We've all loved someone who's battled Alzheimer's. Whether it's your mother... your friend... or even your spouse... you know how this devastating disease can strip away your loved one's memory... personality... and independence.
But it shouldn't be this way.
We all deserve to have healthy brains... and iron-clad memories well into our golden years.
The good news is there's a lot you can do to help protect yourself and, if you're already suffering from brain fog, memory loss, improve your cognitive function.
One way is to take a supplement that comes from one of Mother Nature's greatest medicines -- breast milk.
Colostrum -- also called first milk -- gives newborn babies their first nutrition and kick-starts their immune systems. But this powerful nutrient isn't just for babies.
You see, new research shows colostrum offers a wealth of brain benefits, too (especially for seniors).
Colostrum supplements can significantly improve memory and brain function and enhance immunity.
Proline-rich peptides (PRPs) found in colostrum are good for the brain supplying brain growth factors which offer neuroprotection and exert a positive genetic influence, as well as provide memory support, and Alzheimer’s disease prevention.
It is important to evaluate the sourcing, quality, and dosage recommendations for colostrum supplements. We've written about colostrum before because it can protect an aging digestive tract against leaky gut and other painful digestive problems.
Colostrum and the Human Brain: Beat Back Brain Aging and Alzheimer's Disease
This nutrient-rich supplement contains powerful compounds -- called proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs)-- that boost your brain in many ways. These include enhancing cognitive function, reducing age-related cognitive decline, and boosting immunity.
Plus, research shows that the PRPs in colostrum supplements can even help erase the amyloid beta fibrils, or proteins, that cause Alzheimer's disease. We've written many times about the role amyloid beta proteins play in the development of the disease in certain people.
PRPs can also be beneficial for reducing brain inflammation and increasing levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) -- a compound that plays a key role in brain growth, learning and memory.
What is Colostrum?
Colostrum is the first milk mammals produce after giving birth. It contains a unique mix of essential nutrients, immune system building blocks, and sugars that benefit brain development in both infants and adults.
In fact, for many years the breastfeeding slogan "breast is best" was often cited because of the connection between brain development and breast milk.
Over the last few decades, bovine colostrum supplements have gained attention for their potential to support better brain function, thanks to their rich concentration of brain growth factors, immune antibodies, and other bioactive compounds.
Some scientists believe that hyperimmune bovine colostrum -- sourced from cow's milk -- has a higher protein and fat content than human colostrum.
In fact, research shows that bovine colostrum can boost immune function and enhance cognitive function, reduce age-related cognitive decline, and even promote gut health.
PRPs: Help You Build a Better Brain
PRPs are the key to bovine colostrum's brain benefits. These powerful compounds not only support memory and learning, but also offer powerful Alzheimer’s disease prevention. They work by reducing the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaque -- a key driver behind Alzheimer's-- and increasing healthy brain growth factors.
What's more, bovine colostrum promotes better communication between cells and improves brain processing that's critical to learning and memory. Peptides and other nutrients found in colostrum may also promote mental clarity and focus in those who suffer with brain fog, as well as support overall gut health.
In fact, by facilitating better cell communication and improving gut health, this humble supplement can make a significant difference in memory, executive function while at the same time allowing for easy, more comfortable digestion.
If that's not enough, studies have shown that these polypeptides can block amyloid beta fibrils and lower levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by boosting your antioxidant levels, including glutathione -- your body's master antioxidant. In doing so, PRPs can also positively impact your risk of cardiovascular disease, as reactive oxygen species can worsen the condition. This has another important benefit to your brain because it protects healthy blood flow to your brain and its cells.
Additionally, PRPs can benefit gene expression in the brain, which can also help block the growth of amyloid beta fibrils and boost brain growth factors that are essential to cognitive function, clear thinking, focus, attention and memory. This powerful benefits make taking colostrum a home run for anyone who cares about their brain.
Reduce Age-Related Cognitive Decline and Boosts Immune Responses
Bovine colostrum helps improve your immune response by increasing certain immune components -- like immunoglobulin-g -- that can decrease with age. The immune system plays a key role in our brain function and health because it helps regulate inflammation -- a key driver behind dementia and other brain disorders.
Bovine colostrum supplements also boost your levels of BDNF, providing essential nutrients, and delivering immune components.
We've been talking about BDNF and its importance to brain function and the fact that colostrum can enhance this brain saver is very exciting.
You see, as you age, your neurons begin to breakdown. But when you take bovine colostrum, you can get ahead of this wear and tear by raising your levels of BDNF, which helps promote the growth and survival of your brain cells, directly impacting your memory and cognition.
In fact, a 2023 placebo controlled study of a clinical grade bovine colostrum supplement showed that seniors with existing memory issues could raise their levels of BDNF significantly when taking a daily dose.
Even better? They scored an average of five points higher on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA).
Now, five points may not sound like a huge deal. But when you consider that this test uses a scale of 25, these results could be the difference between losing your independence or not.
Other human studies back these results. One double blind study showed folks who took bovine colostrum for 15 weeks improved their Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive (ADAS-cog) scores.
We believe bovine colostrum is an important addition to any nutritional regimen targeting brain health.
When selecting a bovine colostrum supplement -- just like any other supplement -- it’s important to consider factors such as sourcing, quality, dosage recommendations, and potential side effects.
By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that you’re choosing the right bovine colostrum supplement for your specific needs and maximizing the potential benefits for your brain health.
Colostrum Supplements: Choosing Superior Sourcing and Quality
When it comes to sourcing and quality, opting for bovine colostrum supplements derived from grass-fed cows and produced by manufacturers that do dietary supplement testing is a crucial component to ensure quality and effectiveness.
These cows typically have elevated concentrations of advantageous compounds such as immunoglobulins and growth factors, which leads to a higher quality dietary supplement. Additionally, their diets may be more nutrient-dense than those of grain-fed cows on dairy farms.
In addition to sourcing from grass-fed cows, it’s important to consider the percentage of immunoglobulin-g and PRPs in any bovine colostrum supplement.
This ensures that you’re getting a supplement with the highest concentration of beneficial compounds, providing the optimal support for your brain health and overall well-being.
Bovine colostrum supplements are lactose-free, so they're safe for people who have the common dairy allergy. That being said you may discuss this with a health professional in you case.
Additional Health Benefits of Colostrum Supplementation
In addition to its benefits for brain health and immune function, colostrum offers a range of additional health advantages, including help with:
Immune Support: Colostrum is known to contain a high concentration of antibodies IgA and IgG, which are effective in combating viruses and bacteria, providing immune system support and helping to boost immunity.
Colostrum is packed with other immune-enhancing substances that can help bolster the immune system. These components may help the body fight off infections, viruses, and bacteria, potentially reducing the frequency and severity of illnesses.
Gut Health: Colostrum contains compounds like lactoferrin and growth factors that may support the health of the gastrointestinal tract. These substances can promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and support gut barrier function, which is essential for overall digestive health.When it comes to getting better gut health, colostrum is good choice.
This supplement promotes the growth of intestinal epithelial cells, fortifying the gut wall, and inhibiting intestinal cells from being crossed. This can help balance your levels of harmful bacteria, promote a healthy digestive system and improve levels of digestive enzymes. It's also been shown to help improve infections that affect your digestive system, like rotavirus. In one clinical trial, infants taking bovine colostrum experienced an end to their gastric symptoms within 48 hours.
Athletic Performance: Some studies suggest that colostrum supplements might aid in improving exercise performance, muscle recovery, and lean body mass. Growth factors present in colostrum may contribute to muscle tissue repair and regeneration.
For athletes and bodybuilders, colostrum supplementation has been shown to improve muscle growth, making it a valuable supplement for those looking to enhance their physical performance. One animal study shoes that bovine colostrum can reduce lipid peroxidation, a process that can negatively impact your athletic performance.
Skin Health: The growth factors and nutrients in colostrum can support skin health by promoting collagen production and skin regeneration, thereby increasing skin health, elasticity and vitality. These benefits can lead to improved skin texture and appearance.
Bone Health: Colostrum has been shown to enhance bone density, reduce inflammation, restore structural cells, and provide muscle growth and support.
Wound Healing: Growth factors and immune-boosting components in colostrum can help accelerate wound healing by promoting tissue repair and reducing inflammation at the wound site.
Inflammation: Colostrum contains anti-inflammatory compounds, such as cytokines and growth factors, which may help modulate the body's inflammatory response and provide relief from inflammatory conditions.
When it comes to the brain, this inflammation-fighting ability is believed to be especially helpful in the case of brain injury due to stroke or traumatic brain injury from an accident.
Nutritional and Antioxidant Support: Colostrum is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect cells from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with oxidative damage. This is especially true for the brain which is highly sensitive to oxidative stress, as we've discussed before.
Laboratory studies suggest that colostrum does in fact cross the brain blood barrier, or blood-brain barrier as it's sometimes called. This is the barrier that helps keep toxins and pathogens out of brain cells but can also make it hard for some nutrients to enter inside the brain.
Allergies and Autoimmune Conditions: Some research suggests that colostrum may have potential benefits for people with allergies or autoimmune disorders due to its immunomodulatory properties.
In conclusion, colostrum supplementation is good for the brain. It offers a wealth of benefits for brain health, including improved cognitive response, reduced age-related cognitive decline, and an enhanced immune system and cardiovascular system.
With its proline-rich polypeptides providing neuroprotection, memory support, and support for Alzheimer’s disease prevention, colostrum is an invaluable ally in the pursuit of optimal brain health.
As you consider incorporating colostrum supplements into your daily routine, be sure to choose a high-quality product sourced from grass-fed cows and follow recommended dosage guidelines to maximize its brain-boosting potential.
With its numerous additional health benefits, colostrum truly has the power to support overall human health and well-being and help you achieve a healthier, happier life.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is colostrum, and how does it benefit brain health?
Colostrum is a unique form of initial milk produced by mammary glands after giving birth. It is packed with essential nutrients, immune factors, and sugars that can improve cognitive response, reduce age-related cognitive decline, enhance your immune system and your cardiovascular system.
It aids in the prevention of brain health problems with it's unique blend of essential vitamins and nutrients, immune compounds and growth factors, which help increase BNDF to help stop amyloid beta fibrils from attacking your brain cells and sapping away your memory.
What do colostrum supplements do?
Colostrum is a nutrient-rich supplement that can help people support their immune system, improve gut and heart health, support a sharper memory, and promote overall health. It's also low in fat and lactose-free, making it a suitable option for those with certain dietary restrictions. That being said, if you're allergic to cow's milk or other dairy products it's wise to avoid it.
Who should take colostrum supplements?
The National Institutes of health (NIH) reports that bovine colostrum supplementation has a rich nutritional content that can provide a number of health benefits for people of all ages. Colostrum may offer significant benefits such as fighting viral infections, preventing intestinal permeability, aiding digestion, supporting memory and cognitive function and reducing signs of aging.
Who should not take colostrum supplements?
People with bleeding disorders, hypercalcemia, metastatic calcification, kidney problems, high blood pressure, cancer, optic nerve damage and/or high levels of vitamin D, pregnant women, and those with an allergy to cow’s milk should avoid taking bovine colostrum.
What is the best way to take colostrum?
Experts recommend consuming colostrum supplements on an empty stomach, with water. Life Colostrum is available in powder and capsules.
How much colostrum can I take daily?
Common dosages start between 500 mg to 2000 mg a day. If you are taking a dose in the upper range, it's a good idea to divide the dose and take one in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening. Again, take colostrum on an empty stomach for maximum health benefits.
How long does it take for colostrum to work?
When you add colostrum to your daily health regimen it can take six weeks or longer to experience any noticeable health benefits.
What are proline-rich polypeptides, and how do they contribute to colostrum's brain benefits?
Proline-rich polypeptides found in colostrum are neuroprotective agents that offer memory support and potential Alzheimer’s disease prevention, making them a key contributor to colostrum’s brain benefits.
These polypeptides are believed to help protect the brain from damage and inflammation and may even help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. They also help to improve cognitive function, memory, and focus.
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