July 17, 2024

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Health benefits of colostrum supplements

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The COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for many people in terms of how they think about and manage immunity, health, and wellness. In fact, the global market for immune health supplements was valued at more than $55 billion in 2020, and is expected to grow 11% year over year through 2028, according to one report from Grand View Research.

One type of supplement that’s gained momentum in the push for elevated immune health is bovine colostrum. Also called “first milk,” colostrum is the initial substance produced by the mammary glands in mammals after giving birth to a newborn, proven in humans to offer extra protection for a baby’s early immunity out of the hospital and into the world. 

Colostrum is incredibly rich in antibodies (or immunoglobulins) and other vitamins and minerals. And now, it is the basis of an entire category of supplements (made from cow, not human, milk) and superfoods that aim to boost immunity and overall health. 

These supplements come in both powder and pill form, and are touted to improve immune health, soothe gastrointestinal distress, reduce inflammation, and facilitate muscle recovery, among other benefits in adults. Used by professional athletes and weekend warriors alike, colostrum supplements are available over the counter, without a prescription. The formulations vary from brand to brand and are not yet regulated by the FDA, so consulting your doctor before taking any supplement is always a good idea. 

Is colostrum a new superfood?

Dr. Jesse Bracamonte, a Mayo Clinic family medicine physician in Glendale, Ariz., says that while studies on the benefits of bovine colostrum are limited, there are some some good reasons to work it into your routine. Recent research shows some success with curbing acute diarrhea and preventing seasonal respiratory infections, says Bracamonte. 

That’s why when his patients ask about starting colostrum, he doesn’t hesitate to sign off on it, unless there’s a dairy allergy…

Nicole Gull McElroy

2023-12-03 05:00:00

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