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Colostrum, or “early milk,” is produced by all mammals shortly after giving birth to young. Colostrum provides antibodies and nutrition that aid in the fortification of developing immune systems. It is rich in high-quality protein, antibacterial substances, growth factors and bioactive components. Bovine colostrum is marketed as a source of quality protein, growth factors and immune-fortifying compounds. As a weight-loss supplement, colostrum can help to increase lean body mass, therefore increasing basal metabolic rate.
Bovine colostrum is becoming popular among trained athletes to promote exercise performance.
Twelve physically active men participated in a study to determine the effects of two weeks of bovine colostrum supplementation on muscle proteins, serum amino acids and strength performance 2. Participants received 20 mg of a placebo or bovine colostrum four times a day. Comparison of the bovine colostrum and placebo groups indicated that bovine colostrum supplementation did not result in an increase in training volume or markers of muscular strength. The authors concluded that two weeks of colostrum supplementation had no effect on strength performance or protein balance in young men 2. Future studies should examine longer periods of colostrum supplementation before dismissing colostrum as ineffective on strength performance.
Lean Body Mass
In the study there were two groups: a placebo/whey protein group and a bovine colostrum group. Participants in each group participated in aerobic and heavy-resistance training at least three times per week for eight weeks. After the eight weeks of exercise training, the bovine colostrum group experienced a greater increase in lean body mass in active men and women than the whey protein group 2.
Colostrum supplementation has been shown to help increase lean body mass. Increased energy expenditure increases weight loss. Colostrum has a role to play in weight loss.
Shing, et al., suggest that 20 to 50 grams a day of colostrum, combined with other high-quality proteins, such as:
- yield the greatest benefits
Twelve physically active men participated in a study to determine the effects of two weeks of bovine colostrum supplementation on muscle proteins, serum amino acids and strength performance. The authors concluded that two weeks of colostrum supplementation had no effect on strength performance or protein balance in young men. Comparison of the bovine colostrum and placebo groups indicated that bovine colostrum supplementation did not result in an increase in training volume or markers of muscular strength.
- “Sports Medicine”; Bovine colostrum supplementation and exercise performance: potential mechanisms; Shing, Hunter and Stevenson; December 2009
- “Nutrition”; The effects of bovine colostrum supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in active men and women; Antonio, Sanders and Gammeren; March 2001
- Mayo Clinic: Metabolism and Weight Loss: How you burn calories
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