When it comes to supplements that help your digestive and immune systems, there are so many to choose from. However, one particular option is getting a lot of hype as new research emerges: Bovine colostrum. Yes, it comes from cows, but before you knock this one, hear us out!
What is bovine colostrum?
Colostrum is a milky substance that’s produced by mammals who’ve recently given birth, and the bovine variety comes from cows. It’s jam-packed with proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals, you name it. While it may seem weird, we also drink milk from cows, so when you really think about it, it’s not necessarily much different.
In particular, bovine colostrum has increased significantly in popularity because of its incredible disease-fighting properties that boost the entire immune system. Its antibodies protect cells from bacteria and viruses, while a protein called lactoferrin helps your body’s immune response work properly. In fact, one study found that participants who took a daily dose of bovine colostrum saw a reduced risk of upper respiratory infections compared to those who didn’t.
Moreover, this supplement has incredible gut-regulating effects. Research has discovered that it keeps your intestinal walls strong and secure, prevents gut leaking, and stimulates the growth of intestinal cells. Promising early studies also show that it may be a helpful treatment addition for those suffering from colitis, an inflammation of the colon that affects millions of Americans every year.
What are its side effects?
Generally bovine colostrum is safe to take and has few reported side effects, and often study participants have been fine taking up to 10 grams per day. Any issues tend to be mild, like nausea or vomiting. That said, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should stay away from it, as should people who are HIV-positive.
One of the easiest ways to avoid any side effects though is to check the sourcing of and certification for whichever brand you choose. Don’t take any supplements from unmarked sources, ideally it has an NSF International seal of approval. If you can’t find any information on a particular brand, it may be worth looking at a different one.
How should you take it?
Bovine colostrum often comes in two common forms, either as a powder that can be dissolved into beverages (Buy on Amazon, $19.99) or an oral capsule that you take daily (Buy on Amazon, $14.99). As with any supplement, make sure you talk to your doctor before adding it to your regimen!