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Many, but not all, studies have found that hyperimmune colostrum might be able to help prevent or treat various forms of infectious diarrhea . 1 Colostrum has also shown some promise as a sports supplement , presumably because it contains growth factors, but study results are inconsistent. 2 3 For years, people with ulcers were advised to eat a bland diet and drink lots of milk. Although this treatment was eventually found to be ineffective, according to one study in rats and a small human trial, 4 ordinary colostrum (although not milk) might help protect the stomach from damage caused by anti-inflammatory drugs. It has been hypothesized that colostrum's growth factors help stimulate the stomach to regenerate.
Weak evidence suggests that oral hygiene products containing ordinary colostrum might have beneficial effects in a disease of the mouth called lichen planus, as well as in the condition known as Sjogren’s syndrome (which also affects the mouth by reducing salivary flow). 5 One study found that colostrinin, a substance extracted from colostrum, might be helpful for Alzheimer's disease . 6 Ordinary colostrum has been suggested as a treatment for short bowel syndrome (a condition following digestive tract surgery), chemotherapy-induced mouth ulcers, and inflammatory bowel disease ( Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis ), 7 but as yet there is no real evidence that it is effective. 8 A study cited by some colostrum manufacturers as showing that colostrum can prevent or treat upper respiratory infections (such as colds ) was actually far too preliminary to do more than hint at benefits. 9 A proper double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 148 adults failed to find colostrum helpful for shortening the duration of sore throat . 10
- Greenberg PD, Cello JP. Treatment of severe diarrhea caused by Cryptosporidium parvum with oral bovine immunoglobulin concentrate in patients with AIDS. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol. 1996;13:348-354.
- Antonio J, Sanders MS, Van Gammeren D. The effects of bovine colostrum supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in active men and women. Nutrition. 17(3):243-7.
- Buckley JD, Abbott MJ, Brinkworth GD, et al. Bovine colostrum supplementation during endurance running training improves recovery, but not performance. J Sci Med Sport. 2002;5:65-79.
- Playford RJ, Floyd DN, Macdonald CE, Calnan DP, Adenekan RO, Johnson W, Goodlad RA, Marchbank T. Bovine colostrum is a health food supplement which prevents NSAID induced gut damage. Gut. 44(5):653-8.
- Pedersen AM, Andersen TL, Reibel J, et al. Oral findings in patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome and oral lichen planus—a preliminary study on the effects of bovine colostrum-containing oral hygiene products. Clin Oral Investig. 2002;6:11-20.
- Bilikiewicz A, Gaus W. Colostrinin (a naturally occurring, proline-rich, polypeptide mixture) in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 6(1):17-26.
- Khan Z, Macdonald C, Wicks AC, Holt MP, Floyd D, Ghosh S, Wright NA, Playford RJ. Use of the 'nutriceutical', bovine colostrum, for the treatment of distal colitis: results from an initial study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 16(11):1917-22.
- Playford RJ, Macdonald CE, Johnson WS. Colostrum and milk-derived peptide growth factors for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. Am J Clin Nutr. 72(1):5-14.
- Brinkworth GD, Buckley JD. Concentrated bovine colostrum protein supplementation reduces the incidence of self-reported symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection in adult males. Eur J Nutr. 42(4):228-32.
- Lindbaek M, Thom E, Fuglerud P, et al. [Do colostrum tablets have a symptomatic effect on throat infections?] Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2004;124:3187-3190.