The 5 Best Colostrum Supplements of 2024

The 5 Best Colostrum Supplements of 2024

Colostrum supplements have been all over social media thanks to influencers promoting them, but are they worth the hype? Colostrum is the nutrient-dense first milk produced after mammals give birth, typically from cows or goats, and it’s available in supplement form.

These supplements are touted for benefits like improved immune health, gut health, and even athletic performance, according to Julie Pace, RDN, dietitian & owner of Core Nutrition Health+Wellness. They contain bioactive compounds, such as immunoglobulins, that are essential to fight microbes, reduce inflammation, and boost your immune system (research on potential anticancer benefits is ongoing).

Since colostrum supplements are fairly new, it may be confusing to know which one to pick, so we did the work for you. We spoke with experts, reviewed the latest research, and identified colostrum supplements that have been third-party tested and contain a sufficient amount of immunoglobulins to bring you our top picks. Here is our list of the best colostrum supplements.

Colostrum is the milk that mammals—including humans—produce in the initial days after giving birth. The only time humans typically consume colostrum is right after they’re born. It’s thicker than regular milk, and it’s more nutrient-dense. This is designed to be a nutrient-dense first food for babies with tiny stomachs to get important nutrients, especially for immune health, they need right after birth. 

Colostrum is richer in nutrients than regular milk, and colostrum supplements allow us to get this nutrition later in life. Potential benefits of taking a colostrum supplement include: 

  • Better gut health: Research shows colostrum may help alleviate symptoms of traveler’s diarrhea and inflammatory bowel disease. Researchers believe this is because the nutrients in colostrum can help heal the gut lining.
  • Fighting infections: The immunoglobulins and other bioactive components in colostrum may help prevent upper respiratory infections. Some research suggests colostrum supplements may also help prevent and manage COVID-19, although more research is needed.
  • Athletic performance: Some studies suggest bovine (cow) colostrum can help gain muscle mass, weightlifting performance, cycling speed, running recovery, and muscle thickness, although the exact mechanisms remain unknown.

Amazon California Gold Nutrition Colostrum

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Amazon


Why We Like It

Colostrum supplements can be expensive, but California Gold Nutrition’s Colostrum is affordably priced and high-quality. It’s standardized to contain 20% immunoglobulins IgG —antibodies that support immune health. According to Kristen Salles, RD, LDN, CLC, dietitian, and certified lactation consultant, IgG concentration is especially high in colostrum because it doesn’t pass through the placenta during pregnancy. Although there’s no standardization for an optimal percentage of immunoglobulins in colostrum, they are key to colostrum’s purported immune health benefits. 

Furthermore, California Gold Nutrition provides testing results verifying the immunoglobulin content, microbial analysis, and heavy metal analysis. This ensures the product isn’t contaminated with pathogens or heavy metals and that it contains what the label says it does. It’s also free from antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones.

This colostrum is collected 12 hours after production, which is important to ensure it has high amounts of beneficial ingredients that are only present within a few days after birth. Plus, it’s processed using low heat. Not using high heat can sterilize the colostrum to destroy pathogens without destroying the bioactive proteins important for health. 

Finally, this supplement is free from common allergens like soy. It also has a lipid coating that helps ensure the proteins remain stable and get absorbed where they are supposed to in the digestive tract. 

It’s Worth Noting

This product has one of the lower doses of colostrum per serving, and other products have higher IgG content. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but we need more research to evaluate how different IgG percentages impact colostrum’s health benefits. 

Product Details:

  • Serving Size: 1 scoop powder
  • Servings per Container: 200
  • Colostrum per Serving: 1 gram bovine colostrum 
  • Third-Party Tested: Yes

Why We Like It

If you don’t want to break the bank to try colostrum, we recommend NOW Supplements Colostrum Powder. NOW Supplements is a reputable supplement manufacturer with rigorous third-party testing practices. You’ll get all the beneficial colostrum components in this powdered supplement, especially immunoglobulins and lactoferrin.

Just like our best overall pick, this colostrum is collected 12 hours after production and uses low heat for sterilization. It’s non-GMO and free from most allergens like eggs and soy. Plus, it’s Kosher and doesn’t contain synthetic growth hormones or antibiotics. Each one-teaspoon serving has 1,400 milligrams of colostrum—a slightly higher dose than our best overall pick. This is part of what makes it a great value pick. 

It’s Worth Noting

The percentage of immunoglobulins is not clearly stated by the manufacturer. However, they do state that they use high-performance liquid chromatography to analyze the compounds of each batch of colostrum.  

Product Details:

  • Serving Size: 1 teaspoon powder
  • Servings per Container: 52
  • Colostrum per Serving: 1.4 grams bovine colostrum
  • Third-Party Tested: Yes

Amazon ARMRA Colostrum Premium Powder

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Amazon


Why We Like It

ARMRA’s Immune Revival Colostrum is one of the most popular colostrum supplements on the market, and we think it’s a great grass-fed option. The company is physician-founded, and this product is recommended by digestive specialist Marcie M. Vaske, MS, LN, CNS, a Licensed Functional Nutritionist. She recommends it because of its pure, bioavailable formula that supports health at a cellular level. ARMRA uses a proprietary technology that concentrates colostrum’s bioactive nutrients into a powdered form without additives or fillers

This colostrum is collected promptly after production for optimal efficacy. It’s also free from glyphosate (a pesticide) and it’s non-GMO. Plus, ARMRA states that their products are third-party tested for heavy metals, contaminants, and glyphosate.

It’s Worth Noting

Since ARMRA uses a proprietary bovine colostrum, its specific makeup is unknown, including the percentage of immunoglobulins. If you’re uncomfortable with this, you may want to opt for another product on our top picks list.

Product Details:

  • Serving Size: 1 packet powder
  • Servings per Container: 30
  • Colostrum per Serving: 1 gram bovine colostrum
  • Third-Party Tested: Yes

Amazon Ortho Molecular Products IgG Protect

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Amazon


Why We Like It

Another colostrum supplement Vaske recommends is Ortho Molecular Products’ IgG Protect because it’s a highly concentrated IgG formula made from bovine colostrum. It has a whopping 40% IgG—double that of our best overall pick, California Gold Nutrition Colostrum. These immunoglobulins may help improve the integrity of your gut lining since the mucus layer of your gut has a higher concentration of immunoglobulins.

Plus, this supplement is great for immune health because some studies have found that the IgG from bovine colostrum may prevent infections and gastrointestinal inflammation. Some in vitro (aka, test tube) studies have found that IgG binds to pathogens and allergens, helping to neutralize infections and kill bacteria, but more research on humans is needed to confirm these results. This supplement has the highest concentration of IgG that we found in our research. 

It’s Worth Noting

Unfortunately, there is no third-party testing for this product. Furthermore, the serving size is pretty high, so you may want to ease up to a full serving rather than starting with the full 2.5 grams. This is easy to do because one serving is split into 4 capsules.

Product Details:

  • Serving Size: 4 capsules
  • Servings per Container: 30
  • Colostrum per Serving: 2.5 grams bovine colostrum 
  • Third-Party Tested: No

Amazon Mt. Capra Goat Milk Colostrum

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Amazon


Why We Like It

Mt. Capra’s Goat Milk Colostrum is a quality choice if you don’t want a cow milk-based supplement. This goat milk-based supplement may be an ideal option for those with sensitive stomachs because it’s made with A2 milk, which is easier to digest, according to some studies. In fact, it’s Salles’ recommended pick for a goat colostrum supplement.

This product is made in the Pacific Northwest at a family farm. There are no hormones, no antibiotics, and it’s non-GMO. The only ingredient is grass-fed goat milk colostrum

We’ve reviewed the powder product details for this story, but this supplement is also available in capsule form if you prefer.

It’s Worth Noting

The label doesn’t specify the lactoferrin content or immunoglobulin percentage and it’s not third-party tested. 

Product Details:

  • Serving Size: 2 scoops powder
  • Servings per Container: 17
  • Colostrum per Serving: 2.9 grams goat colostrum
  • Third-Party Tested: No

Current research suggests that taking a colostrum supplement is safe for most people. However, it is one of the more expensive supplements, and the higher price tag warrants considering if you could truly benefit from it. Here are the groups that may find the biggest impact by adding it to their regimen:

  • Those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). One of the more promising areas of research for colostrum supplements is their benefits for IBD. Studies have found that bovine colostrum helps reduce inflammation and improve symptoms of IBD. Researchers believe this is because the growth factors and lactoferrin in colostrum improve the integrity of the gut lining.
  • Those with infectious diarrhea. Colostrum supplementation may reduce the severity and duration of infectious diarrhea from E. Coli–—a common cause of traveler’s diarrhea—likely due to its high immunoglobulin content. Animal studies have found it may also help manage diarrhea from other pathogens, but we need human studies to explore the effects in humans.
  • Those concerned about immunity. Colostrum plays a key role in supporting infant immunity, and some studies show it may also support adult immunity. The lactoferrin and immunoglobulin content is thought to reduce inflammation and support immune health. However, research is mixed, so more research is needed for this potential benefit. 
  • Those concerned about athletic performance. Studies have shown that colostrum may support muscle growth and repair and athletic performance, likely thanks to growth factors, immunoglobulins, and antimicrobial factors. However, research is limited and has had mixed results, so we need more high-quality research to confirm these benefits. 

The following groups should avoid or take caution with adding a colostrum supplement to their diet:

  • Those with a milk allergy because colostrum is made from milk.
  • Those with soy allergies. Some colostrum supplements are made with soy, so check the label if you are allergic to soy. 
  • Those following a vegan diet. Colostrum supplements are made from animal milk and, therefore, are not considered vegan. 
  • Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The safety of colostrum supplements has not been evaluated in these populations.

To find the best colostrum supplements, we interviewed experts and reviewed the latest research to learn what to look for in a good colostrum supplement. The main things to look for are third-party testing whenever possible, purchasing from reputable supplement manufacturers, and ones with a high concentration of immunoglobulins.

Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here.  

We support supplements that are evidence-based and rooted in science. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. We prioritize products that are third-party tested and certified by independent third-party certifiers such as USP, NSF, and ConsumerLab.com.

It’s important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market. Our team of experts, including our staff registered dietitians, has created a detailed, science-backed methodology to choose the supplements we recommend and gives more details on what we specifically look for in supplements.

We interviewed two registered dietitians and one licensed functional nutritionist with a background in women’s health, lactation, gut health, and holistic wellness. They shared their recommendations for who would and wouldn’t benefit from taking a colostrum supplement, important features to look for, and their favorite colostrum supplements. The experts we interviewed include:

  • Julie Pace, RDN, dietitian & owner of Core Nutrition Health+Wellness
  • Kristen Salles, RD, LDN, CLC, dietitian and certified lactation consultant
  • Marcie M. Vaske, MS, LN, CNS, Licensed Functional Nutritionist at the Oswald Digestive Clinic
  • Amy Fischer, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and covers a wide range of health and wellness-related content, including nutrition, fitness, and supplements

You can find a few different types of colostrum, but bovine (cow) is the most common. It’s been most thoroughly researched and it’s most widely available for purchase. 

The only other kind of colostrum you might find is goat colostrum. It’s lower in saturated fat than bovine colostrum, but the fat is typically removed to create powdered colostrum supplements anyway. Goat-based colostrum can be a good alternative if you don’t want a cow milk-based supplement.

Both bovine and goat colostrum contains immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, growth hormones, vitamins, and minerals.

Ingredients: What to Pay Attention To

It is essential to carefully read a supplement’s ingredient list and nutrition facts panel to determine which ingredients are included and how much of each ingredient is included relative to its recommended daily value. Please bring the supplement label to a healthcare provider to review the different ingredients contained in the supplement and any potential interactions between these ingredients and other supplements and medications you are taking.

The most common components of colostrum supplements are immunoglobulins (especially IgG), growth factors, and lactoferrin. There’s no standard for the optimal percentage of immunoglobulins, but experts often recommend at least 20% immunoglobins. You’ll often also see an emulsifying agent like sunflower lecithin, although some supplements—like our Best Grass-Fed pick, Armra’s Colostrum Immune Revival—don’t include any extra ingredients. Some colostrum supplements may contain soy, so be sure to read the label if you have a soy allergy.

There are no hard-and-fast recommendations for how much colostrum to take. It’s generally best not to exceed the manufacturer’s recommended dosages unless a medical provider advises you to do so. 

Most supplements have a serving size of about 1,000 milligrams, but some can go up to 3,000 milligrams or more. Vaske recommends starting at a dosage of 500–1,000 milligrams and working your way up to 2,000–4,000 milligrams. 

When is the best time to take a colostrum supplement? 

Colostrum supplements can be taken any time of day, but Vaske recommends taking it shortly after a meal in powdered form. Some manufacturers recommend taking it on an empty stomach, so when in doubt, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

How long does it take to see results? 

It can take a few weeks to a few months to see benefits, according to existing research. However, the existing studies have a large variety in dosage, results, and length, so there aren’t concrete recommendations yet for how long to take colostrum.

Can I take colostrum with other supplements? 

There is always a risk that colostrum can interact with other supplements, and research hasn’t explored this much yet, so make sure to speak with a healthcare provider before combining colostrum with other supplements. 

Isabel Vasquez RD, LDN is a Latina registered dietitian, freelance health and nutrition writer, and the founder of Nourishing Narratives LLC. In her work as a dietitian, she prioritizes recommending high-quality supplements backed by research and not taking a one-size-fits-all approach to health.

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