Bovine colostrum is the milk-like fluid secreted by cows, humans, and all other mammals in late pregnancy and the first few days after giving birth, prior to the appearance of true milk. It has become an increasingly popular nutritional supplement.
How Long Does It Take Colostrum to Work?
Like any other dietary supplement, the length of time it takes to see improvements after initial use of colostrum varies based on a wide range of factors, including age, metabolism, and general health.
When taken twice a day, most children and adults should notice results within four to six weeks after they first use colostrum.
In dogs and cats, some owners notice almost immediate improvements after administration. However, you should generally expect it to take much longer, if you have had a consistent concern. It may take at least one month, if not longer, to see long-term results. Because animals aren’t able to tell us how they feel, it may be a little difficult for owners to gauge what’s going on. The key is to remain consistent and provide the colostrum supplement daily at the same time each day.
In general, colostrum works best as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Some factors, like constant stress and excessive drinking or smoking, can potentially prevent the proper absorption of colostrum, which either negates its benefits or increases the amount of time before you to experience positive health changes. For the best results and ongoing health benefits, incorporate your daily colostrum usage into an already healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Before integrating colostrum or any other supplements into your diet, check with your doctor, especially if you have any specific health concerns or want to address your health goals in general.
How to Take Colostrum
Our Colostrum-LD® supplement is available as a powder and as capsules. The serving size for colostrum supplements varies, but the recommended amount for healthy adults who want to support their immune system is 1 teaspoon of our powder or two of our capsules twice a day. If you want to try advanced use then you may benefit from taking 2 teaspoons of colostrum powder or four capsules twice a day. For athletes, about 10 to 20 grams each day (roughly 1.5 tablespoons of Colostrum-LD® powder twice a day) may be beneficial.
For children, use our Infant and Toddler Colostrum-LD® supplement, which is specially formulated for newborns and children up to 36 months. To administer, mix up to half a teaspoon of colostrum in 4 ounces of purified water, formula, or filtered apple juice twice per day. If your infant can eat solid foods, you can mix the colostrum into some yogurt, vegetable puree, or apple sauce.
Our Super Pet Nutrition supplement is an excellent option for your cat or dog. Pets naturally love the taste of colostrum, so you can easily mix it into their water or sprinkle it onto their food. The ideal amount varies based on the weight of your pet. We recommend half a teaspoon twice per day for animals up to 10 pounds; a full teaspoon for animals 10 to 40 pounds; and two teaspoons for animals 50 to 100 pounds. Alternately, follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for supplementation.
Some researchers believe that it is better to take a lower amount of colostrum when you start and gradually increase the amount as your body gets used to it. Others suggest front-loading your colostrum intake by taking a higher amount at first before reducing to a normal serving. Colostrum has no known toxicity level, but you should speak with your doctor to determine the best course for your specific needs.
Colostrum generally works best when taken on an empty stomach with 6 to 8 ounces of room-temperature water. The liposomal delivery (LD) system of Colostrum-LD® helps the supplement’s bioactives reach the small intestine intact for maximum absorption into the bloodstream.
When to Take Colostrum
Sovereign Laboratories recommends taking colostrum twice a day — once upon rising, 30 minutes before breakfast, and once before bedtime and at least two hours after the last meal of the day.
Similarly, infants and toddlers should take colostrum at least twice a day. Because their stomachs do not yet produce the harsh acids, the concerns that adults have about colostrum being digested is less of a factor. Bottle-fed babies can take colostrum plain with water or mixed into formula.
Pets should be given colostrum twice per day at feeding time, or whenever is most convenient for owners.
Since colostrum is a natural supplement, it may be consumed on an empty stomach for adults. For anyone with specific health conditions, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new supplement. You’ll gain insight on how to maximize the benefits.
How Much Colostrum Should I Take?
The optimal amount of colostrum to take depends on the individual, his/her health status, age, and lifestyle factors. Follow the recommendations on the packaging or check with your physician, especially if you have an advanced need.
People coping with GI issues may benefit from higher quantities of colostrum or taking it more frequently throughout the day. In some instances, it may take some people longer than others to experience the benefits of colostrum. A naturopathic practitioner, dietitian, or nutrition consultant may be the best care provider to craft a plan to integrate colostrum into the diet.
Why Colostrum Is Ideal for Everyone
For all of the above reasons, colostrum makes for a potentially beneficial supplement for people of all ages, from toddlers to adults, as well as your favorite animal companions.
The potential health benefits can be significant. Along with its potential to tighten the junctions of the gut, colostrum may support the immune system and promote digestive health. Colostrum supplementation is also an ideal adjunct to formula for babies unable to be breastfed.
For cats and dogs, colostrum supplements may support healthy growth and development and provide immune system support. Vulnerable newborn kittens and puppies can be supplemented with bovine colostrum, particularly if they receive limited or no breastmilk from mom.