Much hype surrounds colostrum’s capacity to promote growth. Substantial evidence indicates that it contains growth and immuno-supportive compounds in a highly nutritious substrate that includes all essential amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharides and nucleic acids. Known as pre-milk, colostrum is secreted by the mammary glands of all lactating female mammals as the first food for a newborn. Studies reveal that colostrum isn’t species specific, which means humans can feed on animal colostrum.
Since the dawn of civilization colostrum has been regarded as a healing nectar. It was used to combat fever and illness by Greek and Roman physicians in the ancient world.
Dr. Robert Marshall is a biochemist and leading innovator in the sourcing and extraction of nutritional compounds as well as protein powders and colostrum, and I had the opportunity to ask him about colostrum’s potency.
Q: Can colostrum promote growth?
A: Colostrum is one of the world’s most perfect foods. It’s naturally engineered to promote growth and healing, and in the process it enhances DNA repair and supports anabolic activities that involve tissue regeneration. Colostrum contains a number of growth factors, such as somatomedins (IGF-1, IGF-2), somatotropin, fibroblast growth factor (FGF), transforming growth factors (TGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and epithelial growth factor (EGF). Those substances are naturally occurring and have been shown in numerous studies to enhance the synthesis of DNA, RNA and protein while at the same time inhibiting tissue breakdown. No food delivers more growth factor bang for the buck than colostrum.
Q: Can powdered colostrum be as potent as fresh colostrum?
A: No, but it can come mighty close if it’s meticulously processed from whole fresh colostrum. Raw and minimally processed dairy products, such as whole milk, whey and colostrum, contain fatty acids with profound immuno- and growth-supporting properties. One of the major roles of fatty acids, in addition to escorting protein across the intestinal brush border cells, is to protect the immunoglobulins and other key components of colostrum from heat and light. Consequently, a defatted colostrum product wouldn’t be as potent as whole colostrum.
Q: Should colostrum be standardized for its active ingredients?
A: Ideally, yes. It should be standardized for all its active components, including immunoglobulins and growth factors. Unfortunately, most products aren’t standardized. Complete standardization would likely help in evaluating colostrum’s potency.
Q: How much colostrum should we take per day to promote growth?
A: That depends on body size and physical activity. Clearly, the more colostrum consumed, the fewer white cells the body will need to manufacture, which means increased capacity for red-cell production to promote growth and increased muscle mass. A minimum of about one teaspoon to a possible maximum of six tablespoons a day appears to be the range. Clinical experience suggests one teaspoon to one tablespoon once or twice a day is economical and does a spectacular job. ALL Q: How long before we should notice results?
A: Since the human body is so complex and there are so many factors affecting increased muscle growth, results may vary a great deal. Nevertheless, if we’re not dealing with health problems such as infections or extremely high prolonged stress, which tends to spend nutrients like water, results are usually quite noticeable in one to three weeks. Often, you need less sleep and recover faster from a hard workout and experience an increased sense of well-being. I myself use a couple of rounded tablespoons a day.
Colostrum is one of the most potent antiviral, antibacterial DNA-repair substances readily available. When you consider the fact that 20,000 new chemicals are entering the environment every year and each one of us may be exposed to an estimated 10,000 DNA insults per day per cell, we obviously need extra protection. Furthermore, since there has been a 50 percent reduction in the antioxidant content of our food in the past 25 years, we all need the daily protection of nutrient-rich foods such as colostrum to have a long and strong healthy life. IM
Editor’s note: Ori Hofmekler is the author of the books The Warrior Diet and Maximum Muscle & Minimum Fat, published by Dragon Door Publications (www.dragondoor.com). For more information or consultation contact him at [email protected], www.warriordiet.com or by phone at 1-866-WAR-DIET.