The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of 8 wk of bovine colostrum supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in active men and women. Subjects were randomly assigned to a placebo (whey protein) and colostrum group (20 g/d in powder form).
Each subject participated in aerobic and heavy-resistance training at least three times per wk. Body composition was assessed via dual x-ray absorptiometry analysis. Treadmill time to exhaustion, one repetition maximum strength (bench press), and the total number of repetitions performed during one set to exhaustion at a submaximal load for the bench press (50% and 100% of body weight for women and men, respectively) were ascertained. The whey protein group experienced a significant increase (P , 0.05) in body weight (mean increase of 2.11 kg), whereas the colostrum group experienced a significant (P , 0.05) increase in bone-free lean body mass (mean increase of 1.49 kg). There were no changes in any of the other parameters measured.
Thus, supplementation with bovine colostrum (20 g/d) in combination with exercise training for 8 wk may increase bone-free lean body mass in active men and women.
Bovine colostrum is the initial milk secreted by cows during parturition and the first few days postparturition.1,2 There is evidence to suggest that bovine colostrum contains growth factors that stimulate cellular growth and DNA synthesis.1,2 In neonatal piglets acutely fed colostrum, the fractional rates of protein synthesis in the liver, kidney, spleen, and skeletal muscle, as well as the absolute rate of protein synthesis in the liver and spleen, was greater than in pigs fed mature milk or water.3 Oral supplementation with bovine colostrum by humans has been shown to signifi- cantly enhance plasma insulinlike growth factor 1 (IGF-1) concentrations but to have no effect on vertical jump performance.
Although bovine colostrum is not typically thought of as a food supplement, it should be noted that strength-power athletes (i.e., bodybuilders) have known of its availability for many years. However, there is no evidence that supports an anabolic effect of bovine colostrum supplementation in humans. Thus, the purpose of this investigation was to assess the effects of bovine colostrum supplementation on body composition, muscular strength, and muscular endurance in active adult men and women.