your goat, though, to note that you would have to swallow 200 GOATEIN IG caplets per day to achieve the 20g daily intake pattern utilised in the studies referred to above, costing you about £29 per day! If you prefer to ingest the colostrum that emerges from the mammary glands in the first six hours after birth, then the Synertek website, aptly named www.firstmilking.com, is for you. Taking this early colostrum is an interesting idea, since research has shown that there are fairly substantial changes in colostrum quality during the 72-hour period following childbirth. Most crucially, the levels of immunoglobulins and overall protein concentrations in colostrum drop appreciably after six hours, while lactose levels begin to rise – an important factor for lactose-intolerant athletes. Another potential advantage of the Synertek colostrum is that it may be ingested in capsule form – or chewed as a lozenge. If during the late stages of a 100k bike race or marathon you feel as if you are going to be exercising until the cows come home, a few lozenges deftly placed under your tongue might have you charging towards the finish line like an angry bull. Then again, each lozenge contains just one-fifth of a gram of colostrum, so it would take 100 such tablets to attain the proven dose of 20g per day.

This is not to poke fun at the idea of using colostrum to boost your performances and recovery, but simply to point out that colostrum consumption will be extremely pricey for the average athlete. Clearly the stuff is ‘as good as gold’ in more ways than one!

Owen Anderson

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