Researchers published online (March 11, 2017) the results of their clinical trial involving competitive soccer players who supplemented with either bovine colostrum or whey protein. In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, participants received 3.2 grams per day of either whey protein or colostrum for six weeks.
They performed the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST protocol) before and after supplementation. The LIST protocol was shown to induce muscle damage as well as performance decrements in soccer players, as determined by the players’ pre-supplementation blood markers for inflammation and muscle damage. Blood samples were analysed for C-reactive protein (CRP), creatine kinase (CK), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and players reported their perceived level of muscle soreness. With the low-dose colostrum supplementation, the exercise-induced muscle damage was reduced (lower levels of CRP, CK and IL-6), and performance was better maintained than with whey protein supplementation.
Although the study’s sample size was limited to eighteen participants, the information gained was valuable and sure to encourage larger athletic performance studies, as called for by the researchers. Of notable significance was that this study utilized a low-dose protocol (3.2 grams/day) and achieved efficacious results whereas previous athletic performance studies utilized a supplementation dosage of between twenty and sixty grams per day. 3.2 grams is about two-thirds of a tablespoon of powdered colostrum.
As this and most other athletic performance studies have involved elite athletes, the anti-inflammatory and pain reduction benefits should not be limited to this population. Everyone between the “weekend warrior” and the “moderate exerciser” can enjoy similar health benefits with daily colostrum supplementation. Reduced inflammation and less muscle soreness are excellent motivators for anyone to continue with an exercise regimen and not to take pain medications or skip a workout.
This study also has potential implications for the overall benefit of bovine colostrum as an anti-inflammatory supplement. There are many causes of inflammation within the body – musculoskeletal injury, infection, toxic contamination, allergies, leaky gut, and other disease processes – all of which can benefit from an all-natural, non-pharmacological solution for reducing inflammation. Bovine colostrum supplements with liposomal delivery can help attenuate this systemic inflammation.