T Nation

Colostrum

Has any body used colostrum before and has anybody made many gains with colostrum?? would be good to hear any results.

A better product than colostrum is Protein Factory’s Bovine Serum.

bullshit heb!

Basically COST:BENEFIT ratio at the amounts required to show any effects (found clinically) will be poor at best.


Also, I think there are massive quality control issues relevant here too.


If you’ve bought all your other supps, and still have plenty of money to spare, you could give it a go at HIGH dosages. Not something I’d put my money on currently when comparing to other proven and cost-effective supps around. SRS

SRS- Im a little curious as to the test you are talking about with colostrum. Comparing it to what? All studies that I have seen, it far surpasses whey. But the cost thing I understand along with the quality control issue.

daStudent-

I was a little brief (how unlike me!) in my first response. I should have known there’d be some rebukes to my unsupported statements!

Anyway there are various issues that concern me with Colostrum:

  1. Quality-

*By definition, Colostrum needs to come from the cow in it’s 1st 2 DAYS of Milk production.

  • It needs to be low-heat processed and spray-dried for best preservation of protein components.

*There is STILL a controversy as to what produces the “best” colostrum- a controlled nutrition (read concentrate fed dairy cows), or a “natural” pasture fed cow (beef or dairy?) as the NZ producers would have you believe. Most people would opt for the latter. But how do you know how good the quality of the pasture is, compared to the uniformity of food quality in the concentrate fed animals? There will also be large variations in colostrum components in different cow populations even without variation in food intake. It seems very little research has been done into this area (probably because the main use of the substance before interest from sports science was just to give the calf the Ig’s and GF’s it needed to survive in it’s OWN particular area.)

  1. Effectiveness

don does not specify to what his aspirations pertain to. The CLAIMED benefits of colostrum range (as with all “wonder supps”) from anti-cancer, immune system modulating, to athletic performance (some say endurance, some body composition improvements).

Anyway, let’s presume (as it’s the basis of this site) that he wants to improve his size/strength (LBM).

Changing the subject very slightly-You may have noticed the recent large improvements in sporting performance by the Australians recently. This has certainly been heavily influenced by the surge in Government spending in this area. One great thing to emerge from this spending is the Australian Institute for Sport. They invest a considerable amount of time in nutritional research. In turn, I trust their unbiased judgements on proposed sports supplements. (I am sure TOPKAT agrees with me on this front:-))

This is therefore unashamedly taken from the AIS website, summarising their current view on Colostrum, which kind of supports my current thinking:

"…Colostrum is a protein-rich substance secreted in breast milk in the first few days after a mother has given birth. Colostrum supplements are typically produced from bovine (cow) sources.
Colostrum is rich in immunoglobulins and insulin-like growth factors (IGFs).

***Unlike the adult gut, the gut of a baby has “leaky” junctions which allow it to absorb proteins including immunoglobulins, thus developing the immuno-competence needed to survive outside the uterus.***…"

(- i.e. it is VERY unlikely that the performance increasing effects seen are due to actual absorption of intact Ig’s (large protein chains) by the adult gut.)

*"…Colostrum supplementation is claimed to improve exercise performance and recovery, and possibly have beneficial effects on body composition.

*"To date, only a small number of studies have been conducted and published in peer-reviewed literature. Although these studies are well-controlled and involve long-term supplementation with colostrum, they have been unable to show consistent or universal effects on athletic performance.

*"Changes in body composition following colostrum supplementation are not consistent. While one study has reported an increase in lean body mass following a period of colostrum supplementation, other studies have found no changes in body mass or body composition.

*"Further research is required to demonstrate that colostrum supplementation benefits performance and to identify the athlete group most likely to benefit from supplementation.

*"While a few studies indicate that colostrum supplementation increases serum IGF-1, other studies have failed to demonstrate this.
A mechanism by which colostrum supplementation benefits athletes remains speculative.

*“Therefore, at the present time, there is no clear evidence that colostrum supplementation is of benefit to the health or performance of athletes…”

  1. Cost

Even if we are to accept only those studies showing a beneficial effect of Colostrum supplementation, the actual quantities used to demonstrate increases in ATHLETIC performance (it seems we may be able to beneficially affect Immune function with less) have been in the region of 20-60g daily. Meanwhile the recommended dose by the supplement companies themselves (I presume to make it seem affordable) is between 2 and 4g daily (10x less).

From my research, the cheapest products around seem to be around the $30 mark for 180g (in Powder form). So at 25g/d, thats around $30/wk.- for an as-yet UNPROVEN supplement.

So, getting back to my original post,
I’d say that instead of spending a large amount of your available supplement budget on colostrum, you would be far better off choosing e.g. a good Whey protein, multivitamin etc., BCAA’s and glutamine, and Creatine. (Unless, as I hinted, money’s no object and you would like to act as a human guinea pig for a while.)

Anyway, daStudent, if you’re still interested in reading the literature for yourself, here’s the most up-to-date and informative summary I can find, also from the AIS, on the subject (with refs.):

www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition/Colostrum.pdf

Hope this helps somewhat, Regards, SRS.

Thanks for clearing everything up. That pretty muched covered everything there.

Glad to be of some service:-) SRS

Good points SRS
I wouldnt mind giving it a go however. the reports i have seem to be similar to methoxy (ie better recovery, hardening up etc) at high doses (10g per day). I live in NZ so the cost is luckly low for me if buying in bulk ie by the kilo, maybe i’ll give it a bash when i start bulking again and get ya’ll some feed back
I still find it hard to take alot of these studies seriously, they tend to get so twisted, (think HMB andro etc). what about methoxy? good stuff but dosent seem to have a lot of scientific backing either.
The AIS has a bit of info on only certain products due to the crap laws they have restricting pretty much everything they can buy in the supplement stores over there. I wouldn’t write home about their nutrition just yet either, they are still pretty dated (going on the athletes i have briefly worked with), their training, development and mental prep however is amazing

Whetu-


Yup, the price does seem to be lower down under when I’ve looked around on the web. Maybe it’s the abundance of bovines down there!?


You are in a better state than me to comment on the nutrition side of things in AUS/NZ (and I KNOW there’s no love lost between you guys, so I would expect some criticism!). However, I have read most of the articles so far (the peer-reviewed journal ones) myself, and I feel the AIS interpretation is currently spot-on.

-'Fraid I still just don’t see the value there vs the basic “staples” (or even Methoxy). And I also think that you’re gonna need at least 20g to see any results in what you’re looking for.

But you’re right, I haven’t tried it myself, I’m just going on the research, and what others who’ve tried the low doses (2-4g sid) have told me.


Are you planning on trying it out soon? If so, keep this thread in mind, and get it going again at that time for all our benefit?


SRS