Colostrumhealth™ New Zealand

Information resource: article by Elmari Cara

Cow colostrum and how it benefits athletes. An article by Elmari Cara

In todays competitive sporting arena the difference between a gold medal and missing it is smaller than 1%. For this very reason athletes are hoping to find a legal supplement that will give them this marginal edge. They need supplements that will enhance their performance, protect their bodies from overtraining and assist in recovery. Colostrum is rich in anabolic and energy enhancing compounds that have a positive effect on performance and effectively assist with recovery.

Colostrum is the first food produced by all mammals for their offspring. This rich milk-like substance contains a variety of essential nutrients, immunogobulins, growth factors and amino acids and provides the newborn with the necessary boost in life and protects is with the vital immune components contained in colostrum. Bovine (cow) colostrum is found to be compatible in most respects with human colostrum. Several research studies have been conducted using bovine colostrum to assist athletes in terms of their performance, speed up post training recovery and help repair damanged tissue. Several new studies and news articles (see below) have recently appeared to support these findings.

The main ingredient contained in colostrum which provides for the benefits for athletes comes form the Insulin-like growth hormones and growth factors. The news about colostrum has also been good in performance enhancing studies. Reasearch shows that the IGF1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor) is the anabolic peptide of choice, unlike the peptides in banned anabolic steriods, IGF1 is bio-available in Colostrum. There are high IGF1 factors present in Colostrum but only in the first 24 hours after calf birth. Research shows that IGF1 is far more anabolic than synthetic compounds, even steriods. IGF1 enters the bloodstream intact it directs muscle protein synthesis or differentiation, increasing the uptake of nutrition by the cells and signalling to the muscle to manufacture more muscle cells and muscle protein. Muscle tissue with IGF1 receptors only need a small amount of IGF1 to boost cellular division, synthesizing more protein and increasing the uptake of nutrients, ths means anabolism and anabolism means mass. This process boost the growth of the newborn and gives it a jump start in life, in the same way athletes can increase muscle power and performance.

Igf 1 is not the only growth factors present in Colostrum with anabolic properties, for example Interleukin 1 (IL1) is a modulator but it also produce basic fibroblast growth factors. Fibroblast is the first line of repair in muscle and tendon injury other growth factors like EGF and TGF A&B coupled with IGF1 has been found biochemically unsurpassed in their role in cartilage and muscle repair. Therefore shortening recovering times after strenuous training and competitions.

Research studies


At the Center for Research in Education and Sports Science, at the University of South Australia, a double-blind, placebo controlled study was carried out to determine the effect of supplementation with a commercial bovine colostrum product on plasma IGF-I concentrations and endurance running performance. Although no differences in plasma IGF-1 concentrations were found between the groups at the start or end of the study, the colostrum group continued to improve its performance capacity after four weeks, while the performance of the placebo group reached a plateau. By the eighth week, the colostrum group was running further and doing more work than the placebo group.

Also of note, athletes receiving colostrum displayed a strong trend over eight weeks to reduce the increase in serum creatine kinase concentrations per unit of work done, while there was no such trend in the placebo group. Total creatine kinase measurement in serum has remained the best overall marker for detection and monitoring of skeletal and muscle stress. Injury or diseases to striated muscle most commonly cause increases in total serum creatine kinase.

Colostrum’s role in quick recovery and tissue repair

During strenuous exercise we can cause tiny tears in our muscles, studies have proved that when testing groups took Colostrum they significantly reduced their time for recovery and repair. The IGF 1 is the best known compound for repair of cartilage and muscle. The Transforming Growth factors A&B, present in Colostrum are known for repairing DNA and RNA. Both are present in Colostrum and are responsible for repairing the muscles after injury. In the same way, people going for surgery or recovering from illness and injury can benefit tremendously by taking Colostrum. It will speed up their recovery and assist in faster wound healing while strengthening their immune system to ward off any further infections.

Studies to confirm Colostrum’s role in Repair and recovery

After eight weeks of supplementation, the amount of work completed in the second part of the VO2max test – and the top running speed achieved – was significantly greater in the colostrum group, suggesting that colostrum could boost recovery from high-intensity exercise. This would be a boon for athletes carrying out interval workouts, participating in heats over the course of a day’s competition or even attempting to ‘hold on’ during a race after a high-intensity surge. In follow-up work carried out in Australia with 28 well-trained cyclists (VO2max equalling 61 ml/kg-min), 10 athletes (the placebo group) supplemented their diets for eight weeks with 60g of whey protein per day, nine consumed 60g per day of bovine colostrum and another nine took a combined supplement, comprising 20g of colostrum and 40g of whey protein. At the beginning and end of the study period the athletes carried out an intensive exercise test in the laboratory; after warming up and stretching for 10 minutes, they started cycling (on a bicycle ergometer) at self-selected cadences between 70 and 100 rpm.

The power was initially set at 100 watts for three minutes, jumping to 200w for a further three minutes and then increasing by 50w every three minutes until exhaustion. Oxygen consumption was monitored throughout the test, and each athlete attained VO2max. Once exhausted, each athlete ‘cooled down’ at an easy intensity on the ergometer for three minutes and then walked around the laboratory at a modest level of effort for an additional 17 minutes. After this recovery period, they repeated the test. Two days after their VO2max efforts, the athletes again reported to the lab, but this time they rode for two hours on their ergometers at an intensity of 65% of maximal heart rate. During this time, the athletes consumed food and drink ad lib, using the same intake patterns they normally employed in their long workouts and races. Immediately after the two-hour ride they completed 207 kilojoules of work on the bikes as quickly as they possibly could. The amount of work performed during these intense blasts after eight weeks of colostrum supplementation was compared with the amount completed at the beginning of the study.

While the placebo group (those taking whey protein alone) improved the time it took to complete the 207kj of work by just 34 seconds (from 819 to 782 seconds) between the beginning and end of the study, the colostrum-only group improved by 134 seconds and the protein-and-colostrum group by 158 seconds! Why did bovine colostrum improve the cyclists’ ability to handle tough efforts at the end of the two-hour ride? There are several possible explanations: for one thing, bovine colostrum contains a very important compound called plasma insulin-like growth factor I, or IGF-1. IGF-1 spurs the passage of nutrients into cells and – as its name suggests – can stimulate growth. Bovine IGF-1 happens to have the same basic structure as human IGF-1, and thus it is possible that the IGF-1 in bovine colostrum might boost energy levels within muscles, kick-start protein synthesis, and aid recovery after strenuous workouts.

Daniel Shawn B.S. Colostrum: Biotechnology’s next step- Iron Magazine, Art 8 The Doctors’ Prescription for Healthy Living / volume 5, number 6 Brinkworth GD, Buckley JD, Slavotinek JP, Kurmis A. 2004. Effect of bovine colostrum supplementation on the composition of resistance trained and untrained limbs in healthy young men. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 91: 53-60. Buckley JD, Brinkworth GD, Abbott MJ. 2003. Effect of bovine colostrum on anaerobic exercise performance and plasma insulin-like growth factor. Journal of Sports Sciences. 21: 588-677.

This article was researched and prepared by Elmari Cara of NZTM in May 2009. All rights reserved. Please contact the author should you with to reproduce this article or an extract thereof.

Bovine colostrum in the news*

BBC News Colostrum and athletes.Click here to read the article

NewsComAU - Bovine colostrum use by athletes.Click here to read the article

Colostrumhealth™ & New Zealand Trade Merchants Limited

New Zealand Trade Merchants Limited (NZTM) is an incorporated company registered in New Zealand. In 2006 it commenced operations as a commodity trader exporting dairy products. By 2009, NZTM had moved its focus to the manufacturing and retailing of New Zealand produced natural health products, first aid supplies and safety equipment. The four divisions trading divisions are: Bio-Naturals™ Under the Bio-Naturals™ banner, NZTM markets a range of high quality dietary supplements including Greenshell™ Mussel extract, BioTivia® and Life Stream®. LifeStream® is a vibrant New Zealand dietary supplement manufacturer with a great range of products. NZTM markets these products internationally through agreements with selected suppliers and directly via its website New Zealand, NZTM sells its range of natural health supplements such as Greenshell™ and colostrum products through its website During 2012, NZTM will be introducing additional products under the Bio-Naturals™ label.
Colostrumhealth™ Seven years ago, NZTM recognised there was a good demand for high-grade pure New Zealand bovine (cow) colostrum powder. NZTM worked through the New Zealand’s Ministry of Health’s registered, GMP facility to manufacture high quality 100% pure New Zealand bovine colostrum for encapsulation and to be distributed in a pure agglomerated powder form. These products are marketed internationally under its Colostrumhealth™ label. NZTM added vanilla flavoured chewable colostrum tablets to the popular Colostrumhealth™ powder and encapsulated range of products. Cow colostrum products are not equal. New Zealand colostrum is known to be superior mainly due to the processing method, but also important is the fact that New Zealand farmers collect colostrum once a year during natural calving from year round pasture fed cows. These cows are antibiotic free and free from hormones. New Zealand milk products are also certified BSE free. New Zealand cow colostrum is never frozen, only chilled and then spray dried at low heat, protecting the sensitive bio-enzymes. The colostrum is collected from all over the country and then blended together thus enlarging the environmental exposure and variety of pathogens resulting in a higher level of varying antibodies contained in the colostrum. Most other countries collect colostrum from region specific herds thus limiting the variety of pathogens and antibodies contained in the collected colostrum. Having reviewed the claims and quality of cow colostrum health supplements available in the market today, we believe that the quality of New Zealand produced cow colostrum is the best in the world. A result of the collection and manufacturing processes as well as the sourcing of nature of New Zealand's rich grazing grasses which provide a product superior in bio-active components. Approximately 80% of Colostrumhealth™'s products are sold in the United States through NZTM’s virtual shopfronts. In New Zealand, sales are made online through and a number of pharmacies and natural health retailers. Approved distribution agencies have been granted for Indonesia and Turkey. Negotiations are presently underway to establish similar agreements with local distributors in Malaysia and China.

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What's is bovine (cow) colostrum beneficial to humans?

Colostrum is the first food produced by mammals. This rich milk like substance contains a variety of essential nutrients, immunogobulins, growth factors and amino acids and provides the newborns with a boost in life. Bovine (cow) colostrum is found to be totally compatible to humans. Before the advent of modern medicine, bovine colostrum has been used for centuries to treat various conditions. The investigation of clinical effects of bovine colostrum in humans began in the late 1980s and continues today.

Research studies indicate that bovine colostrum may have direct antimicrobial and as well as other bioactivities that suppress gut inflammation and promote mucosal integrity and tissue repair under various conditions related to tissue injury. Bovine colostrum may also contribute to immunological events, resulting in systemic effects after contact with the gut mucosa. Bovine colostrum contains numerous factors attributable to the acquired and innate immune systems, including a range of peptides and proteins with direct antimicrobial effects.

How do colostrum products compare?

Cow colostrum products are not equal. New Zealand colostrum is known to be superior mainly due to the processing method, but also important is the fact that New Zealand farmers collect colostrum once a year during natural calving from year round pasture fed cows. The producing dairy herds have to be certified antibiotic free and free from hormones to be accepted for colostrum milking. Certification confirming New Zealand is free of BSE (mad cow disease) is available here BSE free certification. It is a fact that New Zealand has never had a single case of this disease. Both the bovine colostrum and the gel capsules carry Halal certification by the N.Z. Islamic Process Management Division.. To view the certification please click here Halal certification.
New Zealand cow colostrum is never frozen, only chilled and then spray dried at low heat, protecting the sensitive bio-enzymes. The colostrum is collected from all over the country and then blended together thus enlarging the exposure to a variety of pathogens. This results in a high level of variety of antibodies in New Zealand bovine colostrum. Most other countries collect colostrum from region specific herds thus limiting the variety of antibodies contained in the collected colostrum.

Refer to our Colostrum - Questions &Answers page for further information.

What makes Colostrumhealth™'s range of colostrum products different?

We know you have many choices.  Ask the right questions to enable you to get the very best colostrum.  Colostrumhealth™ prides itself in bringing you the highest quality and purest product we can.  Our colostrum capsule bottles contain 120 capsules filled with 500mg of pure high protein New Zealand colostrum. 100% pure. No additives, no Magnesium Stearate or any other flowing agents.  The same goes for our 100g tub of colostrum powder, only pure unadulterated New Zealand bovine colostrum powder.  Our tablets contain one of the highest amounts of pure colostrum powder in the market at 325mg per tablet. Be sure to ask this question when sourcing your colostrum tablets. The tablets contain a blend of colostrum powder, milk powder, tabletting aids and vanilla flavour. The reason why this product cannot be just pure powder is because colostrum cannot be pressed into a tablet on its own we need to use the New Zealand milk powder to bind it and to make it pleasant to taste we add a vanilla flavouring.  We are able to offer you excellent value at a very reasonable price. Please feel free to compare.

Health, sports and general well being benefits

A number of research papers have recently been completed which show promising results with the use of bovine colostrum in sport's medicine. Research studies found evidence that bovine colostrum helps in assisting athletes in achieving greater performance in certain track and field sports. It is also shown to help reduce recovery time from injury and in some cases, build lean tissue.

The unique compounds contained in colostrum assists in speeding up post training recovery and tissue repair.

There are a number of studies which report on the use and supplementation of bovine colostrum enhancing the human immune system, improving recovery times post surgery or illness. Boosting the human immune system helps fend off colds, flu and other viral and bacterial illnesses. Studies have shown that compromised human immune systems can benefit from the properties contained in bovine colostrum.

Colostrum is known to provide gastrointestinal support by maintaining a healthy intestinal flora and thus improving general wellbeing.

*Disclaimer - Colostrumhealth™'s products are sold as dietary supplements and are not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any medical condition. If you have any serious health concerns you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering remedies. The suggested health benefits have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration.