The Colostrum Leaky Gut Lowdown – The Ultimate Overview
You've heard that colostrum is a great supplement (or substance?) to take for leaky gut, or leaky gut syndrome (we'll sometimes refer to this as LGS from here on in). Well, I've endeavored to do all the hard work for you, so you can just sit back, chill, and hopefully learn all that you need to know about colostrum and how it's used for treating and healing LGS.
With over a full week's research, and over 12 hours of formulating that research into this content – This page is all you will ever need when it comes to figuring out the leaky gut/colostrum connection.
Also, based on user feedback, we'll be constantly updating this as your “goto” resource. Quickly before we get into the meat of this article, for those still looking for a good resource to give you a great overview of what's involved with healing leaky gut, and the how to address all aspects of the problem, I recommend taking a look at fix your gut (AMZN), for a very good overview of everything you need to know.
First of all, to make this easier for you, let’s lay out all the different areas you might want to learn about, or questions you might have (Click a link below to go to that specific section):
What Is This Stuff? A Quick Intro To Colostrum
Colostrum Use And Benefits For Leaky Gut
Different Forms Of Colostrum
Treatment Approach For Using Colostrum For Leaky Gut
Supplementing With Colostrum – Various Uses
Colostrum Supplement Choices – And Where To Buy It?
Some Common Questions Regarding Leaky Gut Syndrome and Using Colostrum
– How Does Colostrum Heal Leaky Gut
– How Much Colostrum To Take For Leaky Gut
Other Leaky Gut Supplements and Popular Treatments
– Slippery Elm
– Marshmallow Root
What Is This Stuff? A Quick Intro To Colostrum
Non Geeky Version
Colostrum in simple terms is a fluid produced by the mother in all mammals just before they give birth to the newborn baby. It's created naturally by the body in perfect timing so that the newborn is able to get it in it's first few days after birth. It's very important for the natural building of a healthy immune system in the newborn, and for all the right growth factors to be released into the body as well.
That's not to mention the fact that it basically seals the intestinal lining for the newborn once it's job is complete, and this is where it gets very interesting to those of us who have a problem with leaky gut. We'll get to the greater specifics of that a bit later. Here's the nerd version if you're interested.
Colostrum is also otherwise known as “pre milk” or first milk or beestings, along with some other less commonly used names (for example bovine colostrum, is also called Bovine Immunoglobulin and Bovine Lacteal Compounds) is a milky substance that's produced by all mammals, us included, by the breasts of females just before giving birth. – popular non human animal sources include cows and goats, and these are often the sources for many supplements, which we'll get to a little later on in this article.
So colostrum is produced by the mother during late pregnancy period, with purpose being so that the new born can drink it in the first several days after birth, before “normal breast milk”, or “true milk” production starts. It's visual appearance is often clear, but sometimes can be opaque or slightly yellow. It's thicker than breast milk, and there's an obvious visual difference.
Colostrum is a powerful and important substance for the new born and acts as a type of passive immunity. Apart from delivering a potent combination of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and some fats, to name just some of it's fundamental components – it provides a big surge of antibodies to the new baby's system, including the IgA, IgG and IgM antibodies. It contains several anti-microbials and growth factors as well.
Colostrum can contain up to one hundred times the level of antibodies compared to that in regular milk.
Due to these factors, colostrum is absolutely vital to providing a healthy start to the newborn's life, and building a strong immune system for it's development. In fact, before the 1980s, where antibiotics became far too commonly used, for far too many ailments, colostrum was often prescribed to help fight infection, this says a lot about it's ability to bolster the body's immune system.
If you're really geeky, and want to know more about all of the derivatives and components of colostrum (bovine) then this will be a good start for you.
If you've got time (10 minutes) here's an absolutely BRILLIANT video where New Zealand based Doctor, Andrew Keech discusses just what's in colstrum that makes it such a powerful healer:
Now, getting back a little closer to our specific topic here, the newborn is naturally born with basically the same as what we know as a “leaky gut” only this is a natural and purposeful, and nature's design in order to provide several functions.
These functions being: to allow large proteins (specifically antibodies) through the gut lining and into the bloodstream, then to also allow colostrum through the gut wall and into the bloodstream so that both can circulate around the entire body and get to where they are needed in the newborn's immune function and growth process
Colostrum can be taken as a supplement, which can support your immune system (people look to colostrum in supplement form most commonly for this reason) , increase athletic performance, AND you guessed it… be used to heal leaky gut.
Colostrum Use And Benefits For Leaky Gut
Colostrum has been used by many people to successfully heal leaky gut and improve the gut lining. Colostrum being the very first thing that we naturally process through our intestinal tract, it's no doubt going to be closely aligned with how nature would want us to go about the process of healing out guts, and in the case of leaky gut syndrome or LGS, it's a very legitimate way in which we can successfully seal up those tight junctions so that we can get our gut lining back to operating properly, and keeping out the pathogens and toxins whilst only letting through the good stuff (nutrients, vital minerals, etc).
In simplistic terms, ultimately when it comes to leaky gut, the common approach is to seal the gut lining, and protect it from further inflammation, allowing the gut lining to heal itself over time. This is why we are also told that it's important to minimize foods that are bad for digestion (difficult to digest or that cause more inflammation).
This is why it's beneficial if you haven't already to consider a diet that's going to help your gut recover (I mostly prefer the specific carbohydrate diet right now, but Paleo is generally decent too, just watch out for nuts, etc), and DON'T just rely on supplementation to do all the work.
If you only rely on supplements to heal your leaky gut, and you don't address diet, then of course you'll end up back where you started at some point or another, that is, if you even get any improvements at all (as diet is so fundamental to healing).
As a quick segway before we move onto the more specific details on colostrum types, etc, if you want a really good overview of all the components that are involved with gut health and healing from leaky gut and other gut issues, then I thoroughly recommend you check out this book from John Brisson, “Fix Your Gut”.Click Here For “Fix Your Gut” Kindle Version On Amazon
It's a wonderful overview, and will help you get your head around a lot of this stuff, because as you are probably aware by now, gut health can be quite complex.
Different Forms Of Colostrum
As mentioned all mammals produce colostrum during the pregnancy stage, that being said, it would be pretty weird if you wanted to start supplementing with whale colostrum :D.
The main two types of colostrum that are available on the market to try supplement with are Bovine and Goat colostrum.
The two varieties are essentially very similar in what they do, and what they are used for, the main difference being that one is a cow's product and a lot of people have issues with food sensitivities and allergic reactions when ingesting bovine dairy products.
For this reason the goat colostrum has been utilized to create a solution for the many people who have this issue, but still want to use colostrum as a supplement.
General Treatment Approaches For Using Colostrum
As A Supplement For Leaky Gut
Colostrum being a supplement, means that using it for leaky gut, as mentioned should come as an additional approach along with lifestyle changes, diet considerations, etc.
You can hardly expect to keep drinking a lot of alcohol for example, when you're trying to heal your leaky gut syndrome and have any long lasting success.
For most of us who go through this process of learning about and moving forward with the reparation and healing of their intestinal permeability (and often gut dysbiosis issues too) it's a process of changing the way we live our lives, down to some pretty fundamental levels, like how much sleep you're getting on average, diet as mentioned, all the way to things like meditation and including more relaxation in your life, and minimizing stressful relationships.
There's a big connection between stress of any kind (too much exercise for example, or emotional strain) and the health of your gut, and therefore the health of the rest of your system.
So, ultimately we're not just talking about taking a few capsules of colostrum here and everything suddenly being fine and staying that way, if you have some lifestyle habits that likely contributed to your LGS, then it's pretty important to look at those things, and make some decisions to take action and change those detrimental aspects that are negatively affecting your health.
For maybe a small percentage of people, taking colostrum for leaky gut is all they will have to do, and things will improve a LOT, I'm going to guess that it's really going to depend on your situation, how bad your gut health is, how long it's been that way, what the driving forces are that led you to have leaky gut, etc.
That being said, if you're looking at supplementing with bovine or goat colostrum, then you're probably going to want to take somewhere in the range of 3-6 grams per day, or at least make that your goal daily intake. We'll discuss dosing a bit more further down the page in the supplementation and common questions section. Ultimately, you'll really want to get advice from a qualified practitioner before you even buy any colostrum supplement.
So to summarize this section regarding the overall approach in using colostrum, you're going to need to look at lifestyle, diet choices, and then also figure out if colostrum is helping you heal your leaky gut. I don't think you have to think like this is going to be permanent, but the gut does take time to heal from what I've learned, so you are probably being unrealistic to expect very quick changes, and simple supplements to do the trick without changing other things as well.
Colostrum as a Supplement – Uses and Varieties
Colostrum supplements are usually taken as an oral supplement, regularly in the form of capsules. It's often used by athletes as a performance enhancer, to provide more energy and increase overall ability. It's also used to generally provide support to, and stimulate the immune system.
Apart from that, it's been found to be helpful with issues related to diarrhea, cancer, diabetes, colitis, infections, depression, skin disorders, inflammation, asthma, auto-immune diseases, and heart disease. That's quite a list of supplementation uses besides just leaky gut!!
There are many different brands of varying quality, though from what we've researched it's very important (as you would assume with any supplement really) that you're getting high quality colostrum.
It's commonly believed that below par quality colostrum is a waste of time and money, as it's the type of supplement where you can't skimp on quality if you want to get good results.
In terms of scientific data and research that validates the use of colostrum, there is still not a huge amount of hard evidence to support it's use as a supplement.
There is this very interesting study on pubmed, where they compared colostrum as a performance/muscle gain supplement to regular whey protein, and found that the colostrum led to what they phrased as a “significant increase in bone-free lean body mass” compared to the control. Despite the lack of scientific data, it's extremely popular, and there's a lot of people who swear by it.
So an important question regarding the supplementation, is how much colostrum to take for leaky gut? Well obviously we here at HealthVibed.com are not Doctors, so we CAN NOT ADVISE on specific amounts or doses to use, everything on this site is informational only, but we can tell you that from the reports of others who were using colostrum supplementation for leaky gut, certain people had success using
Colostrum Supplements – And Where To Get Them?
When it comes to colostrum, it's one of those cases where you just don't want to risk getting and taking a lower quality product. There are many brands of colostrum, and therefore you need to do your research well (and be sure to validate what we're telling you on this site) before you make your decision. Having said that, the consensus that I'm hearing is that New Zealand produced colostrum is the best quality you'll find.
Here are some supposedly good colostrum supplements, picked out by both popularity and/or referral from specific leaky gut healing programs.
Do keep in mind the following – When looking for a good quality colostrum product to use, from the research we've done, it seems that you want to focus on a product that contains good levels of PRPs, immunoglobulins, growth factors, and lactoferrin.
The delivery mechanism is also said to be very important (assumably so that the colostrum gets to the right area in your gut, so that it can do it's thing correctly, and you can actually reap all the benefits) According to this web page (scroll to Bovine Colostrum) a delivery such as liposomal delivery with phospholipid coatings will ensure that the colostrum is protected from digestion in the gut, and the delivery of antipathogens and nutrients to the cells that line the intestine, is correctly carried out.
Some Of The Better Colostrum Products On The Market
Surthrival's Immunity Quest Colostrum
A lesser known, but also very well received brand of colostrum powder. Very high quality according to user reports, and there's some great feedback from what seem to be heatlh and gut “DIYers” out there on the net. More about this specific colostrum in this review here. You can also look at that specific product here on amazon.com.
GI Restore – Numedica
This product is another that's got some positive reputation behind it, along with the fact that Numedica tend to keep the quality of their products high. You can find it here on Amazon, I have no experience with this product though. I would always go with something more like Surthrival, as it seems to be a much purer form of colostrum, and with such a product that's a pretty important aspect to consider.
Symbiotics, Colostrum Plus
The Symbiotics Colostrum Plus is one of the most popular colostrum brands on Amazon.com and based on anecdotal reports from customers, seems to be very effective for the care and healing of leaky gut syndrome. Again, based on online research it also seems to have a pretty good reputation. Again however, I have no experience with this product, and would tend to think that the more fresh and less processed the better when it comes to colostrum products.
Some Common Questions Regarding Leaky Gut Syndrome and Using Colostrum
Just How Can Colostrum Heal My Sick, Malfunctioning Leaky Gut?
To understand how colostrum heals a leaky gut or leaky gut syndrome, it's important to understand how the problem of leaky gut works. Click on this link (opens in a new window) to quickly read up on our simple analogy of what leaky gut is in terms of what's happening in your body.
Given that understanding, basically colostrum works by sealing the tight junctions within the gut, and when that happens, you no longer have an issue with leaky gut and it letting in all the things you don't want into the blood stream.
For the geeks of us out there, who would like a more thorough understanding of the science of exactly how this happens, as per the current research (May, 2016) it seems that there's not a lot written about the exact mechanics of how colostrum works to close the tight junctions of the gut lining.
Check back here often though, as we'll be sure to update this when we are able to find some more solid scientific research material and link you through to it.
How Much Colostrum Should I Be Taking For Healing My Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Now, just a quick reminder, this is not a medical Doctor giving you advice, this is information you are reading on the internet, and so be sure to always get advice from your own practitioner before you go ahead and start taking colostrum.
Having said that, according to some reports we've been able to find, it seems that most people are advised to take somewhere between 1 to 6 grams of colostrum per day in order to start seeing the leaky gut healing benefits.
Here's an interesting forum thread, where someone who seems to be a Dr “ericbakker” (don't take our word for it, let alone his!) is discussing the fact that the colostrum, if pure, can be very effective along with L-Glutamine in as smaller dose as 1g per day, but that it has to be really good quality colostrum in order to be effective at this dose.
It's also interesting to note that we've read that it's better to take this on an empty stomach. From experience, it seems that most gut healing supplements (including the non animal sources like slippery elm, are best taken this way.
This obviously makes sense, but as to final judgements on HOW MUCH COLOSTRUM TO TAKE? it's really not for us to give you that information (again, the whole disclaimer about not being professional medical advice), all we can say is popular opinion, is generally to take between 3-6 grams per day, but that greatly depends on the quality of the colostrum you have access to. Final word, ask your practitioner!
Other Popular Leaky Gut Supplements/Healing Approaches
– Slippery Elm Powder
– Marshmallow Root Tea
Slippery Elm Powder Slurry
Slippery Elm Powder is one of the most popular choices for many integrative medicine and functional medicine practitioners, in fact this was the very first thing that my own Dr recommended I take. Slippery Elm powder essentially works by “sealing” the gut lining, and allowing the GI tract to heal as best it can between meals (where it invariably has to have some level of interaction with the food it digests, depending on your current type of diet). Read up more on this popular natural leaky gut treatment on this page.
Marshmallow Root Tea
Very similar concept in the use of Marshmallow and in how it's supposed to heal the gut as with Slippery Elm. I've found that this is quite a lot more expensive to use regularly than the former mentioned, but for me personally it worked better as I had some food sensitivity reactions to slippery elm it seems. You can read more about Marshmallow and how to use it here.
Conclusion And Last Words
So we hope that this overview of colostrum and it's connection and uses for leaky gut syndrome has been useful to you! Remember that if you're going to decide to supplement with colostrum and try to heal your LG, then be sure to educate yourself on the best type of supplementation in terms of quality and the other things we've mentioned in the supplement section of this page.
I would also highly recommend that you continue to improve your knowledge on gut health, and how to improve a leaky gut, one of the best resources I can recommend for this purpose is the book “Fix Your Gut” written by John Brisson, and found in ebook format here (AMZN link).
Also, we would absolutely love to hear your experience with colostrum in the comments, so please let us know how found using colostrum, and whether it was the “super gut healer” for you, that it's touted to be by so many others. You can also hit up our contact form if you have any other questions or concerns about our content or healthvibed.com in general.
Discussion On Colostrum For Leaky Gut
This is where you can leave any feedback you have regarding either going through the experience of having leaky gut, or having used colostrum. Have you used colostrum for leaky gut or any other issues, if so, what was your experience, and did it seem to improve things over time?
Unfortunately the major trouble we have in using any standardized healing approach for any ailment, is that everyone is a different person, and will have different reactions (positive and/or negative) to different treatments. So although colostrum may work for many in helping to heal their leaky gut, it's certainly not possible to claim that it's a 100% sure thing.
So please leave your comments below regarding the topic, I would love to hear how it either helped you, did absolutely nothing, or even if it had some negative side effects, what were they? Please share your experience here, as it may help others to work out their own issues and make some progress.