Latest supplement trend might be getting milked for more than it’s worth

Bovine colostrum is trending, but the research is still catching up

Colostrum use is on the rise, but not by babies. The bovine version has caught the attention of celebrities Kourtney Kardashian, Sofia Richie and others. When it comes to the science of this supposed health booster, however, there is still much research to be done.

Much like human mothers, cows produce colostrum during the first days after giving birth. Full of antibodies and growth enhancers, this special milk protects newborn calves from infection and encourages their development. Bovine colostrum use as a dietary supplement has grown in popularity. According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, small studies have shown that formulas made from the substance may help with diarrhea, infections and gastrointestinal disorders such as colitis.

According to wellness dietitian Lindsey Wohlford, though, not enough is known about it for human use to be recommended quite yet.

“Further studies are needed, and more robust data collected, before a clear recommendation can be made on usage,” she told the MD Anderson Cancer Center. While colostrum supplements are available for purchase, they are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“This means standard formulations and regulations for production do not exist,” Wohlford added.

So colostrum isn’t well-backed by scientific research just yet, but there are many other ways to get the nutrients you need.

“There are many sources of information on health and nutrition in the world today,” Wohlford said. “It is important to make sure you seek advice from medical professionals, like your doctor, to ensure the information you are provided with is evidence-based. Even if there are scientific studies done on a supplement or food, it does not necessarily mean it is safe for you to use. Your physician will be able to interpret research and provide you with safe and reliable recommendations.”