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Eat To Grow: Moo-ving Up Muscle

Does bovine colostrum speed muscle growth?

Bovine colostrum is emerging as a potentially useful supplement for promoting muscular gains. Colostrum is a dairy product known to be rich in high-biological-value proteins and immune factors. It also contains growth factors that may survive a trip through the digestive system intact.

Australian researchers compared using 60 grams of bovine colostrum daily to using a concentrated whey protein during eight weeks of weight training in two groups of men. Since subjects using colostrum supplements in earlier studies had experienced limb-circumference gains, the authors used magnetic resonance imaging to ascertain exactly what those gains consisted of: muscle, skin or fat. They also tested the effects of colostrum on untrained limbs, specifically arms.

The results showed an increase in skin cross-sectional area in the subjects’ untrained arms, but it wasn’t subcutaneous fat. It was the type of skin-thickening effect commonly seen after people use growth hormone. The study also found that even untrained limbs had an increase in noncontractile components of skeletal muscle, which points to a possible increased protein synthesis effect offered by colostrum. IM

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