There may be no better super food to fight upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) than powdered bovine colostrum (BC)—and first milk, as BC is known, might also be the precise immune supplement needed by endurance athletes (who are at elevated risk for URTIs following intense competition or training) to keep their bodies free from viruses and other throat ticklers. Yet another study suggests colostrum for children as well.
That’s why HealthyLiving's growing family of competitive athletes think of BC as a staple of all ages—from teenaged tennis and cross country student athletes to mature ice skaters and martial artists who work on their demanding sports in the early morning or late night.
Athletes, especially those who push their bodies to the maximum over long periods of time, often suffer lowered white blood cell counts and are most susceptible to URTIs following competition—and a study in BMC Sports Science, Med and Rehabilitation bolsters the contention that BC is the antidote.
The investigators used results from 5 previously peer-reviewed
published trials (152 participants) and found that overall using BC regularly
for at least 8-12 weeks “significantly reduced the incidence rate of” URTIs
… and consecutive “episodes” of illness by “44 and 38% respectively.”
Another review concluded BC supplementation may enhance or protect host defenses under certain detrimental situations (eg exercise-induced immune dysfunction).
Athletic Food 2
As for children, the 2016 study from Medicine concluded, “BC is effective in the prophylaxis of recurrent URTI and diarrhea as it reduces the number of episodes and the hospitalization due to these infections. Results of this study suggest that BC could be provided as a therapeutic option for children with recurrent URTI and diarrhea.”
Mechanism Of Action
BC is the milk product produced by cows in the first 6 hours following their calf’s birth. In contrast to mature milk that we typically buy at the supermarket, BC is rich in bioactive components including growth factors (eg epidermal growth factor), immunological mediators (eg immunoglobulins) and antimicrobial peptides (eg lactoferrin) that are bio-identical to human colostrum. The greater concentrations of these bioactive constituents Athletic Superfood boosts immunity superfoods in BC have direct effects on immunity. BC has direct antimicrobial and internal toxin neutralizing effects throughout the alimentary tract and bioactive cytokines that suppress gut inflammation and promote mucosal integrity and repair.
What To Do
There are different ways to use BC. Some people prefer capsules; others are passionate about the tastes of strawberry-pineapple lozenges; and still other heavy duty users prefer colostrum by the spoonful in pure powder form. Heavy training athletes with whom we’ve spoken say they will eat 2-3 spoonful servings 2-3x daily. They seem remarkably healthy and youthful, which is not surprising since first milk is also an anti-ager.References
Arwel W. Jones, Daniel S. March, Ffion Curtis, and Christopher Bridle Bovine colostrum supplementation and upper respiratory symptoms during exercise training: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2016; 8: 21. Published online 2016 Jul 26. doi: 10.1186/s13102-016-0047-8 PMCID: PMC4960812.
Saad K, Abo-Elela MG, El-Baseer KA, Ahmed AE, Ahmad FA, Tawfeek MS, El-Houfey AA, AboulKhair MD, Abdel-Salam AM, Abo-Elgheit A, Qubaisy H, Ali AM, Abdel-Mawgoud E. Effects of bovine colostrum on recurrent respiratory tract infections and diarrhea in children. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Sep;95(37):e4560. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000004560.
Rathe M, Muller K, Sangild PT, et al. Clinical applications of bovine colostrum therapy: a systematic review. Nutr Rev. 2014;72:237–254. doi: 10.1111/nure.12089.
Davison G. Bovine colostrum and immune function after exercise. Med Sport Sci. 2012;59:62–69. doi: 10.1159/000341966.
Leboffe, L.; Giansanti, F.; Antonini, G. Antifungal and antiparasitic activities of lactoferrin. Anti-Infect. Agents Med. Chem. 2009, 8, 114–127.