Spotlight On: Colostrum
Everyone wants to know more about what they’re putting on their skin and face. We’re doing a deep dive on a special ingredient found in your favorite ATEM skincare products.
Bovine colostrum has been touted for its anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. J. Lo used it to get her dewy and luminous skin during her recent Superbowl halftime show. Let’s take a look.
Colostrum: Nature’s first support system
Colostrum is a breast fluid produced in the mammary glands of female mammals such as humans and cows in the days leading up to and after birth. Although colostrum is known colloquially as “first milk”, it is not technically milk. Rather, it’s a clear yellowish viscous fluid produced before breast milk that is loaded with antibodies and immune-boosting nutrients for newborns. In humans, colostrum actually has 100 times the antibody concentration as compared to regular breast milk
Unlike breast milk, colostrum isn’t designed to be nutritional, but rather, to reinforce and provide infants with much-needed immune support. It contains a multitude of immunoglobulins that supplement the upper respiratory tract and protect newborns against cold, flu, and strep infections. Insulin-like growth factors contained in colostrum help respiratory tract lining tissue to grow, regenerate, and utilize nutrients better. Really a clever way from nature to give newborns that much needed immunity boost!
Although colostrum is found in both humans and cows, bovine colostrum is most often used in supplements. Compared to human colostrum, it contains higher concentration of protein, fat content, and antibodies. For athletes, bovine colostrum has been proven in studies to prevent respiratory infections, increase muscle growth, improve performance, and speed recovery
Colostrum: Links to the microbiome
Colostrum also helps deliver nutrients to the developing digestive system. We’ve seen in this article how important your gut microbiome is to your overall physical and mental health. In humans, colostrum also nourishes and further seeds the gut microbiome in the first week of a newborn’s life. It delivers a huge megadose of microbiome- building elements meant to help build a stronger gut and overall immune system. Newborns are born with holes in their stomach and small intestine that allows antibodies and proteins to “leak” from their gut. If these holes aren’t closed, this can cause “leaky gut syndrome”, which is linked to several health illnesses down the road. Colostrum helps to close these holes during breastfeeding. Who knew that breastfeeding was nature’s way of carefully designing a newborn’s microbiome!
Recent studies have demonstrated that bovine colostrum can also serve as a prebiotic, which we’ve seen here promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Scientists have linked bovine colostrum treatments to fewer diarrheal infections, decreased gastrointestinal lining damage, and enhanced gastrointestinal tissue growth within patients. Further studies are needed, but colostrum might prove to be an ideal source for healing the gut and restoring a healthy microbiome.
Colostrum: An anti-aging skincare secret
With all its benefits, its no wonder that more skincare companies are exploring the benefits of bovine colostrum. While clinical studies proving its efficacy in skincare regiments are in nascent stages, colostrum’s regenerative growth hormones can aid skin tissue repair; this can lead to fewer wrinkles, clearer complexion, and improved skin elasticity. Some featured products include:
- ATEM First Milk Face Mask (Online only, $40 for set of 5 masks): Contains 2000mg of highly targeted bovine colostrum filtrate, along with 82 other naturally occurring bio-active ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acid, hyaluronic acid, and immunoglobulins. The mask fabric is made up of milk protein and is fully biodegradable.
- Biologique Recherche Hydrating Colostrum Face Serum (Online only, $120 for 1 oz): Concentrated colostrum in face serum designed for maturing skin to improve skin elasticity
- Epicuren Colostrum Luminous Glow ( $84 for 2 oz): Colostrum cream moisturizer designed for skin hydration formulated with citrus aroma
Have you ever used colostrum in your skincare routine? Tell us below in the comments what the results were for you!
- “Colostrum Meets the Microbiome A Tried and True Remedy for Gut Health Takes Centre Stage.” Clinical Education, www.clinicaleducation.org/resources/reviews/colostrum-meets-the-microbiome-a-tried-and-true-remedy-for-gut-health-takes-center-stage/
- “Secret to a Healthy Gut Microbiome? Diversity, diversity, diversity!” Viome, https://www.viome.com/blog/secret-healthy-gut-microbiome-diversity-diversity-diversity. June 2018
- “Why You Need Colostrum in Your Skincare Routine.” Sovereign Laboratories: Colostrum Benefits. https://www.sovereignlaboratories.com/blog/need-colostrum-skincare-regime/