Bovine colostrum is the first milk secreted by cows after parturition and has high levels of protein, immunoglobulins, and various growth factors. We determined the effects of 8 weeks of bovine colostrum supplementation versus whey protein during resistance training in older adults. Males (N = 15, 59.1 ± 5.4 y) and females (N = 25, 59.0 ± 6.7 y) randomly received (double-blind) 60g/d of colostrum or whey protein complex (containing 38g protein) while participating in a resistance training program (12 exercises, 3 sets of 8–12 reps, 3 days/week). Strength (bench press and leg press 1-RM), body composition (by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry), muscle thickness of the biceps and quadriceps (by ultrasound), cognitive function (by questionnaire), plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and C-reactive protein (CRP, as a marker of inflammation), and urinary N-telopeptides (Ntx, a marker of bone resorption) were determined before and after the intervention. Participants on colostrum increased leg press strength (24 ± 29 kg; p < .01) to a greater extent than participants on whey protein (8 ± 16 kg) and had a greater reduction in Ntx compared with participants on whey protein (–15 ± 40% vs. 10 ± 42%; p < .05). Bench press strength, muscle thickness, lean tissue mass, bone mineral content, and cognitive scores increased over time (p < .05) with no difference between groups. There were no changes in IGF-1 or CRP. Colostrum supplementation during resistance training was beneficial for increasing leg press strength and reducing bone resorption in older adults. Both colostrum and whey protein groups improved upper body strength, muscle thickness, lean tissue mass, and cognitive function.
Duff, Chilibeck, Rooke, Kaviani, and Krentz are with the College of Kinesiology, and Haines the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon SK, Canada.