Bovine colostrum is an integral tool in the modern chiropractor’s toolbox, and one that is suitable for every patient walking through your door.
Whether patients come in for treatment of an acute injury, chronic pain or a monthly adjustment, you can address the one health need that spans every health care profession—aging and its related conditions.
One of the hallmarks of aging is a reduced capacity for tissue healing that becomes increasingly noticeable in the fourth decade of life. The body is well-suited to healing itself initially but, after puberty, the body’s production of growth hormone (GH) declines at an average rate of fifteen percent per decade.1,2 Such begins the body’s slow decline of cell-mediated and humoral immune responsiveness.3
The good news is that poor health, pain and disability do not need to be the dreaded inevitability of growing older. Having realized that the microbiome plays a significant role in human health and that immunotherapy and precision medicine are the basis for optimized treatment outcomes, medicine has turned a significant corner. The concept of bio-resilience has emerged as a possible influencer of longevity, assuming that researchers can unlock its mysteries. But until we get there, colostrum is among the most promising of solutions.
With consistent colostrum supplementation, patients will experience:
- Accelerated repair and decreased recovery time after a soft tissue injury;
- Elimination or significant reduction of pain; and
- Optimization of the immune system.
Evidence from athletic performance
Much of what has been learned about colostrum’s benefits emerged from athletic performance studies over the past three decades. As athletes sought to gain a competitive edge, they turned to bovine or ovine colostrum. It was revealed that the same growth hormones and factors that close an infant’s leaky gut right after birth are also helpful in burning fat, building lean muscle, increasing strength, shortening recovery time, and preventing respiratory illnesses after vigorous exercise.
Early research with Olympic and highly trained athletes detailed the advantages of bovine colostrum supplementation.4-7 Studies showed that after four weeks of supplementation, elite athletes had up to a 20 percent increase in strength, stamina and endurance, and recovery time after intense exercise decreased by nearly half. This allowed athletes to train harder to improve performance in their respective sports.
Contains growth factors
Colostrum contains large quantities of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) to help promote the building of lean body mass and the use of adipose tissue for fuel. Unlike synthetic human growth hormone (HGH), the growth hormones in colostrum are nearly bioidentical to those found in human colostrum and thus are biologically transferrable for human use.
Furthermore, there are no health risks as with anabolic steroids and synthetic HGH. Experts agree that 20 grams of powdered colostrum daily, along with exercise, is sufficient for fat-burning; results are typically seen after four to eight weeks of supplementation.8 Moreover, athletes tend to experience increased gut permeability with heavy exercise; colostrum can truncate this increase.9,10
Adding to the benefits of IGF-1, transforming growth factors alpha (TGF-α) and beta (TGF-β) stimulate the repair and replication of DNA and RNA. When intense exercise damages muscle fibers, tendons and ligaments, TGF along with fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and epithelial growth factor (EGF) repairs them. FGF is a powerful stimulator of angiogenesis and a regulator of cellular migration and proliferation. Accelerated repair means that athletes recover more quickly from injuries and can resume training with less downtime. Your patients don’t need to be elite athletes to reap similar benefits.
In terms of inflammation and pain, colostrum should be considered nature’s ultimate remedy. Not only does colostrum contain anti-inflammatory components, its synergistic relationship with the aforementioned growth hormones and factors and other immunomodulators is noteworthy. Cytokines have been shown to mediate numerous vital biological processes, including inflammation.11
Infopeptides reduce inflammation as well as allow the immune system to reorient and correct its response mechanism against autoimmune disease processes. Proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs), also known as colostrinin, regulate and balance the immune response.
PRPs relieve pain and swelling by stopping the prowess of an overly aggressive immune response, such as the over-production of T-cells and lymphocytes.12 They stop the overactive immune response that characterizes autoimmune conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, and stimulate an underactive immune response to fight infections. PRPs upregulate or downregulate the immune system depending on the specific need at any given time.
Colostrum’s athletic benefits parallel its anti-aging effects—burning fat, maintaining or building muscle, increasing bone density, accelerating repair after an injury, and modulating inflammation. Some would even argue that efforts to improve athletic performance and delay the aging process are essentially the same endeavors.
And as older adults choose to remain active well into their later years, bovine colostrum is the perfect foundational supplement to ensure maximum vitality with less disability, pain or premature morbidity. Thus, whether your patients are young athletes or mature adults, colostrum used in combination with your adjustments and prescribed exercises will help them retain or regain muscular strength, decrease recovery time, and reduce inflammation and pain. When a patient isn’t experiencing pain, he or she is more likely to be compliant with exercises, and as strength improves, the risk of aggravating an existing injury or causing a new one is significantly reduced.
Colostrum’s benefits also include:
- Balance blood glucose levels and reduce insulin resistance for more efficient metabolism;
- Maintain tight junction integrity to heal and prevent intestinal hyperpermeability;
- Promote a healthy microbiome for better gut, immune, and brain health; and
- Improve serotonin and dopamine uptake for better mental stress management.
All of these actions help prevent the deleterious effects of chronic, systemic inflammation—autoimmune diseases that plague nearly everyone as they age. As a chiropractor, you share a special relationship with your patients. You have the ability to provide healing relief, make patients whole again, and offer a real solution for optimal health and well-being.
Douglas A. Wyatt, JD, is a leading authority on bovine colostrum, and as founder of Sovereign Laboratories is credited with establishing the gold standard in processing raw bovine colostrum into supplements. He was an early developer of liposomal delivery for enhancing the bioavailability of colostrum and other nutritional supplements. He can be contacted through colostrumtherapy.com.
1 Iranmanesh A, Lizarralde G, Veldhuis JD. Age and relative adiposity are specific negative determinants of the frequency and amplitude of growth hormone (GH) secretory bursts and the half-life of endogenous GH in healthy men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Nov 1991;73(5):1081-1088.
2 Rudman D, Kutner MH, Rogers CM. Impaired growth hormone secretion in the adult population: relation to age and adiposity. J Clin Invest. 1981;67(5):1361-1369.
3 Gelato MC. Aging and Immune Function: A Possible Role for Growth Hormone. [ITAL]Horm Res.[/ITAL] 1996;45(1-2):46-9.
4 Leppäluoto A, et al. Bovine colostrum supplementation enhances physical performance on maximal exercise tests. 2000 Pre-Olympic Congress Sports Medicine and Physical Education, International Congress on Sport Science, Brisbane, Australia.
5 Buckley JD, et al. Bovine colostrum supplementation during training increases vertical jump performance. 2000 Pre-Olympic Congress, Sports Medicine and Physical Education, International Congress on Sport Science, Brisbane, Australia.
6 Buckley JD, Abbott MJ, Brinkworth GD, Whyte PB. Bovine colostrum supplementation during endurance running training improves recovery, but not performance. [ITAL]Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport.[/ITAL] 2002;5(2):65-79.
7 Buckley JD, Abbott M, Martin S, Brinkworth G, Whyte P. Effect of an oral bovine colostrum supplement (intact) on running performance. Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport 1998. Adelaide, October 13-16, 1998.
8 Antonio J, Sanders MS, Van Gammeren D. The effects of bovine colostrum supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in active men and women. [ITAL]Nutrition.[/ITAL] 2001;17:243-247.
9 Marchbank T, Davison G, Oakes JR, et al. The nutriceutical bovine colostrum truncates the increase in gut permeability caused by heavy exercise in athletes. [ITAL]Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol.[/ITAL] 2011;300:G477–G484.
10 Davison G, Marchbank T, March DS, Thatcher R, Playford RJ. Zinc carnosine works with bovine colostrum in truncating heavy exercise-induced increase in gut permeability in healthy volunteers. [ITAL]American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.[/ITAL] 2016;104(2):526-36.
11 Feldmann M, Maini RN. The role of cytokines in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology (Oxford). 1999 Nov;38 Suppl 2:3-7.
12 Rona Z. Bovine colostrum emerges as immune system modulator. [ITAL]American Journal of Natural Medicine.[/ITAL] 1998;5(2):19-23.