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Colostrum on Steroids Rx.com

Colostrum In the last decade, it seems some people are not satisfied with all the available food in North America. While a great majority seek a pill for all their health problems, some of us have gone way over board. Today, there is an intense interest in drinking colostrum. And this fad is not limited to the weight watchers and athletes; it is being used by thousands of individuals who simply want good health.

Colostrum is produced by the milk during the later stages of pregnancy. This milk is usually produced during the early days of breast feeding. The milk is slightly orange to yellow in color and quite thick in texture. Even though the volume is low, it is very nutritious. Colostrum has been thoroughly analyzed and found to be low in fat and high in proteins, carbohydrates and a number of immunoglobulins. It contains more minerals and less fat and carbohydrate than normal milk.

The human colostrum contains up to 20 per cent protein, predominantly immunoglobulins, representing the antibodies present in maternal blood. These antibodies protect the fetus from infections and help the baby grow faster and healthy. Unlike formula milk products, colostrum is easy to digest and highly recommended for all babies.

The amount of colostrum produced by the breast is fairly small. Just the initial breast milk is colostrum. It only lasts a few days and then the breast will start to make normal breast milk. For the baby, colostrum plays a number of roles including building up immunity and improving digestion. 

Colostrum and Consumers

Colostrum in Cow's Milk

Now the adult population has gone crazy over colostrum. Everyone wants to drink this first milk as if it is holy water. But is it good for the adult?

Recently there has been a lot of hype made about colostrum and many people have started to sell this product.  Colostrum which is avaible on the market today is derived from cows’ milk. There are 100s of colostrum products out on the market. Some are lyophilized into powders and others are available as a lqiuid.

The majority contain extra protens like casein and whey. The whey proteins contain a myriad of molecules including antibodies and IGF-1. However, many other formulations have never been analyzed and the exact ingredients in each remain a mystery. However, one should no get too excited about the presence of IGF-1 and all the great immunoglobulins in colostrum. When these are taken orally by the adult, the stomach acidity inactivates the majority of proteins and immunogloubulins. So far, it is believed that no IGF-1 gets into the blood stream.

First Milk (Colostrum)

There is some controversy on when colostrum is obtained from the cows. Some dealers get the colostrum as soon as the calf is delievered and others get the first breast milk from the cow. Some dealers claim that the active products in colostrum expire within 6- 12 hours if the milk is not obtained within this time. And others claim that the first milk can be obtained any time. In reality cows deliver babies at any time. To get the colostrum, one has to start milking the cows right away. (remember colostrum is only availble for the first few hours/days after delivery). And the only way to get this product is to milk the cow right away. And think- if the farmer is going to take the milk, how is the cow going to feed its infant? Well, in reality many farmers kill the infant cow, sell the meat and keeping on milking the cow for the colostrum- sad but true.

Many stores claim that the colostrum has been obtained from the cow within the first 6 hours after birth of the infant cow. However, in reality this is not true. Does anyone believe that a farmer is going to get up in the middle of the night to milk the cow just to get the colostrum? And who knows how much colostrum is mixed in with the milk to make more profit.

Medical benefits

Medical Benefits of Colostrum

There are a lot of studies showing that colostrum can prevent or cure a variety of infections. These range from colitis, diarrhea, constipation, upper respiratory tract infections and throat problems. It is only infections disorders which have benefited from colostrum; the product has not been shown to affect medical disorders like diabetes, obesity or hypertension. Reports that colostrum can relieve diabetes, hypertension, cancer or any other medical disorder are false. As far as bodybuilding and sports is concerned there is no evidence that colostrum does anything.

However, there are studies which do show that athletes who take colostrum do not develop upper respiratory tract infections or virus related colds.

Status in Sport

 

Colostrum is considered a food substance and so is not prohibited under the the World Anti-Doping Code 2007 Prohibited List. There is no sporting agency which bans the use of colostrum in the USA .

 

Availability

 

Colostrum is widely available as a liquid or a powder. In the USA, the product is not regulated and is sold in many health food stores. All the colostrum available is produced naturally from cows and not synthezised. Liquid Colostrum

 

Depending on what type of product one buys the cost varies. Some lozenges cost $20 for a 100 pills.  Some powders (21 oz) cost nearly $90. Colostrum definitely is not a cheap chemical. For those who want to lead a healthy life style, one should simply eat a well balanced diet and exericse. For those who have money, perhaps buying a cow may help. And then you will always have access to the first milk.

References

Akerström TC, Pedersen BK. Strategies to Enhance Immune Function for Marathon Runners: What can be Done? Sports Med 2007; 37(4-5):416-419.

Antonio J, Sanders MS, Van Gammeren D. The effects of bovine colostrum supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in active men and women. Nutrition 2001 Mar; 17(3):243-7.

Buckley JD. Bovine colostrum: Does it improve athletic performance? Nutrition 2002 Sep; 18(9):776-7.

Crooks CV, Wall CR, Cross ML, Rutherfurd-Markwick KJ. The effect of bovine colostrum supplementation on salivary IgA in distance runners. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2006 Feb; 16(1):47-64.

Hofman Z, Smeets R, Verlaan G, et al. The effect of bovine colostrum supplementation on exercise performance in elite field hockey players. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2002 Dec; 12(4):461-9.

Kerksick CM, Rasmussen C, Lancaster S, Starks M, Smith P, Melton C, Greenwood M, Almada A, Kreider R. Impact of differing protein sources and a creatine containing nutritional formula after 12 weeks of resistance training. Nutrition 2007 Sep; 23(9):647-56.

Kuipers H, van Breda E, Verlaan G, et al. Effects of oral bovine colostrum supplementation on serum insulin-like growth factor-I levels. Nutrition 2002 Jul- Aug; 18(7-8):566-7.

Shing CM, Peake JM, Suzuki K, et al. Effects of Bovine Colostrum Supplementation on Immune Variables of Highly-Trained Cyclists. J Appl Physiol 2006 Nov 9.

 
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