Cows get a lot of bad press in the nutrition world. But, when farmed humanely and pasture-raised, cows produce some of the most nutrient-dense protein sources on the planet.
Colostrum is one of these proteins. It’s a milk-derived protein produced by mammals (like cows and humans) shortly after giving birth.
Basically, it’s super milk. Sometimes known as liquid gold. It contains enzymes, antibodies, and growth factors that improve the immune system and support cellular growth and repair. It also has a potent amount of lactoferrin, which we covered in this article on the best lactoferrin supplements.
As a supplement, colostrum may help with immunity, digestion, leaky gut, physical performance, and more.
Colostrum supplements typically come from cow’s milk, but there are also goat milk colostrum products for those who struggle with traditional dairy.
Today, we’ll narrow down the best colostrum supplements.
Here are the best colostrum supplements available on the market in 2023.
Unlike other lists, you won’t scroll through dozens of options and guess which one works for you. We’ll review 12 quality products, giving you the information you need to select the best for your needs.
*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.
If you want to save time, here’s our short list:
Best Bovine Colostrum Powder: Sovereign Laboratories Colostrum-LD®
Best Grass-Fed Colostrum Capsules: Sovereign Laboratories Colostrum-LD®
Best Goat Colostrum: Mt. Capra Goat Milk Colostrum
Best Lactose-Free Colostrum: AOR All-Life Colostrum
Best Colostrum Supplement for Immunity: NOW Foods Super Colostrum
Best Colostrum for Athletes: ARMRA Colostrum
Best Overall Value: California Gold Colostrum Powder
Now, let’s get into more detail.
Sovereign Laboratories is the gold standard for colostrum supplementation. It’s what they do and what the company is built around. They have 25+ years of experience and leadership behind developing bovine colostrum as a dietary supplement.
Depending on how bovine colostrum is processed, the bioactive components that give the benefits are often made inactive due to high heat or prolonged heat exposure. They use a unique pasteurization method to make sure the active components survive.
Second, Sovereign Laboratories also takes the extra step to enhance the bioavailability so you can absorb more of the colostrum. They use a liposomal delivery method, which protects the colostrum and active proteins during digestion. While other products take steps to improve absorption, none have methods to this extent.
The quality of their colostrum is also second to none. Every batch is standardized for:
Each serving (one tablespoon) contains 5 grams of pure bovine colostrum. And there are 68 servings per bag.
It’s rBST-free, antibiotic-free, pesticide-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and soy-free.
Their powder is available in a tasty vanilla flavor, orange flavor, and unflavored. I like vanilla and add it to smoothies.
For all of these reasons, Colostrum-LD® is our clear #1 pick.
Sovereign Laboratories also has their patented formula available in vegetable capsules.
Each capsule contains 480 mg of bovine colostrum.
You can also buy 4 bottles and get 1 free.
California Gold brings one of the best values and highest-quality colostrum products.
The one addition to their simple formula is a lipid coating, which may help protect the colostrum as it goes through the digestive system, although its effects likely center on the digestive tract. It may improve bioavailability.
CA Gold sources colostrum from USDA Grade A Dairy cows and contains no rBST or antibiotics.
This product is gluten-free, non-GMO, and soy-free.
It also comes with a 100% guarantee.
Meet Codeage Immuno Colostrum – a powerhouse colostrum supplement packed into a convenient capsule.
First things first, this colostrum is sourced from grass-fed bovine. That means it’s not just good for you, but also for the cows that produce it.
Each 6-capsule serving contains 3000 mg of immunoglobulin-rich colostrum. This product is also non-GMO, gluten-free, and soy-free.
It’s USA-made in a cGMP facility. That means you’re getting the best of the best. Plus, it’s third-party tested for that extra layer of trust.
The suggested dose is 3 to 6 capsules daily. You can take it with or without food, so it fits seamlessly into your daily routine.
Its high-quality ingredients and ethical sourcing is a win-win for everyone. Plus, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Symbiotics Colostrum Plus Powder has the advantage of 25% immunoglobulin antibodies compared to the standard 20%. However, you’re paying more for it than the CA Gold product.
Nonetheless, this is still a great option.
One scoop of powder has 3000 mg of bovine colostrum and 750 mg of immunoglobulins. It’s gluten-free and non-GMO.
It’s sourced exclusively from the first milking of rBST-free cows at USDA Grade A Dairies. Plus, it’s laboratory tested and verified free from pesticides and antibiotics.
If you’re looking for a dairy-free option, Mt. Capra’s goat milk colostrum is the best on the market. They’ve been farming goats regeneratively since 1928.
Their goats are grass-fed, which is better for you, the goats, and the environment. Plus, Mt. Capra’s goats are free from hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs.
This product is ideal for those avoiding cow’s milk products and the carbon footprint-conscious among us.
While it’s much more expensive per gram than the other products on our list, it’s still comparable price-wise to many capsule option.
Jarrow Formulas has a colostrum product standardized to a very high 30% immunoglobulins. Even though it’s a little more expensive than other capsule options, you’ll get more immunoglobulins per capsule. It’s overall better value.
The colostrum comes from American pasture-fed cows raised without growth hormone (rBGH), antibiotics, or pesticides. Furthermore, they use low-temperature processing to ensure the immunoglobulins aren’t damaged.
To support the bioavailability, Colostrum Prime Life® uses DRcaps® (delayed-release capsules) to minimize the denaturation of the immunoglobulins.
While this product is more expensive, it’s probably the highest quality on our list. It is also the only lactose-free option.
AOR also argues that it contains more immunoglobulins, but they don’t specify the percentage. They say this is because their cows get exposed to more temperatures, which results in higher immune factor concentrations, but we can’t verify that.
For the lactose intolerant, this is your best option. It has no allergens or fillers, making this a clean option.
Double Wood Colostrum is sourced exclusively from the first post-calf milking and is standardized to 15% immunoglobulins (IgG). Plus, it’s from grass-fed bovine, which equals more nutrient density.
A two-capsule serving gives you 1000 mg of colostrum and 150 mg of immunoglobulins. A bottle contains 120 capsules – 60 servings.
This supplement is crafted right here in the USA in a cGMP-certified facility.
If you’re looking to boost your digestive and immune health, Double Wood Colostrum is a solid choice. On the downside, it has fewer immunoglobulins than other products but is more affordable overall.
Mt. Capra also has a capsule option. Each capsule contains a high dose of 725mg, so the cost per gram comes out to a reasonable price.
Again, like their powder, it’s a grass-fed goat milk product.
NOW Food’s Super Colostrum contains 500 mg per capsule. Plus, it comes with additional ingredients for immune system and stress support, like olive leaf, astragalus root, arabinogalactan, and eleuthero.
A serving is 2-capsules and there are 45 servings in a bottle.
So, if you prefer capsules and are using colostrum for immune support this is a great option.
ARMRA Colostrum™ relies heavily on influencer marketing. Initially, this made me suspicious.
However, having looked into the brand, I can see why the product is getting buzz.
ARMRA sources the purest bovine colostrum from grass-fed and antibiotic and hormone-free cows raised on family-owned dairy farms. It also uses Cold-Chain Technology to extract colostrum and keep all the nutrients intact.
ARMRA Colostrum is also sustainable. This means the calves feed first, and the surplus is upcycled to make supplements.
I like the Performance Revival Powder.
One serving provides 1 gram of ARMRA proprietary bovine colostrum, 400 mg of organic Black Cumin, and 400 mg of organic Tart Cherry Powder. This blend is great for recovery.
As a bonus, it comes in a yummy chocolate flavor. It’s sugar-free and sweetened with stevia leaf extract.
It’s third-party tested and keto-friendly.
On the downside, ARMRA uses a proprietary colostrum, which means they don’t disclose the percentage of immunoglobulins in each serving.
When looking at the research, most of the digestive benefits come from taking 400-3500 mg of immunoglobulins.
Most colostrum products are standardized to 20% immunoglobulins (igG), which means you should take a dose of at least 2 grams up to 17.5 grams.
You can get the lower end of this in capsule form in many supplements, but you need more to get an effective dose.
Practically speaking, a powder is the easiest way to get the most effective dose.
That’s why the top products on our list are powders, which mix easily into protein shakes or smoothies.
Here are some of the key factors we considered when choosing the best colostrum supplements:
We source colostrum from grass-fed cows that are free from hormones and antibiotics. This is paramount for us.
Grass-fed colostrum is more nutrient-dense compared to grain-fed alternatives. Plus, it’s more humane and better for the planet overall.
We also select high-quality colostrum that is minimally processed to preserve the heat-sensitive immunoglobulin compounds.
The supplement industry is unregulated by the FDA, which means it’s full of crap. Companies can (and often do) put ingredients in the products that aren’t on the label.
That’s why it’s crucial, at a minimum, to get cGMP-approved (good manufacturing practices) products.
Every product on our list is third-party tested. This gives us peace of mind that the colostrum is collected humanely and ethically, adhering to animal welfare standards.
Immunoglobulins are the antibodies that support your immune system.
Look for a supplement that contains at least 15-20% immunoglobulins.
Colostrum supplements commonly come in capsules and powders. We give options so you can choose the one that fits your lifestyle and preferences.
However, as mentioned, powders make it easier to get a good dose.
A high-quality colostrum supplement should be free from unnecessary additives and fillers. We check the ingredients to ensure you get the purest products free from artificial colors, flavors, and gluten.
While colostrum can be pricey compared to other supplements, we don’t believe improving your wellness should put you out of pocket.
We weighed the cost of each product against the number of servings, dose per serving, potency, and overall quality to decide which supplements are the best value.
We have products for different budgets – from the higher-end Sovereign Laboratories Colostrum to more affordable (but still good quality) Double Woods Colostrum Capsules.
Okay, here’s where we must dispel some myths.
Colostrum supplements don’t seem to increase fat burning, add lean mass, or increase strength. In adults, at least.
Athletes often supplement colostrum. Since their digestive systems are fully developed, the body breaks down the growth factors and enzymes in colostrum before they get to the muscle cells.
However, there are many benefits local to the digestive tract and gut health.
The strongest link in the research of colostrum is in improving digestive health.
More specifically, colostrum relieves diarrhea symptoms in two specific instances.
First, from diarrhea caused by E. coli, bacteria that contaminate food, and what we can broadly call food poisoning. Research shows it’s particularly effective for children (in whom diarrhea can be extremely dangerous).
The second is HIV-induced diarrhea from cryptosporidium parvum, another specific bacteria (1).
Separate from this, one study using a colostrum enema found that it improved colitis (colon inflammation) symptoms, suggesting that its digestive benefits may be broader.
Colostrum is often marketed as a supplement that improves immune function. However, the story is more complicated than this. While there is a diverse scientific literature discussing the immune benefits of colostrum, most of this research is on infants.
Now, if you’re an infant and have learned to read very young, we do recommend your “first milk” colostrum. Introducing immunoglobulins from colostrum in infancy is like “nature’s vaccine.”
If you’re not an infant, then in terms of immune health benefits, it’s not clear. Studies are sparse and conflicting.
This clinical trial found that 60 grams (that’s a lot) of concentrated bovine colostrum daily reduced symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections in adults. On the other hand, colostrum didn’t improve any immune markers in this study of healthy adults.
When your gut has high “intestinal permeability”, more things “leak through” the lining that would otherwise be absorbed, like water and nutrients.
Some research on oral supplementation of bovine colostrum suggested that, as a simple supplement, it can reduce intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut.”
Even more, the study was on athletes at significantly higher risk of “leaky gut” from intense exercise. Overall, the potential to improve gut health in those training hard may equate to better athletic performance.
So, it supports gastrointestinal health, which could have an array of health and wellness benefits.
Any other benefits relating to muscle, anaerobic capacity, and fat loss come from the simple fact that colostrum is protein — and protein helps with all those things.
So, if that’s your main reason for taking colostrum, focus your efforts on something like whey protein. For that, check out our list of the best lactose-free protein powders.
Side effects are rare but can include nausea and flatulence, so maybe don’t take it right before a hot date.
Most colostrum comes from cows. Even though it’s a protein, most of the time, it still contains lactose.
Even goat’s milk options typically contain lactose.
However, there are lactose-free cow-derived options, where the lactose is filtered out, like AOR Colostrum.
While colostrum plays a role in supporting the GI tract, it’s not a probiotic. Probiotics are live “healthy bacteria” that may also support gut health.
With that said, it may have some similar benefits and a prebiotic effect.
If you are interested in probiotics, check out our article on the best probiotic gummies.
The best colostrum supplement for you depends on your needs and health goals.
Overall, we suggest looking for one sourced from grass-fed cows containing at least 15-20% immunoglobulins. That said, if you’re lactose intolerant or sensitive to cow’s milk, goat’s milk colostrum or a lactose-free supplement may be the best choice for you. We have both options on our list.
Finally, read the label to check it’s free from additives and fillers and tested for purity.
Colostrum supplements can interact with certain medications, particularly immuno-suppressive drugs. If you’re taking medications for autoimmune conditions, consult your healthcare provider before taking colostrum supplements.
Consult your healthcare provider if you’re on any medication to avoid potential interactions.
Colostrum comes from cows within the first few days after giving birth. The first milking provides the most nutrient-rich colostrum.
Theoretically, colostrum may support immunity, digestion, and overall health during pregnancy. However, there is limited research on the safety of colostrum supplements for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Talk with your doc before taking colostrum supplements during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Colostrum is generally considered safe for babies and children. Studies show it may boost immune function and reduce diarrhea in children.
However, it’s best to consult a pediatrician before giving colostrum supplements to children, especially if they have any pre-existing medical conditions.
Colostrum supplements may help with muscle repair and recovery. And may even increase lean body mass, as per this study.
Most experts believe the growth factors get broken down in the gut before they can impact muscle growth or performance. So, the effects are likely due to the amino acids found in colostrum.
In that case, other protein powders, like whey and casein, offer similar benefits for a cheaper price.
However, colostrum’s immune support properties may help athletes. It may prevent immune suppression associated with intense exercise. This study found it stopped a drop in T cells and IgG antibodies after training.
There’s no direct evidence to show colostrum supplements improve skin issues. However, topical skin care products containing colostrum may soothe sensitive or irritated skin. It’s a growing skincare trend.
That said, colostrum supplements may also indirectly support skin. For example, colostrum improves gut health and immune system function, two systems intricately linked to skin health.
Overall, it’s more of a hypothesis than a fact. We need more research to determine whether colostrum benefits skin health.
Take it on an empty stomach since it interplays with the gut. One of the most common minor side effects of colostrum supplementation is an upset stomach. So, it makes sense to take colostrum powder in the morning.
If you’re taking it to improve performance, take it 30 – 45 minutes before your workout.
A peptide is a small, specific protein made from a sequence of immune acids. PRPs are found abundantly in colostrum and may help regulate the immune system and support white blood cell production.
Another reason Colostrum-LD is our #1 pick is because they standardize the level of PRPs in every batch.
Colostrum supplements marketed as “anti-aging” supplements are stretching the truth. The research doesn’t suggest that bovine colostrum supplements extend lifespan.