The Ultimate Guide to Colostrum Supplementation

Colostrum is a breast fluid produced by humans, cows, and other mammals prior to expelling breast milk. It is known to be very nutritious, in addition to containing high levels of antibodies-

This liquid helps in growth and to develop good health in babies and newborn animals. Research has shown that taking bovine colostrum supplements helps promote immunity, fight infection, and improve gut health throughout life.

Discover many more benefits that colostrum can bring you .

¿Qué es el calostro bovino?

What is colostrum?

Colostrum is a milky-looking liquid, expelled by mammals that have recently given birth, occurring before the production of breast milk begins. It is known to be an important source of nutrients that help growth, in addition to fighting various diseases that can affect babies, but it can also be consumed during other phases of life, usually in the form of supplements.

Although all mammals produce colostrum, supplements are generally made from colostrum that comes from cows. This supplement is known as bovine colostrum, which is similar to human colostrum: it is rich in vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, disease-fighting proteins, growth hormones, and digestive enzymes. (McGrath et al., 2016).

To be consumed as supplements, colostrum from cows is pasteurized and dried into tablets or powders that can be mixed with liquids. It is normally yellow in color and has a very subtle taste and smell that resembles buttermilk.

Beneficios de beber calostro

Nutritional value of bovine colostrum

It is generally higher in protein, fat, carbohydrates, magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamins A, C, and E than cow’s milk. However, the health benefits attributed to it are mainly due to specific protein compounds:

  • Lactoferrin : is a protein involved in the body’s immune response to infections, including those caused by bacteria and viruses. (Zhang, Mann and Tsai, 1999).
  • Growth factors: Growth factors are hormones that stimulate growth. Bovine colostrum is especially high in two protein-based hormones, insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2, or IGF-1 and IGF-2. (McGrath et al., 2016).
  • Antibodies: Antibodies are proteins, also known as immunoglobulins, that the immune system uses to fight bacteria and viruses. Bovine colostrum is rich in IgA, IgG and IgM antibodies .
Valor nutricional del calostro

Benefits of Colostrum Supplements

1. Helps increase immunity

Colostrum helps strengthen the immune system and helps the body fight disease-causing agents, such as bacteria and infections. The immune-boosting effects of colostrum are mainly due to its high concentration of IgA and IgG antibodies. (Stelwagen et al., 2009).

Research done suggests that colostrum supplements are very effective in boosting immunity in elite athletes. A 12-week study of 35 adult runners found that taking a daily bovine colostrum supplement increased the amount of IgA antibodies in saliva by 79%, compared to baseline levels. (Crooks et al., 2006).

El calostro aumenta la inmunidad

2. Helps prevent diarrhea

Compounds found in bovine colostrum , especially the variety of antibodies and the lactoferrin protein, help prevent diarrhea associated with bacterial and viral infections. (Berlutti et al., 2011).

A study of 87 adults who experienced HIV-associated diarrhea found that taking 100 grams of bovine colostrum daily along with traditional anti-diarrhea medications significantly decreased stool frequency by 21% more than traditional medications alone ( Kaducu et al., 2011).

Additionally, cows can receive immunizations against specific strains of bacteria to produce colostrum rich in antibodies that can fight specific infections. A study in 30 healthy adults found that those who took a daily dose of 1,200 mg of hyperimmune bovine colostrum , which contains antibodies that fight E. coli bacteria, were 90% less likely to develop traveler’s diarrhea than those who took a placebo (Otto et al., 2011).

El calostro sirve para tratar la diarrea

3. Benefits intestinal health

Bovine colostrum can strengthen the intestines of people and animals, as well as fight infections in the digestive tract.

Both animal and human studies show that bovine colostrum can stimulate intestinal cell growth, strengthen the intestinal wall, and prevent intestinal permeability, a condition that causes particles from your intestine to leak into the rest of your body. (Halasa et al., 2017).

A study in 12 athletes who were susceptible to intestinal permeability due to intense exercise found that taking 20 grams of bovine colostrum per day prevented 80% of the increase in intestinal permeability experienced by those who took a placebo (Marchbank et al. al., 2011).

On the other hand, the possibility that bovine colostrum reduces colitis symptoms is supported by animal studies. However, more extensive research in humans is needed. (Bodammer et al., 2011).

El calostro es bueno para la salud intestinal

Disadvantages of colostrum

Bovine colostrum is generally very safe for most people, although it may have some drawbacks.

People allergic to products that include milk should not consume bovine colostrum . Additionally, the products can also be made with additives that can include other common allergens like soy.

On the other hand, it is not known at this time if colostrum supplements are safe for pregnant or lactating women. In one study, 8 out of 55 samples of bovine colostrum contained traces of Salmonella, a potentially harmful bacteria. However, if the bovine colostrum is well pasteurized, salmonella and other harmful bacteria should not be a concern. (Houser et al., 2008).

Desventajas del calostro


In general, bovine colostrum is a very nutritious supplement that is beneficial for people. It is very rich in disease-fighting compounds, can boost immunity, fight infections that can cause diarrhea, and improve intestinal health. Still, more research is needed on its effects.

Despite being highly recommended, they can be extremely expensive and are not recommended for people with lactose problems.

Buy colostrum supplements here


  • Berlutti, F., Pantanella, F., Natalizi, T., Frioni, A., Paesano, R., Polimeni, A. and Valenti, P. (2011). Antiviral properties of lactoferrin – a natural immunity molecule. Molecules . doi: 10.3390 / molecules16086992
  • Bodammer, P., Maletzki, C., Waitz, G. and Emmrich, J. (2011). Prophylactic application of bovine colostrum ameliorates murine colitis via induction of immunoregulatory cells. The Journal of Nutritions. doi: 10.3945 / jn.110.128702
  • Crooks, C., Wall, C., Cross, M. and Rutherfurd-Markwick, K. (2006). The effect of bovine colostrum supplementation on salivary IgA in distance runners. International Journal of sport nutrition and excercise metabolism. doi: 1016676703
  • Hałasa, M., Maciejewska, D., Baśkiewicz-Hałasa, M., Machaliński, B., Safranow, K. and Stachowska, E. (2017). Oral Supplementation with Bovine Colostrum Decreases Intestinal Permeability and Stool Concentrations of Zonulin in Athletes. Nutrients. doi:
    10.3390 / nu9040370
  • Houser, B., Donaldson, S., Kehoe, S., Heinrichs, A., Jayarao, B. (2008). A survey of bacteriological quality and the occurrence of Salmonella in raw bovine colostrum. Foodborne pathogens and disease. doi:
    10.1089 / fpd.2008.0141
  • Kaducu, F., Okia, S., Upenytho, G., Elfstrand, L. and Florén, C. (2011). Effect of bovine colostrum-based food supplement in the treatment of HIV-associated diarrhea in Northern Uganda: a randomized controlled trial. Indian J Gastroenterol . doi: 10.1007 / s12664-011-0146-0
  • Marchbank, T., Davison, G., Oakes, J., Ghatei, M., Patterson, M., Moyer, M. and Playford, R. (2011). The nutriceutical bovine colostrum truncates the increase in gut permeability caused by heavy exercise in athletes. American Journal of Physiology. doi: 10.1152 / ajpgi.00281.2010
  • McGrathPatrick, B., Fox, P., McSweeney, P. and Kelly, A. (2016). Composition and properties of bovine colostrum: a review. Dairy Science & Technology. doi: 10.1007 / s13594-015-0258-x
  • Otto, W., Najnigier, B., Stelmasiak, T. and Robins-Browne, R. (2011). Randomized control trials using a tablet formulation of hyperimmune bovine colostrum to prevent diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli in volunteers. Scandinavian Journal of gastroenterology. doi: 10.3109 / 00365521.2011.574726
  • Stelwagen, K., Carpenter, E., Haigh, B., Hodgkinson, A. and Wheeler, T. (2009). Immune components of bovine colostrum and milk. Journal of animal science. doi: 10.2527 / jas.2008-1377
  • Zhang, G., Mann, D. and Tsai, C. (1999). Neutralization of endotoxin in vitro and in vivo by a human lactoferrin-derived peptide. Infection and immunity. doi: 10PMC96468