Colostrum supplements: Benefits, nutrients, side effects, and more

Mammals such as cows and humans usually produce a nutritious milky fluid called colostrum. Colostrum contains high concentrations of antibodies needed to fight bacteria and any infections present before producing the milk. This component in breast milk is essential in enhancing newborn animal’s health. Cow’s colostrum can be used in various forms. It can be pasteurized, made into pills, or dried and grounded into a powder. The taste of bovine colostrum is comparable to buttermilk due to its yellow color and pleasant smell. A different type of bovine colostrum, i.e., the hyper-immune bovine colostrum, is mainly synthesized by vaccinated cows and is enriched with a particular disease-fighting antibody.

Bovine Colostrum and Gut health

The intake of bovine colostrum is beneficial to human gut health since it helps fight digestive tract infections and strengthen the gut. The bovine colostrum works by boosting the growth of the intestinal cells, making the intestines less absorbent, and strengthening the gut walls. The growth factors and lactorefin components mainly contribute to the benefits. 

Other Uses include

  1. Bovine colostrum prevents recurrent diarrhea in children and reduces the ailment period in case a child is infected. 
  2. Children taking bovine colostrum have a low risk of diarrhea caused by the rotavirus.
  3.  Bovine colostrum helps to minimize diarrhea as an opportunistic condition in people with HIV. Hyper-immune bovine colostrum is usually used.
  4. Taking bovine colostrum helps to protect the mouth from any upper airway infections. It also reduces symptoms of airway infections that do occur.
  5. It helps prevent the people who have been vaccinated against flu from contacting it. It may also reduce the chances of catching flu in those with high chances of contracting flu. 


  • Bovine colostrum may not be effective in some situations such as; blood infections, serious intestinal diseases in premature infants, short bowel syndrome, and conditions that result in poor nutrient absorption. 
  • Oral ingestion of bovine colostrum may also have side effects in HIV patients. It should also not be used by anyone with allergies to cow milk. 
  • Some have shown the risk of catching mad cow disease by taking bovine colostrum, especially in countries with a disease history. 
  • There are potential food safety-related issues from the use of bovine colostrum that contains microorganisms. 


The intake of bovine colostrum has several benefits: boosting immunity, improving gut health, and preventing many diarrhea-related infections. This is because it contains several antibodies that fight the infections. It is effective for most conditions and has a few downsides, especially for people with certain conditions.