According to a Nutritionist, This Superfood Can Replace Your Probiotic

In the realm of superfoods, few hold the title as fervently as colostrum. Yes, colostrum. If you’re a breastfeeding mom, IBCLC, pediatrician, or work with newborns in any capacity, I’m speaking your language. It’s liquid gold. But guess what? It’s not just for infants. This supplement’s recent surge in popularity—among adults!—is no coincidence. The wellness community is catching on. With that in mind, we’re sharing the 411 on colostrum. Simultaneously, we’re honing in on one of our favorite subjects: digestion. The connection between colostrum and gut health runs deep. Time to spill the deets on this unrivaled nutrient powerhouse.

Featured image of our interview with Shanika Hillocks.

Edie Horstman

Edie Horstman

Edie is the founder of nutrition coaching business, Wellness with Edie. With her background and expertise, she specializes in women’s health, including fertility, hormone balance, and postpartum wellness.

Is colostrum a true superfood?

Yes. But let’s get one thing clear: the term “superfood” is used liberally—thanks to marketing trends, popular perceptions, and a desire for bandaid health solutions. These days, everything from seeds to sweet potatoes secure a spot on some type of must-eat-for-optimal-health list. And while these ingredients are nutritious, what defines a superfood is subjective.

All of that to say, if you’re in the market to level up your supplement game, colostrum (easily) fits the superfood criterion. This golden elixir is brimming with proteins, growth factors, vitamins, and immunoglobulins. Its nutrient composition is exceptional.

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All About Bovine Colostrum

Let’s back up. What is colostrum? Colostrum is the first milk produced by mammals—including humans—in the initial days after birth. It serves as a newborn’s first source of nourishment, containing high concentrations of proteins, antibodies, and more. It’s crucial for both an infant’s early development and immune system support. But beyond infancy, colostrum (bovine colostrum, specifically!) can also support a variety of adult-related health conditions. Digestion, included. Although bovine colostrum is made from cows, it’s very similar to human colostrum: it’s rich in vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, disease-fighting proteins, growth hormones, and digestive enzymes. In recent years, these supplements have skyrocketed.

What is the typical dosage?

A standard bovine colostrum dosage is about half a teaspoon (1.5 grams). In powdered form, enjoy it directly in your mouth. Otherwise, add it to a cool beverage (like a smoothie). If you’re curious about the taste, it’s subtle and resembles buttermilk. Although this is no surprise, as it comes from cows! Our favorite bovine colostrum supplement? ARMRA. Harnessing the power of over 200 research-backed nutrients, ARMRA offers an incredibly potent and high-quality colostrum powder.

If you have a severe lactose intolerance, discuss taking bovine colostrum with your healthcare practitioner. That said, ARMRA—specifically—is anti-inflammatory and often well-tolerated by customers who typically would have dairy intolerance otherwise.

Woman eating citrus.

10 Reasons to Take Bovine Colostrum

Keeping ethical standards, quality, and dosage in mind, bovine colostrum has range of health benefits:

  1. Immune system support. It contains a range of antibodies, immunoglobulins, and other immune-boosting compounds to enhance the body’s defense mechanisms.
  2. Gut health. More on this below, but colostrum promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, contributing to a balanced and healthy gut microbiome. It also supports gut lining integrity and is known to assist in addressing IBS and leaky gut syndrome.
  3. Nutrient absorption. Thanks to bovine colostrum’s rich nutrient profile, you can better utilize the vitamins and minerals in the rest of your diet.
  4. Anti-inflammatory properties. Colostrum contains anti-inflammatory factors that may help mitigate inflammation in various parts of the body (key for overall well-being).
  5. Muscle growth and repair. Colostrum’s growth factors are known to support muscle growth, regeneration, and repair. Hello, faster results! No matter how you choose to move your body, this supplement is worth the shelf space.
  6. Joint health. Research indicates that bovine colostrum’s anti-inflammatory properties can alleviate symptoms associated with conditions like arthritis.
  7. Antimicrobial activity. Thanks to colostrum’s antimicrobial properties, you may be able to prevent and treat infections with more ease.
  8. Allergy relief. Need relief from allergies? Look no further than colostrum supplementation. It can help modulate your body’s immune response and reduce allergic reactions.
  9. Wound healing. Growth factors—and other bioactive compounds in colostrum—contribute to faster wound healing and tissue repair.
  10. Antioxidant support. Last but not least, colostrum contains antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress. In turn, reducing your risk of chronic diseases (like those related to gut health!).

Individual responses may vary, so chat with your healthcare provider before adding this supplement to your routine.

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Colostrum and Gut Health: A Symbiotic Relationship

This goes without saying, but the adult gut is a complex ecosystem. It hosts trillions—yes, trillions—of microorganisms, collectively known as the gut microbiota. These microbes play a crucial role in digestion, nutrient absorption, mood, and immune system regulation. Therefore, maintaining a balanced and diverse microbiota is paramount. And this is where colostrum steps into the spotlight!

Colostrum, with its unique blend of bioactive components, establishes a symbiotic relationship with the gut. Studies suggest that colostrum is two-fold: it promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria (aka, probiotics) while inhibiting the proliferation of harmful pathogens. This balance is crucial for a healthy digestive system.

camille chopping herbs, fresh spring produce, greens, meal prep, kitchen, casa zuma gathering board_colostrum and gut health

A Proven Superfood for Digestion

Not sure if your probiotic is working? Consider swapping it for colostrum, your one-stop shop for robust digestion and a resilient immune system. According to ARMRA, colostrum’s unique blend of bioactive components creates an environment conducive to helping your gut flourish.

Immunoglobulins: Adult gut guardians

As mentioned, immunoglobulins are particularly abundant in colostrum. These antibodies play a pivotal role in maintaining gut integrity. They act as guardians, patrolling the gut lining and neutralizing harmful pathogens. By providing an added layer of defense, colostrum supports a robust gut barrier. In turn, preventing toxins and harmful substances from infiltrating.

Colostrum’s impact on gut inflammation

For anyone grappling with gut inflammation or digestive discomfort, we empathize! Fortunately, colostrum offers potential relief. Its growth factors contribute to the gut lining’s repair and regeneration, aiding in recovery from issues like leaky gut syndrome. Its soothing effect—on the digestive tract—can be instrumental in fostering a healthier and more resilient gut environment.

woman drinking smoothie
Image by Teal Thomsen

How to Choose Quality Colostrum Supplements

Of course, not all colostrum supplements are created equal. When considering supplementation, opt for products sourced from reputable, ethically raised cows. Our hot take? We love ARMRA—they leverage a proprietary technology for potency and source their colostrum from grass-fed cows. At any rate, it’s worth incorporating into your wellness routine. Whether you’re seeking to fortify your immune system, enhance digestion, or alleviate gut discomfort, colostrum can support a balanced and thriving gut ecosystem. Win, win, win.

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