Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Colostrum, apart from its properties as a source of supply for newborn babies, is above all a popular food supplement. Its natural properties, such as a high vitamin and mineral content, are especially popular with athletes.

Nevertheless, the issue is more complex than with some other food supplements: Where does colostrum come from? What do I have to consider when buying a preparation? Can I take colostrum at any time without hesitation? We have summarised these and other important questions for you in our guide and used it to formulate helpful buying criteria for you.




The most important facts

  • Originally, colostrum is the first milk that a mammal produces for its infant after birth. In this country, it is mainly colostrum from cows that is used.
  • Colostrum contains numerous important minerals, trace elements and vitamins. This makes it a popular food supplement among athletes and people who want to support their immune system.
  • In principle, colostrum can be taken by almost anyone, and there are even suitable products for people with lactose intolerances, for example. Since it is a natural product, side effects or intolerances are extremely rare.

The Best Colostrum: Our Picks

Buying and rating criteria for colostrum

As you can see, there is now a broad market for colostrum, with different products on offer. To make it easier for you to find the right product for you, you should consider the following buying criteria:

You can find out what is behind them and what you need to look out for in detail in the descriptions of our criteria.

Dosage form

In addition to the natural liquid form, colostrum preparations are also available in capsule or powder form. These have different advantages and disadvantages: While liquid colostrum is the most original and naturally produced form, it can only be stored in the refrigerator for about 14 days after opening. Colostrum in powder or capsule form, on the other hand, is easier to store and has a much longer shelf life.

Immunoglobulin content (% IgG)

The immunoglobulin content is an important quality feature that should be taken into account when buying colostrum. The value is often abbreviated as IgG and should be between 20 and 30 %. An IgG of 40 % or more cannot usually be achieved in a natural production process.

Organic quality

The advantage of organic quality colostrum is that these products are guaranteed to be free of antibiotics and hormones. The absence of animal feed in the cows should also be a quality feature in order to keep the risk of diseases such as BSE ("mad cow disease") as low as possible.

Additives

In some colostrum, especially those in capsule form, various additives such as gelatine or mineral salts are added. These are intended to ensure a long shelf life and form stability. Pay attention to this when buying in order to exclude incompatibilities later on.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about colostrum answered in detail

Now that you have an overview of what is available on the market and the different forms of colostrum, we would like to answer your questions about the use and other properties of the food supplement.

What is colostrum?

Colostrum is the first breast milk produced by mammals such as humans, cows and after the birth of their infant. It is intended to support the newborn's immune system and stimulate growth and thus contains numerous nutrients such as immunoglobulins, minerals and vitamins.

Because of its positive properties, colostrum is a popular food supplement. In Germany, mainly the colostrum from cows is used in food supplements. However, only the surplus that is not needed by the calf itself may be used here.

For whom is colostrum suitable as a food supplement?

Adult people take colostrum mainly to achieve athletic success and to strengthen the immune system. The growth factors it contains are supposed to support the build-up of muscle mass and stimulate fat metabolism. The vitamins, minerals and trace elements contained can support the immune system.

Since it is a natural food supplement, it is suitable not only for athletes but also for people of all ages and even small children in a correspondingly lower dosage. Appropriate products with a lower lactose content are also offered for people with lactose intolerance. Pregnant women should refrain from consuming raw milk, depending on the dosage form.

What types of colostrum are there?

In addition to the various forms of administration (capsules, liquids, powder), colostrum differs primarily in its origin: In addition to cow colostrum (bovine colostrum), preparations with goat colostrum are also offered on the market. This is particularly suitable for people allergic to milk protein. Bovine colostrum, on the other hand, is much more widespread.

Sheep colostrum contains a lot of fat but very little protein. It is therefore well suited for lactose intolerance. (Image source: Trinity Kubassek / Pexels)

Preparations are also offered for pets, such as dogs and cats, which differ slightly in composition. These can be used for young animals, but also for older animals.

What does colostrum cost?

The prices for colostrum vary depending on the form of administration and the quality requirements. Mostly, however, they are between 20 - 30 € per 100g/ 120ml. However, it should also be noted that the more processed forms (capsules, powder) may have a much longer shelf life, which is why a somewhat higher price can still be worthwhile.

dosage form medium price range
Liquid 20-30€/125ml
Pulver 25-35€/100g
Capsules 0,10-0,66€/pc
Organic capsules 0,17-0,81€/pc

How long should colostrum be taken?

In general, colostrum can be taken as a cure or permanently. Since some preparations are rather expensive, we recommend a course of treatment with high-quality products. However, such a cure should last at least 8 - 12 weeks to achieve the desired effect.

What should be considered when taking colostrum?

It is recommended to take it on an empty stomach, e.g. in the morning before breakfast. You should not wash it down with a hot drink, as this can destroy the immunoglobulins it contains. If you take colostrum in capsule form, you should always drink a large glass of water with it. When it comes to the dosage, you should follow the manufacturer's instructions.

What are the side effects of colostrum?

Since bovine colostrum is a natural product, side effects are rare. If you suffer from lactose intolerance or milk allergy, you should find out which products are suitable for your target group. Diabetics should first discuss the intake with their doctor.

Conclusion

The advantages of colostrum as a food supplement are, on the one hand, its high tolerance due to its natural origin. On the other hand, it contains so many minerals, vitamins and antibodies that there is hardly any comparable product made from natural ingredients.

Colostrum is suitable for supporting your immune system and can also help you achieve sporting success. There is a suitable product for every application, whereby you should pay particular attention to high quality and the right dosage form for you when making your purchase decision.

(Image source: Fa Romero Photography / Pexels)

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