Colostrum is a substance produced by some mammals during pregnancy and after giving birth. In humans, colostrum starts secreting from the female breasts around the halfway mark of the pregnancy and for a few days after birth. Colostrum has a golden color and comes out in small amounts. It also mixes with breastmilk, so it may not be obvious to all women.
While breastfeeding, colostrum provides infants with protein, immune factors, vitamins, antioxidants, good bacteria, and has a mild laxative effect that can help to encourage healthy bowel movements.
While important for infants, when extracted from animal sources, such as bovines, adults can take colostrum as a dietary supplement. Several companies offer colostrum formulas using whole colostrum from quality sources.
Keep reading to learn more about why colostrum may be right for you, and some of the products you may want to try!
Why Adults Should Consider Colostrum
The reason breastfeeding is recommended is that the contents of the breast milk contain immune system factors that can help to protect the child through the important early stages of development, and may even lower the risk of developing diseases later in life.
Colostrum from human milk is a little different than bovine milk. Specifically, human colostrum contains the immunoglobulin IgA, while bovine colostrum contains IgG. Immunoglobulins are a protein in the immune system that helps to identify and destroy bacteria, viruses, and other unwanted foreign organisms.
While the proteins are different, research shows they are still beneficial. Some of their potential benefits may include:
- Support for athletic performance.
- Gut health and support for people experiencing bouts of diarrhea.
- Support for a healthy immune response to the cold, flu, or infections.
Research into colostrum is ongoing, but some people have taken colostrum for the following:
- Muscle functioning during normal aging.
- Cognitive health.
- Blood sugar levels within the normal range.
- A healthy inflammation response in the immune system.
- Respiratory health.
- Weight management.
- Eye comfort.
- Recovery after injuries.
- Feelings of vitality.
There are few side effects reported when taking colostrum. Some people report abdominal discomfort. People with a milk allergy may experience some side effects. Children and pregnant women should discuss taking a colostrum supplement with their doctor.
Quality Colostrum Supplements
Colostrum is available in liquid and capsule form. There are also a few different methods of formulating colostrum, so choose a product that will be right for you.
Colostrum Gold Liquid from Kirkman is an unflavored and pure liquid colostrum formula that is sourced within 24 hours from cows that have given birth. Dilute in your favorite drink twice daily for best results.
Colostroplex Bovine Colostrum from Health Concerns contains a highly concentrated bovine colostrum formula that seeks to provide more optimal immune system support, and support for a healthy digestive system.
Follow the guidelines for dosing found on the product label or according to your primary care physician.
Colostrum is an immune support formula that may have a range of potential benefits on your body. Try it out and see if it provides your healthy immune system the support it needs!