Colostrum may not be on your radar as something that may benefit your gut health. However, research is emerging to show that choosing a good colostrum supplement and incorporating it into your daily routine can really be a game-changer for your digestive tract.
Plus, most people who provide colostrum testimonials and colostrum reviews are downright enamored with its positive gut health effects.
When you are looking for the best colostrum supplement for gut health on the market today, there are many factors to consider. For colostrum supplements, quality, ethical considerations, and consistency of intake really matter.
In this post, learn about the research-backed benefits of colostrum, the best colostrum supplements on the market, colostrum testimonials and reviews (including my own), how to take colostrum, and how to choose colostrum supplements that are healthy for both animal welfare and the environment.
What is Colostrum?
Colostrum is the ultra immune-enhancing part of milk; in supplements, it is typically derived from cow’s milk. Bovine milk is particularly high in colostrum levels right after a mother gives birth to boost the baby’s immunity.
Luckily for baby cows, there is extra colostrum in their mother’s first milk. This allows for colostrum supplements to be extracted from first milkings that still leaves more than enough colostrum for the baby calves.
That is, if the colostrum is derived ethically. More on that soon.
You may be wondering, why should I use colostrum? Colostrum is rich in protective antibodies, nutrients, lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, growth factors, and other healthy compounds that may help heal a body under stress.
In a nutshell, colostrum is thought to improve the body’s immune tolerance and boosts overall health because of this.
Colostrum for leaky gut
Leaky gut is related to many diseases, especially autoimmune diseases and other conditions like autism. Incidentally, athletes can also develop leaky gut due to the stress of heavy exercise too.
Several clinical studies demonstrate that bovine colostrum supplements help reduce leaky gut and it contains digestive enzymes that support healthy digestion.
Using colostrum for 22 days in healthy athletes benefited their gut health in a recent research study.
For example, the people receiving the colostrum had reduced leaky gut compared to people getting a placebo. In this study, they measured leaky gut in a number of ways, including measuring zonulin.
Zonulin is a protein that increases the gaps between intestinal cells, resulting in intestinal “leakiness.”
The people getting bovine colostrum had both reduced stool zonulin levels and zonulin blood levels compared to the placebo group (R).
This is a good thing because it indicates that their guts were healing.
Another study showed that colostrum has additive benefits in reducing leaky gut for athletes. 8 people who were heavy exercisers received zinc carnosine alone or zinc carnosine plus colostrum. Those taking both the zinc and colostrum had greater improvements in gut permeability than those getting zinc only (R).
Early research work also shows that colostrum may be helpful in preventing or treating colitis symptoms by reducing inflammatory compounds (R).
Reduces diarrhea symptoms
Colostrum helps to reduce diarrhea from various causes, including salmonella and E.coli sources in children, according to a double-blind, placebo-controlled research trial (R)).
In people with HIV-associated diarrhea, colostrum supplements reduced diarrhea symptoms dramatically and these patients also had improvements in immune counts as well as more energy (R).
One of the active compounds in colostrum is called lactoferrin. This compound helps to reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea symptoms according to an 8-week study (R).
All told, colostrum supplements seem safe and effective for many kinds of diarrhea.
Colostrum and autism
Children with autism almost universally suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms, which are thought to be related to altered gut immunity and abnormal microbiomes.
A small clinical trial found that both supplements of a probiotic called B. Longum and bovine colostrum resulted in improvements in digestive symptoms like constipation and diarrhea.
These children also had reductions in irritability, hyperactivity, and stereotypy when receiving both the probiotic and the colostrum (R).
While we don’t know if colostrum helps all children with autism, it may be worth a try because it is good for overall digestive.
Colostrum and autoimmune conditions
By helping to heal a leaky gut, colostrum is reported by many reviewers to help with their autoimmune conditions like arthritis and colitis.
Colostrum has regulatory compounds that help keep the immune system healthy without going into overdrive by keeping T-cells in balance (R).
Does colostrum help you sleep?
I honestly couldn’t find any research to support that colostrum helps with sleep.
However, many reviewers claim that they sleep better when taking colostrum supplements. This may be true because when gut health is enhanced, sleep patterns follow suit.
Colostrum benefits for skin
Many colostrum testimonials claim that colostrum helps improve skin health for conditions like wound healing and eczema.
I’ll admit that research is scant here, but there are a few studies that show that colostrum may help speed up wound healing by increasing the growth of skin cells called keratinocytes (R).
Other research shows that colostrum may help improve skin wound healing by helping to regulate the immune system and by boosting growth factors (R).Colostrum-LD Powder :: 16 oz. (454 grams)
Other colostrum benefits
Bovine colostrum supplementation may help to provide immune support and by doing so, may provide the following benefits as well:
- Reduce stomach distress from over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen
- May reduce Helicobacter pylori stomach infections
- Immune-enhancing benefits
- Improves energy
- Reduce allergy symptoms
- Calms inflammation
- May help regulate appetite
- Upper respiratory health
- May improve bone density
- Improves the diversity of the microbiome
Interesting fact: prior to the advent of antibiotics, colostrum was used to help reduce infections, but this use was lost after the popularity of antibiotics.
Colostrum for recovery from exercise
Using colostrum may help heal tissue recovery because it helps to boost insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels while reducing inflammation in the body.
Both athletic performance and an increase in muscle mass occur in people who exercise and use colostrum supplements (R).
The best colostrum supplement brands
There are certainly several brands of high-quality colostrum supplements on the market today, but only one brand meets all the specifications for best colostrum supplement. It is Sovereign Laboratories Colostrum-LD.
Liposomal encapsulation enables bovine colostrum to survive the transit through the G.I. tract to deliver colostrum’s bioactive compounds. It increases bioavailability by up to 1,500%.
The other benefits of Sovereign Laboratories Colostrum-LD:
- The colostrum in Colostrum-LD is collected from the first milking of dairy cows, which are pasture-raised.
- It is soy, corn, and grain-free.
- From the first milking after the calf obtains its needs.
- Colostrum-LD comes from a trusted source, with more than 25 years of research (the owner – Douglas Wyatt) in colostrum.
- It’s non-GMO, gluten-free, and Halal and Kosher-certified.
- No antibiotics or chemicals
- GMP certified
- Contains a minimum of 25-30% immunoglobulins or 1.25 grams of IgG per serving
- Low lactose-lower than almost all brands out there.
How to choose colostrum
It is important to know how to choose colostrum supplements that are healthy for both animal welfare and the environment.
- All bovine colostrum products should be from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals for ethical treatment and the health of the soil and the environment.
- Collected from the first milking, but after the baby cows get their colostrum
- Immunoglobulin at high concentrations
- Liposomal delivery to enhance absorption
- Certified good manufacturing practices (cGMP facilities)
- Third-party testing
- Free returns and satisfaction guaranteed with money back
Honestly, the only company that meets all of these criteria is Sovereign Laboratories, so I highly suggest that brand. There are over 1000 positive reviews on various websites for this brand.
There are a few other highly-rated brands on the market, like Symbiotics Colostrum Capsules and Ancestral Supplements colostrum, but the only liposomal brand is Sovereign Laboratories. If you are going to the expense of buying, why not choose the most bioavailable form?
Who should avoid colostrum?
People who have a true milk allergy should avoid colostrum.
That said, many people with other types of allergies find that taking colostrum helps them to reduce symptoms of allergies.
Is colostrum safe?
Over 2000 research trials have been conducted where colostrum has been used and it is generally recognized as safe.
Rarely, people who take colostrum supplements experience what is called a Herxheimer reaction, which is a type of healing reaction. The symptoms can include flu-like symptoms, headache or nausea. These symptoms will go away after a few days of use typically.
If this occurs, simply reduce the dose and slowly increase the dose to the recommended amount as tolerated.
Colostrum testimonials and reviews (including my own)
Colostrum testimonials and colostrum reviews online are overall extremely positive, with most everyone reporting improvements in many aspects of their health.
Almost universally, people feel like they have better digestive function and more regular bowel movements.
Some people say it is their favorite pre-workout supplement.
Others say they get their best restful sleep when using it as well.
Another big benefit they see is that allergy symptoms are reduced and even go away. This is true for both people and when they give it to their dogs for allergic skin reactions.
My colostrum review
Starting from an already healthy position, I was curious if I would feel anything different when taking colostrum. I began taking Sovereign Laboratories Colostrum LD with a bit of doubt.
After only 4 days, however, I can easily say that my digestive tract overall feels calm and better, like a soothing blanket on my belly. I do many things to protect my gut health too, because I know it is the cornerstone to most every aspect of my health.
I notice that my skin health is also benefiting, my face looks like it has more circulation and my skin feels a bit more moisturized already. I have a good level of energy and I have been sleeping quite well.
It’s spring and my allergies aren’t flaring, even when I’m working in the yard.
Will I continue the colostrum? Most definitely. The only downside is that it costs around a couple of dollars a day, depending on the dose you take it can cost even a little more.
I would say it is better money spent than on fancy coffee drinks or many other supplements, so it is definitely worth the cost.
Best time to take colostrum and how to take it
- The best time to take colostrum is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
- When taking bovine colostrum, do not mix it with hot beverages, smoothies, or food.
- For maximum benefit, it should always be taken on an empty stomach.
- It is easy to mix the colostrum powder with about 1 to 2 ounces of water and drink it because the taste is mild and pleasant.
- For best gut health results, take 1 to 2 teaspoons both morning and evening, or twice a day on an empty stomach for best gut health support.
- If you are looking for anti-aging benefits or for athletic benefits, it may take up to 2 tablespoons twice daily.
You can even safely give colostrum to your pets, starting with a much smaller dose for small animals, such as ¼ teaspoon to ½ teaspoon, but if you have a big dog, you can give them the full teaspoon dose.
Some people choose to take colostrum capsules, which is certainly a convenient option, but ideally, get the powder whenever possible for the best benefits possible.
How long does colostrum take to work?
Most people feel that taking colostrum takes a few weeks to work, but others notice that their symptoms start improving after 3 or 4 days.
How long should you take colostrum?
Like many dietary supplements, consistency is key.
If you stop taking colostrum, you will probably not retain the health benefits of colostrum, so it is recommended that you take colostrum consistently and daily.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body and is shared for educational purposes only and is not meant to provide medical advice. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making changes to your supplement regimen or lifestyle.