Colostrum for fitness and weight loss


perpetual student
Dec 3, 2007
Texas, USA

Studies are now showing significant gains in fitness with colostrum supplementation. A widely reported study in Australia found a 20% increase in strength, stamina, and shortened recovery time for both soccer players and cyclists. Many body builders and fitness experts say colostrum works better than any other legal substance they ever experienced.

The growth factors found in colostrum are now known to enhance muscle tone, burn off body fat, promote skin elasticity, and increase bone density. TgF-alpha and -beta (transforming growth factors) stimulate production and repair of RNA and DNA, as well as repair of damaged muscle fibers in athletes. EGF (epithelial growth factor) stimulates enhanced skin healing. IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) is able to “promote muscle growth by itself,” according to Muscle and Fitness associate editor Steve Schwade. Bovine IGF-1 is effective in humans, differing in its structure by only 3 out of 67 amino acids, and bovine colostrum is found to be even higher in IGF-1 than human colostrum. The growth factors in colostrum stimulate protein synthesis and slow protein breakdown, resulting in increased lean muscle mass. At the same time, they shift the metabolism from burning carbohydrates to burning more fats.

Olympic skiers taking colostrum experienced less fatigue and improved their performance in a placebo-controlled study in Finland. They also showed only half the level of blood creatine-kinase, a marker of muscle injury, compared to placebo control. Another Finnish study confirmed that athletes taking colostrum during strength and speed training did in fact show increased blood serum concentrations of IGF-1.126

Overall, colostrum is considered as powerful as steroids at generating increased muscle mass when used in conjunction with exercise, but without the risks and side effects. Studies have shown that the growth factors present in colostrum increase between 2,500% to 4,000% (from
2–5 ng/mg to 50–200 ng/mg) with exposure to acidity. To gain the maximum fitness benefits from colostrum, take it in powder form (empty the capsule in your mouth or onto food) toward the end of a meal or 45 minutes before a physical workout session with a protein drink. Friendly flora, which naturally promotes a healthy acidity level in the colon, may also enhance the benefits of colostrum.

Athletic Immune Stress

Strenuous exercise associated with athletic training and competition places a tremendous strain on body systems, including the immune system. Studies on the effects of extreme exercise on the immune system have shown profound immune system changes following marathon runs or other forms of athletic performance that push the body to the limit. One study on marathon runners showed that white blood cell counts decreased dramatically after a three-hour run but returned to normal levels within 21 hours.128 Another study on marathoners showed decreased natural killer cell activity after a race.129,129 This would suggest that athletes who push themselves to their limits are much more susceptible to infectious diseases, such as upper respiratory infections, which is indeed borne out by research.130 Combined with proper nutrition and rest, colostrum helps prevent this. Colostrum, with its growth and immune factors, cuts recovery time and boosts immune function, reducing the susceptibility of athletes to infection after exercise,131 and it can help heal “leaky gut” in athletes, which can be caused by protein supplementation.132 Colostrum also speeds the healing of muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries. Other studies on athletes have shown that colostrum can decrease recovery times and increase anaerobic power.133,134,135 Colostrum supplementation also builds lean muscle tissue and burns fat.136

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled colostrum to be an acceptable supplement. In recognition of colostrum’s natural ability to improve an athlete’s health and physical condition, the IOC ruled that colostrum is an acceptable supplement. They based their decision on the fact that although colostrum supplementation stimulates the production of IGF-1 in the body, the IGF-1 in colostrum is not actually absorbed but digested.137,138 So colostrum emerges as an ideal supplement for athletes, whether they are Olympic athletes or weekend warriors. It builds lean muscle, burns fat, protects from disease, and heals the leaky gut condition often associated with athletic training and performance.

Healing, Tissue Repair, and Injury Recovery

Colostrum has been known for its healing abilities since earliest times, being mentioned in Egyptian hieroglyphic texts for its healing properties[JC3] . Skin cells have receptors for growth hormone and IGF-1, showing that they have the ability to react directly to growth hormone stimulation.157 IGF-II, also found in colostrum, plays a similar role.158 Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and epithelial growth factor (EGF), both found in colostrum, are important in healing skin wounds.159, 160 Burns suppress the levels of IGF-1 in the affected area,161 which explains why colostrum, with its high concentration of IGF-1, is excellent for burn recovery.

The growth factors in colostrum also accelerate the healing of muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries, such as are commonly experienced by athletes.162,163,164,165 Colostrum’s growth factors stimulate regeneration and repair of muscle, bone, cartilage, skin, collagen, and nerve tissues, as well as RNA and DNA. This not only means faster, more complete recovery from injury and illness. It is also how colostrum stimulates age-erasing effects.

With prolonged use, the skin becomes more youthful, while age-spots and liver spots disappear. Sexual function is enhanced and bone density increases. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine166 has shown that transforming growth factor (TGF-b) found in colostrum is also produced by osteoblasts, the cells that build bone. TgF-b was found to dramatically increase cell apoptosis (programmed cell death) among osteoclasts, the cells responsible for breaking down and reabsorbing bone. In addition to colostrum, microcrystalline hydroxyapatite and DHEA are proven to increase bone density.

Colostrum also helps to balance blood sugar and replenish neurotransmitters, resulting in better alertness and concentration, while enhancing mood. Both serotonin and dopamine are released in greater quantities, while their re-uptake is prolonged, allowing each molecule to work longer and more efficiently. For this reason, it is generally best to take colostrum in the morning and again sometime before about 4:00 p.m. (e.g., around lunchtime or a couple hours after).

Weight Loss

Whole, first milking colostrum contains leptin (approximately 50 ng/g). Leptin, discovered in 1994, derives its name from the Greek word leptos, meaning thin. This is a polypeptide hormone produced in adipose and many other tissues with many different roles related to the inhibition of food intake and stimulation of energy expenditure. In embryology, its levels are associated with fertility and reproductive maturity in many species. There are several additional hormonal roles in the adult including satiety, adiposity, and metabolism. Higher levels of leptin as a neurotransmitter can accelerate the communication signals to stop eating sooner.

Colostrum also contains insulin-like growth factors. IGF-1 is the predominant of these and is in fact the real growth hormone, not GH which only stimulates the liver to produce IGF-1. IGF-1 is necessary to produce new cells. It stimulates tissue repair and recovery and lean muscle growth, increasing strength and endurance. But it also stops the digestion of our own muscle tissue to balance blood glucose to the brain in times of fast (between meals), and stimulates the utilization of stored body fats for fuel. The only supplementation for IGF-1 hormone is colostrum. The only other way to stimulate more hormone production is via weight training and endurance exercise programs. Colostrum has shown it can significantly enhance our body physiology and therefore improve our appearance and vitality.