While people are often very willing to try new supplements when they are looking to improve their physical performance or exercise results, there is usually a lot more hesitancy when it comes to trying to use them to remedy medical conditions.
This becomes particularly true when it comes to either a very personal medical issue or a supplement you haven’t heard of. This is then amplified when you combine those two factors, as is the case when it comes to using colostrum to treat leaky gut syndrome.
Colostrum is slowly growing in popularity for its ability to treat leaky gut syndrome, but can a simple dietary supplement really help you combat such an acute issue? Well, that is just what we are going to find out, as we show you all you need to know about taking colostrum for leaky gut syndrome.
What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome is a medical condition where the lining of the gut has been damaged and can no longer function as a barrier at an optimal level. A leaky gut can often start off relatively mild, with only small holes in the gut lining and no major symptoms, but can progress quickly if left untreated.
As small holes get bigger, they will begin to allow harmful substances like gluten, bad bacteria, and undigested food particles to enter your system. This can cause a considerable amount of pain and has the potential to lead to significant damage to your health.
Causes Of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome is most commonly caused by a bacterial imbalance known as dysbiosis. This is an imbalance between good and bad microbes in the gut.
Another common cause is a poor diet. People who don’t eat enough healthy, nutrient rich foods are among the most frequent sufferers of leaky gut syndrome, especially if they also eat too much processed food and very few whole foods
Chronic stress can also either cause leaky gut syndrome or make a pre-existing case even worse.
Many of the hormones our bodies release when stressed weaken the immune system. This will impair your body’s ability to cleanse the harmful microbes out of your system and cause inflammation, both of which are causes and agitators of leaky gut syndrome.
The final known cause of leaky gut syndrome is a toxin overload. If you are exposed to too much of something like antibiotics, aspirin, pesticides, and even contaminated tap water, your body won’t have the ability to clear it out quickly enough, which will lead to damage being done to your gut.
Symptoms Of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Stomach pain is the number one symptom associated with leaky gut syndrome, but there is a range of other side effects it can cause. The most common side effects linked to leaky gut syndrome are acne, bloating, chronic fatigue, diarrhoea, eczema, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and joint pains.
In rarer cases, leaky gut syndrome can also cause symptoms including food intolerances or sensitivities, hormonal imbalances (like PCOS and PMS), and even the development of allergies, particularly to known seasonal triggers.
What is Colostrum?
Colostrum is a substance that is produced naturally in the mammary glands of mammals towards the end of a pregnancy and is then the first milk they produce. They will normally produce this from just before giving birth until their body is ready to produce traditional breast milk.
The purpose of colostrum is to nourish new-born animals and aid the development of their immune and gastrointestinal systems. When compared to the milk that is produced later, colostrum has a much higher concentration of proteins, growth factors, and antibodies
Colostrum has the appearance of a clear, milky fluid. It has varying amounts of active compounds in it, like antibodies, growth factors, lactoferrin, and proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs). Some of these are even present in quantities more than 100 times greater than those found in normal breast milk.
Even though all mammals produce colostrum, bovine colostrum is, by far, the most common form of it used in supplements. Colostrum supplements are usually available in capsule, liquid, and powder forms.
What Are The Benefits Of Colostrum?
Studies have demonstrated that colostrum supplements, especially those using bovine colostrum, can help to support the immune system, fight infections, promote a healthy gut, and improve athletic performance in most humans.
The full list of health benefits that can be obtained by using colostrum supplements is much longer though.
Benefits including better gastrointestinal and thymus health, enhanced muscle mass and growth, faster, more effective cellular repair, better skin quality, and an overall improvement in health and well-being have all been demonstrably linked to colostrum supplementation.
How Does Colostrum Work?
Bovine colostrum, as well as any other type of colostrum supplement, can help to strengthen your immune system and aid your body in fighting various agents known to cause disease and inflammation.
It does this as colostrum features an extremely high concentration of the antibodies IgA and IgG. These are types of protein, the sole job of which is to fight off viruses and bacteria.
Is Colostrum Safe?
Colostrum supplements are widely accepted to be safe for use by the vast majority of adults. There are some situations in which it is not recommended people use colostrum supplements though. This is most frequently advised when people have allergies, particularly if it is to lactose or milk.
As colostrum supplements can also contain other allergens too, it is important to check the list of ingredients on the label if you have any allergies.
If you have any other doubts about colostrum supplementation, particularly if they relate to an allergy or pre-existing medical condition, make sure you consult with a medical professional before you begin taking a colostrum supplement, to make absolutely sure it is safe for you to do so.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Colostrum?
Most people will be able to use colostrum supplements without any issues. However, in rare instances, people can experience a side effect known as detoxification or a herxheimer reaction.
People who get this side effect can experience a selection of symptoms that commonly includes dizziness, headaches, nausea, and all of the traditional symptoms associated with the flu.
This side effect almost only ever occurs if a person is sensitive to the ingredients in the supplement or starts off using an extremely high dose.
To minimise the risk of experiencing side effects like these, start off using low doses and then slowly increase the amount you take over time, to give your body a chance to get used to the supplement.
Is Colostrum Effective For Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Studies have shown that when you drink colostrum it can encourage the development of the lining of the gut. This will help it to establish a healthy complement of microorganisms, which can provide a passive immunity to the condition and help to prevent you developing it in the first place.
As we have already seen, colostrum can help to fight disease and inflammation in the gut, which means it can help to combat cases of leaky gut syndrome that have already developed as well.
That said, colostrum is much more effective as a preventative measure or in its early stages, rather than as a cure when the condition has already progressed to an acute level. If you allow leaky gut syndrome to progress too far, colostrum may be ineffective, so make sure not to leave it too late.
Three Important Physiological Changes That Can Accompany A Leaky Gut
There are three major physiological changes the body can go through that are commonly seen when a person is dealing with leaky gut syndrome.
The first change is that the intestines become permeable to substances that would not normally be passed into circulation. This happens as a result of the mucosal lining and cells of the intestinal tract becoming damaged or inflamed.
The second physiological change that often occurs is the development of an imbalance of healthy and pathogenic bacteria and yeast in the gut, which can lead to even more damage of the area.
The 3rd and last physiological change that can accompany leaky gut syndrome is that the immune system will go into overdrive. This can lead to antibodies and other chemical messengers being made. These cause chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease and are extremely dangerous.
One of the reasons that colostrum is able to be so effective at treating leaky gut syndrome is because it can address and correct all 3 of these physiological imbalances.
What Dosage Of Colostrum Should You Take For Leaky Gut Syndrome?
The suggested daily dose of colostrum can range from 20 to 60 grams, depending on both the health and age of the user, as well as the exact supplement being used. However, a 2017 study found that leaky gut syndrome could be improved by taking doses of colostrum as low as 0.5 grams for 20 days.
How Much Colostrum To Use For Other Issues
The dosage of colostrum you should use can vary greatly depending on the reason you are using the supplement. Colostrum also usually works best when taken on an empty stomach, and the presence of food can alter the amount of colostrum you need to take for it to be effective.
Studies into the effect of colostrum on athletic performance suggest you will see optimal results when using around 60 grams per day. Meanwhile, those considering colostrum supplementation for the general health benefits it can offer may not need to use any more than 20 grams per day.
Each individual colostrum supplements will usually also display its suggested doses on the box.
If you are still in any way unsure, it is highly recommended you follow these guidelines, as the company that produced it will have accounted for just how much colostrum or any other active ingredient is present in the supplement.
People who are sensitive to supplements or any of the ingredients they contain should ideally start off using a lower dose and then increasing it slowly over time. This will allow your body to become acclimatised and reduce the likelihood of any negative effects occurring.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Before we conclude our analysis on colostrum and leaky gut syndrome, I want to quickly go over a few of the most frequently asked questions (FAQS) people have on the subject. This should ensure everyone is completely clear on all of the facts by the time we are done.
How Long Does It Take For Colostrum To Heal A Leaky Gut?
When taking 500 mg of colostrum every day, it usually takes around three weeks for the supplement to work. Higher doses may be able to heal the damage even faster, but studies show this shouldn’t be needed for it to be effective.
Is Colostrum Good For The Gut?
Both animal and human studies have shown that colostrum supplements, particularly those which use bovine colostrum, can stimulate the growth of intestinal cells, strengthen the gut wall, and prevent intestinal permeability.
This makes taking colostrum supplements beneficial for the gut even if you aren’t dealing with leaky gut syndrome.
Is Colostrum An Anti-Inflammatory?
Bovine colostrum has demonstrated clear anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity in in vitro models of intestinal inflammation and infection in studies.
Final Thoughts On Taking Colostrum For Leaky Gut Syndrome
Colostrum is one of the best ways to naturally combat leaky gut syndrome and will eliminate the need to resort to more powerful medications or invasive treatments for those who catch the condition and take action while it is still in its early stages.
While it is possible for complications or side effects to occur in rare cases, most people will be able to use colostrum in complete safety and comfort. It can even be used in combination with things like a cleanse or probiotic as part of a supplement regimen for those seeking perfect gut health.
All you have left to do now then is choose your favourite option from our list of the best colostrum supplements. That way you can get it as quickly as possible and begin reaping all of the benefits it can offer for yourself.
Steve is a retired professional wrestler with over 10 years of experience in the personal fitness industry. He is a certified personal trainer working with a wide variety of athletes as well as a fitness writer.