Effects of bovine colostrum supplementation on immune variables in highly trained cyclists

Cecilia M. Shing*, Jonathan Peake, Katsuhiko Suzuki, Mitsuharu Okutsu, Rosie Pereira, Lesley Stevenson, David G. Jenkins, Jeff S. Coombes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of low-dose bovine colostrum protein concentrate (CPC) supplementation on selected immune variables in cyclists. Twenty-nine highly trained male road cyclists completed an initial 40-km time trial (TT40) and were then randomly assigned to either a supplement (n = 14, 10 g bovine CPC/day) or placebo group (n = 15, 10 g whey protein concentrate/day). After 5 wk of supplementation, the cyclists completed a second TT40. They then completed 5 consecutive days of high-intensity training (HIT) that included a TT40, followed by a final TT40 in the following week. Venous blood and saliva samples were collected immediately before and after each TT40, and upper respiratory illness symptoms were recorded over the experimental period. Compared with the placebo group, bovine CPC supplementation significantly increased preexercise serum soluble TNF receptor 1 during the HIT period (bovine CPC = 882 ± 233 pg/ml, placebo = 468 ± 139 pg/ml; P = 0.039). Supplementation also suppressed the postexercise decrease in cytotoxic/suppressor T cells during the HIT period (bovine CPC = -1.0 ± 2.7%, placebo = -9.2 ± 2.8%; P = 0.017) and during the following week (bovine CPC = 1.4 ± 2.9%, placebo = -8.2 ± 2.8%; P = 0.004). Bovine CPC supplementation prevented a postexercise decrease in serum IgG 2 concentration at the end of the HIT period (bovine CPC = 4.8 ± 6.8%, P = 0.88; placebo = -9.7 ± 6.9%, P = 0.013). There was a trend toward reduced incidence of upper respiratory illness symptoms in the bovine CPC group (P = 0.055). In summary, low-dose bovine CPC supplementation modulates immune parameters during normal training and after an acute period of intense exercise, which may have contributed to the trend toward reduced upper respiratory illness in the bovine CPC group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1122
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Mar


  • CD38
  • Immunoglobulin
  • Tumor necrosis factor receptor 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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