Health Benefits of Colostrum Supplements, According to a Dietitian

February 22, 2024 | by

Every few months, it seems there’s some new fad supplement going viral on social media. First there was bone broth. Then there was chlorophyll. Then there was collagen. And now, there’s colostrum.

Colostrum is the first milk produced by the mammary glands after birth. It’s important to support the development of newborns. But according to some health and wellness influencers, the “liquid gold,” which has a distinct yellow color and is rich in nutrients and is taken from bovine as a supplement, is also good for adults.

Many TikTokers tout the benefits of taking a bovine colostrum supplement—but does it really work? We talked to registered dietitian Joanna Gregg, RD, to get her take on the trend, and whether or not it actually has any health benefits for adults.

True or false: Bovine colostrum supplements boost your metabolism

Likely false. Some TikTokers claim that colostrum supplements can help speed up your metabolism. However, Gregg says this likely isn’t true.

“There is no scientific research that supports any claim that bovine colostrum supplements are beneficial for weight loss or boosting metabolism,” she says, adding that metabolism is largely determined by genetics.

What is scientifically-proven to support weight loss? Reducing caloric intake.

Potential benefits of bovine colostrum supplements

So if colostrum supplements likely can’t make you lose weight, what can it do?

“Colostrum found in bovine is nutritionally different from mature milk. It has a higher fat and protein content with a lower lactose content which is more desirable to a developing calf,” Gregg says.

She dug through the (limited) research to find some of the science-backed health benefits of the supplement for adults.

Note: Further research is needed to fully understand the effects of bovine colostrum supplements in adult humans.

1. Reduce gut inflammation

One potential benefit of bovine colostrum supplements is that it can improve gut health by reducing inflammation in people with chronic or acute GI infections like ulcerative colitis. “Bovine colostrum contains a high concentration of antimicrobial and antiviral peptides and proteins that may aid in decreasing gut inflammation and promoting GI integrity,” Gregg explains.

2. Improve recovery for athletes

Bovine colostrum can also potentially improve recovery time for endurance athletes after intense exercise. In two separate studies, both runners and cyclists improved performance after a few weeks of taking bovine colostrum supplements.

Also Read >> Another Viral Trend: Can the Skin Pinch Test Tell You If You’re Dehydrated?

Should you take bovine colostrum supplements?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here, Gregg says she personally wouldn’t recommend it to her clients because of the lack of conclusive information. “The specific nutrient content in colostrum is important in infants. Research is still needed to determine the efficacy of bovine colostrum supplement use in adults,” she explains.

If you have GI disruption or diagnosis though, some research suggests bovine colostrum supplements may relieve symptoms. Of course, be sure to talk to your doctor first as you would with any new supplement.

Above all, remember that if weight loss or improvement in body composition is your goal, bovine colostrum supplements are not the easy fix. “Research shows that the optimal way to lose weight is a caloric deficit. Consume a a nutrient dense diet full of complex carbs, lean proteins and healthy fats in appropriate amounts.”

When in doubt, our Essential Guide to Weight Loss can help.

Ready to start tracking your calories? Download MyFitnessPal for free


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