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Colostrum
 

Colostrum is one of Mother Nature’s most amazing gifts to mammals. Also known as ‘first milk’, Colostrum is thick and enriched pre-milk which all mammalian infants drink in the first 24 hours of life. It’s a perfectly balanced combination of over 90 various components, including immunoglobulin protein, vitamins & minerals, and amino acids which not only enhance growth, but also ward against infections and inflammation1. This is why it is also a perfect supplement for those who take their training seriously. Long bouts of training can place huge amounts of stress on an athlete’s body, reducing its capacity to fight infections. This is why it’s common for athletes to suffer from colds and flu after major events. An easy way to boost the body’s natural defences throughout a rigorous training period is to add a Colostrum supplement to your daily ritual. Studies have shown that supplementation with Colostrum has been able to improve and boost the immune system, which is often depressed in prolonged exercise.2,3

In a recent study by the Centre for Research in Education and Sports Science at the University of South Australia, preliminary evidence suggests that Colostrum supplements can enhance the body’s defences against upper respiratory tract infections. Dr Jon Buckley, co-author of the study, also conducted research on a group of athletes to test the effectiveness of Colostrum for training purposes. He performed a double-blind test, with one group on Colostrum, the other group on a placebo. After eight weeks of the study, he found that the group who took the Colostrum supplement showed an increase in muscle power by as much as 10%. Another added benefit of Colostrum is that its growth hormones enhance an athlete’s physical power, but as yet it is undetermined as to how it actually achieves such results4,5. This means that for many professional athletes, Colostrum is not a banned substance as it cannot be tested for. As a result, many of Australia’s Olympic swimmers & athletes have been placed on a Colostrum supplement. Colostrum is one of the few approved supplements with the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA).

Many Colostrum supplements are bovine derived, and are freeze dried directly after sourcing to maintain nutrient levels. It’s a good idea to check the Immunoglobulin (IgG) levels as they vary slightly – some with as high a ratio as 40%. Also check that they are freeze-dried and not spray-dried, as the latter can damage the delicate Colostrum. Colostrum supplements can come in either powder or capsule form. Powders are easily added to protein shakes or your breakfast cereal, and only need to be taken once a day, with an extra dose after a rigorous workout recommended. Capsules are sometimes more convenient, but do need to be taken more regularly throughout the day. Colostrum stacks well with other supplements that boost energy and muscular power, such as carbohydratest proteins including WPI, & testosterone boosters including tribulus terrestris, ZMA & longifolia. Based on long term scientific studies6 Colostrum appears as safe to supplement with as it is effective.

Colostrum Supplements are commonly presented & sold as Complementary Medicines, Registered Therapeutic Items or Goods and Formulated Supplementary Sports Foods in Australia. Colostrum is not a sole source of nutrition and should be used in conjunction with an appropriate physical training or exercise programme. Not suitable for children under 15 years or pregnant women. Should only be used under medical or dietetic supervision. Always read the label prior to use.

1. Pribylova J, Krausova K, Kocourkova I, Rossmann P, Klimesova K, Kverka M, Tlaskalova-Hogenova H. ‘Colostrum of Healthy Mothers Contains Broad Spectrum of Secretory IgA Autoantibodies.’ J Clin Immunol. 2012 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print]
2. Davison G, Diment BC. ‘Bovine colostrum supplementation attenuates the decrease of salivary lysozyme and enhances the recovery of neutrophil function after prolonged exercise.’ Br J Nutr. 2010 May;103(10):1425-32. Epub 2009 Dec 24.
3. Crooks CV, Wall CR, Cross ML, Rutherfurd-Markwick KJ. ‘The effect of bovine colostrum supplementation on salivary IgA in distance runners.’ Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Feb;16(1):47-64.
4. Buckley JD, Butler RN, Southcott E, Brinkworth GD. ‘Bovine colostrum supplementation during running training increases intestinal permeability.’ Nutrients. 2009 Feb;1(2):224-34. Epub 2009 Dec 2.
5. Shing CM, Hunter DC, Stevenson LM. ‘Bovine colostrum supplementation and exercise performance: potential mechanisms.’ Sports Med. 2009;39(12):1033-54. doi: 10.2165/11317860-000000000-00000.
6. Davis PF, Greenhill NS, Rowan AM, Schollum LM. ‘The safety of New Zealand bovine colostrum: nutritional and physiological evaluation in rats.’ Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Feb;45(2):229-36. Epub 2006 Sep 7.
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