Colostrum is often called “first milk” or “immune milk”. It is the first “milk” that comes from the mammaries of all mammals. In cows, it is produced up to 4 days after birth, at which time it gives way to the cow milk we all know so well. The purpose for colostrum is to develop the immune system and digestive system of the newborn mammal. Without colostrum a calf will die as it has no immune system and limited digestive capability to absorb nutrients and grow. Additionally, colostrum is loaded with growth factors which provides the spark for the young mammal to start packing on lean tissues.
While colostrum is similar to milk, there are indeed many differences. First, milk is produced in the mammary glands as a nutritive. Colostrum is actually produced in the bloodstream where dozens of immune factors, growth factors, anabolic hormones and every essential macronutrient are compiled into natures most dense source of life force. Do take notice that colostrum contains every essential macronutrient. This means that colostrum contains every essential amino acid, every essential fatty acid and even every essential sugar (there are many other sugars besides glucose which keep immune function healthy). Colostrum is one food you would want if you could only live on one food.
First, it should be mentioned that colostrum powder contains IGF-1 and IGF-2, or insulin like growth factor 1 and 2.
When bodybuilders take synthetic human growth hormone (HGH), they are actually benefiting their muscle growth via IGF-1. HGH stimulates production of IGF-1 which is responsible for the bulk of HGH anabolic effects on muscle tissue. Though there is only a small amount of IGF in colostrum, studies have shown that colostrum indeed significantly increases IGF-1 in the body and in greater amounts than the amount consumed through the colostrum itself]. In essence, colostrum, when consumed, is greater than the sum of all of its parts. Colostrum is extremely high in protein and lower in fat and total carbohydrate than milk.
Orally, it has a 98% absorption rate which is extremely bioavailable, like whey protein. So why is colostrum studied to be more anabolic than whey protein? Aside from the IGF-1 and 2 effects, bovine colostrum contains 87 growth factors. These are compounds that communicate with our cells, telling our body to begin lean tissue growth. All 87 of these growth factors contribute to the stimulation of muscle, connective tissue, skin and bone growth among other tissues in the body.
My first encounter with Colostrum was when I was working in America with a major nutritional supplement company. I got talking to the technical fellas who all looked like brains off the thunderbirds. They suggested that one of the major potential benefits of Colostrum is when bodybuilders, for example, use anabolic steroids. The science suggested that taking alongside such dangerous performance enhancing drugs could dramatically enhance the effects of the anabolic steroids. These great American minds suggested that Colostrum somehow increased testosterone uptake significantly by making the receptor sites more efficient. I have no scientific evidence to back this up, however talking to the 50 sales managers for America, the biggest sellers of colostrum was in the gyms. Of course I completely condone the use of anabolic steroids and strongly advice everyone to keep away from them.
Use Colostrum For Bulking Or Cutting Fat?
Studies show us that colostrum consumption only stimulates lean tissue growth, which in turn diminishes fat tissue. One study in particular showed that colostrum consumption increased lean tissue body mass more than whey protein when 20 grams each was consumed . It is apparent that whether we are trying to gain weight and muscle, or trying to lean up and cut while even still building lean mass, colostrum will magnify bulking and cutting results.
Hope this was of interest