Stop Dieting and Start Living! Find Your Forever Balance! Accepting New Clients, Book Now! |

Want to Partnership with me? Book A Call

Popular Posts

Dream Life in Paris

Questions explained agreeable preferred strangers too him her son. Set put shyness offices his females him distant.


Edit Template

Colostrum supplements: are they safe and do you need one?

Over the past year, colostrum supplements have gained popularity claiming benefits like strengthening the immune system, gut health, muscle growth and fat loss. So let’s dive in: are these claims evidence-based or is this just another diet culture trend?

In this post we’ll cover:

  • What is colostrum
  • Nutritional breakdown of colostrum
  • Human vs. bovine colostrum
  • The science of colostrum supplementation
  • Are colostrum supplements safe?
  • My opinion

What is colostrum?

Colostrum (aka “liquid gold” or pre-milk) is the thick, nutrient-rich first milk naturally produced by females that have recently given birth. Breastfeeding mothers provide colostrum to their newborns, offering them high levels of immuno-protective antibodies to boost their baby’s immune system and help fight infection.

Nutritional breakdown of colostrum

The precise composition of breastmilk varies significantly throughout the lactating period – it changes and adapts based on the infant’s needs. Talk about the best personalized diet! Colostrum contains all of the nutrients babies need for their first few days of life.

The components of human colostrum are:

  • vitamins A, D, B, K, magnesium, copper and zinc
  • protein
  • carbohydrate
  • fat
  • immunoglobulins (primarily IgA in humans)
  • growth factors
  • enzymes
  • antimicrobial peptides
After a few days, colostrum changes to transitional milk and after several weeks to mature milk. 


Human vs bovine colostrum

While all mammals produce colostrum, supplements are typically derived from cows (bovine colostrum) and goats. For this post, I will focus on bovine colostrum as it’s much more common.

Bovine colostrum is pasteurized and then dried into pills or powders. It is similar to human colostrum in terms of what it provides, however, there are differences in the compositions and proportions.

Source of Tables 1-3.

The science of colostrum supplementation

While colostrum’s popularity is increasing, there is limited evidence of the benefits of bovine colostrum in adult humans.

Newborns can absorb growth factors from colostrum more effectively due to their underdeveloped intestinal tract. However, adults have fully developed intestinal tracts that break down these beneficial compounds before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. 

Here is the research we have available now:

1. There may be a minor reduction in upper respiratory tract infections with colostrum supplementation, more research is needed.

2. A study done on 18 volunteers showed bovine colostrum may possess some potential to increase vaccine efficacy.

3. Colostrum, due to being a dietary protein, appears to promote building lean body mass. This is comparable to supplementing a similar dose of whey protein.

4. There is solid evidence to show that colostrum supplementation helps to reduce traveller’s diarrhea when using colostrum from a cow immunized to E. coli as well as diarrhea associated with HIV/AIDS.

5. One study of 16 participants with type 2 diabetes who supplemented bovine colostrum showed a small improvement in cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose

6. One study on 14 people with distal colitis showed suppression of symptoms and inflammation using a colostrum solution as an enema, compared to a placebo.  No studies are currently available on oral supplementation of colostrum for IBD. 


The biggest takeaway here is that the research is severely lacking. It is currently unknown whether or not there are benefits of supplementing bovine colostrum on generally healthy adult humans (unique to other protein supplements, such as whey protein). 


Are colostrum supplements safe?

Although there is limited research on colostrum supplements, the evidence suggests they are safe for most people. They are not suitable for people with milk allergies or lactose intolerance.

Supplementing bovine colostrum may cause side effects such as bloating, upset stomach, gas or diarrhea.

Like many other supplements, bovine colostrum supplements are currently not regulated in the US or Canada.  Therefore, look for high-quality brands with third-party testing and always speak to your healthcare provider before adding supplementation.

My opinion

To be honest, I thought most of the “wellness” social media influencers were encouraging their audience to eliminate dairy, so I’m surprised to see that they’re now recommending we all need to take colostrum. #contradiction

These supplements are expensive (see below). Which I know is a subjective con, however, if I’m spending my hard-earned money, I personally want to spend it on something I know is effective. 

Right now, I can’t say I agree with the buzz and popularity of the supplement, but I won’t fully dismiss it as a diet culture trend.  There may be benefits to supplementation in certain populations, however, for a generally healthy adult supplementation may be unnecessary.  If you’re looking to increase muscle mass, strengthen your immune system, improve your gut health, or lose weight – there is so much that can be done nutritionally without having to pay for an expensive (potentially ineffective) supplement. 


All blog posts are written for general nutrition improvement and should only be used as a guide. This article is intended for educational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any condition. It is not specific advice for any individual. Before adding supplements to your regimen, please speak to your healthcare professional.

Share Article:

1 Comment

  • I like the efforts you have put in this, regards for all the great content.

  • Awesome! Its genuinely remarkable post, I have got much clear idea regarding from this post

  • I like the efforts you have put in this, regards for all the great content.

  • For the reason that the admin of this site is working, no uncertainty very quickly it will be renowned, due to its quality contents.

  • Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites

  • This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  • Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Many thanks for providing these details.

  • I really like reading through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

  • Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Many thanks for providing these details.

  • I’m often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand spanking new information.

  • This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am really happy to read everthing at one place

  • This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  • very informative articles or reviews at this time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Hi, I’m Krista! I am a Registered Dietitian on a mission to show people how to feel better in their bodies with balance! Healthy eating shouldn’t be so restrictive + complicated. 

Eating balanced means nourishing your body and your soul so you can optimize your physical health without sacrificing your mental health.

Follow On Instagram

Let's Work Together

Ready to find your balance with food forever?

Join the Balanced Eats family!

Sign up for a once-monthly newsletter filled with nutrition tips, recipes and freebies!

You have been successfully Subscribed! Oops! Something went wrong, please try again.
Edit Template

My Mission

To end the yo-yo dieting cycle forever! Your health and your body are with you forever, so it’s time to stop relying on short-term diets or quick fixes to achieve good health. We all need a long-term plan that fits our unique body, lifestyle, schedule and tastebuds.

I want to help every client optimize their physical health without compromising their mental health or sacrificing their social life. After all, food is meant to be enjoyed!


Join Me on Social!

© 2020, Krista Williamson, RD