Food & Recipes Health & Wellness

10 Incredible Health Benefits of Bovine Colostrum

April 16, 2024

There has been a hidden health gem for thousands of years that most humans have had at the very beginnings of their life but may not realize. The health benefits of colostrum are endless and we were all designed to receive this super food as newborns. All Mothers produce colostrum before their milk comes in to feed their babies after birth. Colostrum is incredibly nutrient dense and provides deep nourishment and a slew of vitamins and minerals for babies while the Mothers bodies are working hard to establish breastmilk. This dose of nutrients sets babies up for wellness and acts like a kickstart to their immune systems and bodies overall. Colostrum can also provide the same health benefits to growing children and adults far beyond those early postpartum days. But, Mothers only produce this “liquid gold” for a short period of time so we need to look for outside sources of this nutrient outside of our early postpartum days.

* This post may include affiliate links. This means that products purchased from certain links will generate a small commission (At no extra cost to you). As always, I will only recommend brands that have passed my seal of approval and that I truly love. Thank you for supporting this little holistic space on the internet. *

Where to find Colostrum

Now that we know colostrum is a limited resource yet filled with incredible health benefits, the next question would be “where do we find colostrum then?”. The answer lies with one of the most infamous milk producing mammals alive today: cows. Milk producing cows also create colostrum for their calves in the early days of postpartum life. Once the calves have had what they need, farmers are able to collect the remainder from the Mother and either use themselves or sell to others. In recent decades, the enormous health benefits of colostrum have come to light for many and so there have been a few new companies popping up selling colostrum as a supplement.

How to take Bovine Colostrum

Companies can sell colostrum by preserving the nutrients through freeze drying methods and turning the superfood into powder form. You can either encapsulate the powder to swallow each morning or add the powder to a smoothie or drink each day.  Colostrum is generally tasteless so an unflavored option is  easy to add to any drink. Some companies even create different flavors like vanilla or berry to make it even more pleasant to take.  My favorite part is how easy it is for kids to take. If you’re a Mom, you know that some supplements and vitamins are not at all palatable and can be a bit of a struggle to give to children. Colostrum is one of the easiest for me to add to a glass of milk (especially the vanilla flavor) and they gobble it right up.

I prefer to add colostrum to room temperature or cold drinks to ensure I am not cooking away any of the nutrients or health benefits.

Vanilla “Ice Cream” Colostrum Drink Recipe for Kids (and Adults)

I want to share my kids favorite way to consume colostrum. We call it the “Vanilla ice cream drink” because it tastes just like the drippings left in a bowl after you’ve just finished eating some delicious vanilla ice cream. But healthier! First, I take a scoop of Vanilla Bovine Colostrum and add it to a glass, add a tiny splash of organic maple syrup, and then fill the glass with whole milk. Blend it up using a frother and serve cold. This is the most delicious drink and both my kids love when I pull out this particular supplement for them.


10 Health Benefits of Bovine Colostrum


1. High in Vitamins and Minerals

Colostrum provides a good dose of Vitamins and Minerals. Bovine Colostrum contains immunoglobulins such as IgG, IgA, IgM; the immune modulating molecule lactoferrin, fat-soluble vitamins including retinol, tocopherol, and beta-carotene, water soluble vitamins including niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B12, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine, and pyridoxine; and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, iron, copper and manganese. It contains whey proteins, oligosaccharides, immunoglobulins, growth factors including IGF-1, IGF-2, TGF beta and EGF, prolactin, and insulin. Fresh colostrum also contains both essential and non-essential amino acids, enzymes, and commensal bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. Finally, colostrum contains an array of novel, potent signaling peptides called proline-rich peptides (PRPs). This makes it a bit of a whole food multivitamin in certain aspects as it provides the body with an outstanding number of nutrients for a single substance.

The range of vitamins and minerals sets the body up for better function on multiple levels. All of your systems and organs will benefit from a whole food source of these nutrients because our bodies are better able to absorb and use them. This ability is called bioavailability and it’s why I often opt for whole food sources of deep nutrition over synthetic vitamins.

2. Improves the Immune System

One of the most well known benefits of colostrum is its ability to bolster the immune system.  The immune-boosting effects of colostrum are mostly due to its high concentration of the antibodies IgA and IgG. Antibodies are proteins that fight viruses and bacteria. Many take this as a supplement to prevent or reduce the number of times they get sick in a year. In my experience, having colostrum on board has lessened the prevalence of illness in our house and has also made illnesses much easier to get over. Duration of illness is lessened significantly as compared to other years where we didn’t take it consistently.

An interesting fact about bovine colostrum is that it contains 40 times more immune modulating components than human colostrum.

3. Helps Reverse Anemia or Low Iron

For those who suffer from low iron or anemia (myself included over the years) this can be such an impactful health benefit from consuming colostrum. Colostrum contains an iron transport protein called “lactoferrin”. Lactoferrin works in the gastrointestinal tract to capture iron from undigested food and transport it throughout the body to where it’s needed. This is such a helpful tool for those lacking in the nutrient as well as those who have improper iron storage within their body (Some individuals bloodwork may show up as low iron because it is improperly stored in tissues rather than being used by the body). Lactoferrin can then move the iron where it needs to go and ensure the body utilizes it the way its intended.

When anemic or dealing with low iron I would personally utilize a source of iron such as beef liver as well as colostrum. That way the lactoferrin would ensure that any added iron added to the body is sent to where its needed versus improperly stored or unused. Having a sufficient level of lactoferrin is beneficial, especially for those who deal with low iron or anemia.

4. Heals Leaky Gut and IBS

Leaky gut refers to an issue that arises when the integrity of the gut lining has been compromised. Your gut lining is made up of junctions (or cells) that form together the protective lining that keeps the contents in your gut out of the other areas of your body. When those junctions become compromised, contents such as toxins and gut microbes leak past the protective lining or barrier. These toxins enter your bloodstream causing an inflammatory response. These irritations arise creating a condition called ‘Leaky Gut’ which can then lead to several autoimmune conditions and disease within the body. Leaky gut can even be caused by taking certain medications such as antibiotics which makes colostrum a great addition to your routine following a round of certain prescriptions.

Research has shown that colostrum can restore permeability of the gut lining. This repair heals leaky gut and it’s associated inflammatory symptoms such as IBS, etc. Bovine colostrum can even restore the damage caused by anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to the gut lining. NSAIDs cause a three fold increase of gut permeability when consumed. However, during a study (Playford R.J., et. al 1999), participants took colostrum alongside NSAIDs and there was NO increase of gut permeability at all comparatively.

5. Improves Gut Health and Heals Dysbiosis

We all have heard how impactful our gut is on our brain and immune system. The gut holds it’s own microbiome which influences the rest of the body respectively. The gut is an intricate balance of microbes, probiotics and bacteria that work together harmoniously to support the overall health of the body. When that balance between microbes isn’t balanced, this is called “Gut Dysbiosis”. Dysbiosis can create a long list of symptoms and eventually lead to chronic illness and disease.

Just as colostrum helps a newborn establish a healthy gut microbiota with beneficial bacteria, it will do the same for older children and adults. A 2017 study (Hałasa M, et. al 2017) shows that bovine colostrum helps promote the growth of gut cells and reduce the chances of permeability because it contains healthy levels of lactoferrin and other growth factors.

6. Anti-Viral

Colostrum has actually been included in certain anti-viral medications as it provides great benefit to the immune system and fights against foreign viral invaders. It’s also especially great at treating bouts of diarrhea caused by viral infections. We have reached for colostrum for gastrointestinal symptoms related to acute viral illness many times and it is always successful in treating these symptoms quickly and efficiently.

In addition to this, colostrum has been shown to be successful at preventing and reducing the severity of certain upper respiratory infections. Due to its high level of immunoglobulins present, they are able to bind to certain viruses and prevent infection from taking hold. This is known to be true for RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) as well as influenza. In the same study (Ulfman LH, et. al 2018), colostrum also demonstrated its ability to reduce severity of infection, reduce overall viral load, and increase the production of IgA producing B cells in the small intestine and lungs. This production speaks to why it is so effective at supporting both gastro and upper respiratory viruses in the human body.

In another study (Hałasa M, et. al 2022), preschool-aged children were split into two groups to compare the difference between bovine colostrum or a placebo.  After an observation period of 45 days, the study showed an increase in immunity in the children who used bovine colostrum. Over 20 weeks, children who took bovine colostrum were observed to experience fewer upper respiratory viral infections versus the placebo group.

There are also some promising anecdotes and data that support colostrum’s ability to fight off the SARS-Cov-2 infection. More research is required to make any formal statements on this but considering it’s ability to support both the gastrointestinal and upper respiratory tracts, these claims seem feasible.

7. Anti-Bacterial

In addition to its ability to fight off viral infection, colostrum is also very successful against bacterial infection. According to a study (Bagwe-Parab S., et. al 2020), colostrum is known as abroad spectrum anti-bacterial agent and helps protect the body against bacterial invaders. It also contains white blood cells that produce antibodies, which strengthen the baby’s immune system and protect against infections.

Similarly to acute viral illnesses, colostrum supports the body in preventing bacterial infections. It also helps reduce severity and helps the body fight off infections present.

8. Promotes Healthy Skin (Anti-Aging, Acne, Eczema, etc.)

Colostrum supports the skin in many ways. To start, it is filled with skin supportive vitamins that would attribute to a healthy glow and overall vitality of the skin. High levels of vitamins A, C and E offer antioxidants that are specifically supportive to the skin’s overall health and appearance. These antioxidants also support anti-aging as they promote the fight against free radicals that cause lines and wrinkles. Not to mention the growth factors present within colostrum that can facilitate cellular growth which leads to skin thickness and elasticity. Colostrum also supports the natural production of collagen within the skin.

The anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral components found within colostrum can have beneficial effects against certain skin disorders such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc. Not to mention, the zinc found present in colostrum would be greatly beneficial for those suffering with acne. Adult acne especially is highly attributed to low zinc levels and often resolves when this is remedied. Some even swear by applying a thick paste of pure colostrum powder mixed with a bit of water to the face as a healing face mask. Whether you use colostrum internally or topically, it’s benefits are sure to support healthy glowing skin.

9. Reduces Inflammation in the Body

Colostrum is known to reduce overall levels of inflammation found within the body. Due to its high levels of certain components that regulate inflammation, colostrum is indeed a great option for those looking to support a highly inflamed body. Colostrum contains lactoferrin which works as an inflammation moderator within the body. It helps reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines. It also contains:

  • Proline-rich polypeptides
  • Interlukin-10
  • Cytokines
  • Lymphokines

All of which help regulate inflammation within the body successfully. This pertains to inflammation caused by acute or chronic injury, allergies, infection, or general inflammation.

10. Weight Loss, Muscle Growth & Athletic Performance

Colostrum is incredibly supportive in one’s health journey.  Colostrum is able to support a healthy immune system which, if compromised, could impact training. It is also well known for it’s ability to improve lean muscle mass and repair muscles after intense workouts. For this reason, colostrum could be a great aid in any weight loss program that includes weight lifting and muscle building as muscle helps burn excess fat.

Colostrum’s support against gut permeability is also important to note when it comes to exercise. As intense exercise can induce gut permeability which impacts overall health and would impact one’s health journey overall.


How to Source Good Quality Colostrum

When it comes to taking a colostrum supplement, the most important step is sourcing a good quality option. Because this is an animal product, you’ll want to gain insight into the farm the colostrum is sourced from and how they treat their cows. It’s also important to look into what the cows are fed as their nutrition status will ultimately impact the quality of the colostrum they produce.

Another factor to consider is that the farmer offers the colostrum to the calves first and foremost. Just like humans, baby calves benefit greatly from their dose of colostrum at the very beginning and its only fair that they get what they deserve to meet their needs. This also speaks to the health of the cattle on the farm in general and farmers would know that calves getting deep nutrition from the beginning would only positively impact the health level of their cows.

My Favorite Colostrum: Cowboy Colostrum Review

There are so many different colostrum products hitting the market these days and it can be difficult to know which one is high quality. I figured I would share my favorite Colostrum that myself and my family take daily to support our overall health and wellness. Not to mention, with the influx of popularity that colostrum has gained, some companies have capitalized on this popularity by adding enormous price tags to their product. My personal favorite, Cowboy Colostrum, prices their colostrum fairly and is half the cost of a highly marketed competitor that is sweeping the internet. Not only that, Cowboy Colostrum’s quality and sourcing is far superior to the other expensive glitzy companies out there.

Cowboy Colostrum is a women owned small business and the owners are so kind and knowledgeable. They truly want you to benefit from this ancient superfood and do what they can to ensure their colostrum is top notch. The quality of colostrum is their top priority. They spent many months searching for the best supplier and eventually struck gold when they landed on a fourth generation dairy farmer who had just opened his own colostrum freeze dry facility.  He is a colostrum expert who has personal relationships with the small handful of farms he works alongside. He ensures best practices and that their cows and calves are healthy and happy grazing in their fields. The cows are grass fed and cowboy colostrum is non-gmo. Their calves are always fed first and gain the nutrition they require to thrive before extra collection of colostrum is even considered.

My kids and I personally LOVE the vanilla flavored colostrum they sell, it tastes delicious blended into a small glass of milk and can even be added to smoothies, yogurt, etc. It’s lightly sweetened with organic monkfruit and I love to add it to a cold brew or my organic iced coffee each morning. The unflavored version is probably more versatile in that you could add it to more foods given it’s a tasteless powder. It really depends on preference and what you would be adding your colostrum to for consumption. You can even purchase a bundle with one of each option. All you have to do is froth the powder into your drink of choice and you’ll be sure to enjoy the rich creamy texture and delicious flavor.

Cowboy Colostrum was kind enough to offer my readers a discount code to save. Simply add my discount code: HOLISTICVANITY15 for 15% off your order at checkout.

I hope you and your family are able to enjoy the plethora of health benefits available from this ancient superfood. We have had nothing but good experiences adding colostrum to our routines and the delicious taste makes it more of a daily treat than the chore of taking another supplement.

Happy Frothing!


** PIN this image to save for later **


  1. Playford RJ, Floyd DN, Macdonald CE, et al. Bovine colostrum is a health food supplement which prevents NSAID induced gut damage. Gut 44:653-658 (1999)
  2. Hałasa M, Maciejewska D, Baśkiewicz-Hałasa M, Machaliński B, Safranow K, Stachowska E. Oral supplementation with bovine colostrum decreases intestinal permeability and stool concentrations of zonulin in athletes. Nutrients. 2017;9(4):370. doi:10.3390/nu9040370
  3. Ulfman LH, Leusen JHW, Savelkoul HFJ, Warner JO, van Neerven RJJ. Effects of Bovine Immunoglobulins on Immune Function, Allergy, and Infection. Frontiers in Nutrition. 2018 ;5:52. DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2018.00052
  4. Hałasa M, Baśkiewicz-Hałasa M, Jamioł-Milc D, Maciejewska-Markiewicz D, Skonieczna-Żydecka K. Bovine colostrum supplementation in prevention of upper respiratory tract infections – systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of randomized controlled trials. JFF. 2022;99:105316. doi:10.1016/j.jff.2022.105316
  5. Bagwe-Parab, S., Yadav, P., Kaur, G., Tuli, H. S., & Buttar, H. S. (2020). Therapeutic Applications of Human and Bovine Colostrum in the Treatment of Gastrointestinal Diseases and Distinctive Cancer Types: The Current Evidence. Frontiers in pharmacology11, 01100.

Sharing is Caring!

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply