Physical Health

This Supplement Is So Good for Gut Health, Sofia Richie Keeps It in Her Purse


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colostrum supplement"
colostrum supplement
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider

While wellness girlies eat supplements up (quite literally), a select few get included in a celebrity-backed Erewhon smoothie. The latest superfood to reach cult status among health enthusiasts is ARMRA Colostrum. It-girl Sofia Richie carries a packet of it in her purse; it’s her “newest obsession” because it helps with immunity, bloating, skin, and gut health, as she shared in her TikTok video. Her obsession with it runs so deep, colostrum is a key ingredient in her “Sweet Cherry” Erewhon smoothie (because you’re not an it-girl until you have your own Erewhon smoothie).

But the supplement is not just another expensive wellness trend A-listers will get over in a few months. Over 5,000 published studies document the health benefits of bovine colostrum and its ability to optimize health. Read on to find out what Dr. Sarah Rahal, MD, a board-certified neurologist and the CEO and founder of ARMRA has to say about what exactly colostrum is and its benefits. Plus, our wellness editor gives her honest review of ARMRA and weighs in on whether it’s worth it.

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What is colostrum?

Often referred to as “liquid gold” for its health benefits and nutritional value, “colostrum is a natural superfood produced by all mammals in the first 48-72 hours after giving birth,” explained Dr. Sarah Rahal, MD, a board-certified neurologist and the CEO and founder of ARMRA. “It’s the first nutrition we receive in life and contains 200+ essential nutrients, like antibodies, prebiotics, peptides, amino acids, minerals, antioxidants, and other natural immune factors, that our bodies need to thrive and work synergistically to enhance all facets of health. For 300 million years, colostrum has served the vital function of protecting and strengthening the mucosal barriers—a barrier of protection lining your mouth, sinuses, lungs, and gut—by creating a tight seal around them, blocking modern-day threats like air pollutants, agricultural pesticides, and chemicals in our food, water, home, body products, medications, and processed food ingredients.”

So what’s the difference between human and bovine colostrum? Dr. Rahal cited that human and bovine colostrum (which, FYI, usually come from cows) are highly similar in terms of their bioactive components. Translation: They’re both packed with vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, disease-fighting proteins, growth hormones, and digestive enzymes that give our bodies a boost in preventing disease. However, because of the differences in physiology between the species, there are key differences in the relative amounts/concentrations of nutrients. “For example, there are different ratios of prebiotics, which serve to optimize the growth of different species’ microbiomes, in human versus bovine colostrum,” Dr. Rahal conveyed.

In supplement form, bovine colostrum is pasteurized and dried into capsules or powders that can be mixed with liquids, such as coffee or smoothies. Research shows that taking bovine colostrum supplements may promote immunity, help fight infections, and improve gut health throughout life.

What are the benefits?

Strengthens the immune system

Colostrum contains a range of peptides and antibodies that effectively strengthen the immune system. Clinical studies have found bovine colostrum to have incredibly impressive benefits to immune health (a 2007 study claims colostrum was “at least three times more effective than vaccination to prevent the flu”). “Colostrum works by strengthening the immune barriers along the entire inside surface of the body, our first line of defense against everything inhaled and ingested from the outside world,” Dr. Rahal explained. “This creates a tight seal that guards against the everyday environmental toxins and pollutants that can threaten health and drive inflammation, the underlying root of almost all modern diseases.”

Fortifies gut health

Colostrum is also a happy-gut supplement that strengthens the gut wall (AKA prevents or helps heal leaky gut), which may be the root cause of many symptoms such as food sensitivities, chronic indigestion, or constipation. “Colostrum naturally fortifies your entire gut wall system, optimizing your microbiome, and strengthening the gut wall architecture, which blocks irritants that can trigger symptoms like bloating and constipation,” Dr. Rahal said. It also has been shown to support the health of the gastrointestinal tract by promoting cell growth in the intestines. Colostrum has been used as a therapy to effectively improve gastrointestinal health.

Promotes better sleep

If a good night’s rest is something you’re after, ARMRA Colostrum may be the quality sleep holy grail. According to its website, it helps revive microbiome health, which fuels the synthesis of the hormones and neurotransmitters essential for regulating your sleep cycle and melatonin (to optimize restorative sleep). According to a study published in PubMed, at least 400 times more melatonin (the sleep hormone) is produced in the gastrointestinal tract than in the pineal gland. Colostrum works by improving microbiome health, which in turn improves melatonin production and can help you get better and deeper sleep.

Improves mood, energy, and focus

Colostrum protects the body from harmful particles, which includes particles that sap energy from brain cell metabolism. Colostrum therefore helps protect the brain, promotes cognition, energy, and focus, and reverses age-related changes. It also supports a healthy gut-brain axis by restoring a healthy microbiome throughout the body, promoting the balanced production of hormones like serotonin (a happy hormone) and GABA (the calming neurotransmitter). In third-party clinical research trials with ARMRA Colostrum, 60% of participants noticed improved focus, energy, and mood, 58% saw a reduction in mood swings, and 64% noticed overall improvement in their mental well-being.

Boosts skin health

In addition to the skin benefits thanks to the gut-skin connection, colostrum packs a lot of skin-healthy nutrients. Loaded with antioxidants, prebiotics, vitamins, and regenerative peptides that help reverse age-related changes, enhance skin radiance, and activate collagen production, consider colostrum your new favorite skincare product. It can also strengthen the skin barrier, which may protect against damage caused by pollutants, toxins, and UV light.

Fuels athletic performance

Could colostrum be the new pre-workout to give you an edge in your workouts? Thanks to its levels of peptides and functional nutrients, taking colostrum has shown a 20% improvement in fitness strength, stamina, and endurance, while decreasing recovery time by over 50% after intense exercise. This might help with building muscle and improving fitness levels, as well as improving your body’s ability to recover after exercise.

Our Wellness Editor’s honest review

Disclaimer: I test supplements, rituals, routines, and products like it’s my job (because it quite literally is). Beyond my career, my passion is feeling my very best, and after a lifetime of bad digestive symptoms, I’ve gone through many years of healing my gut as a whole. So I have been doing a lot to work on my gut health for many years now. This looked like changing my diet, prioritizing nervous system regulation (the gut-brain connection is really real), and finding the right supplements to heal instead of putting a bandaid on symptoms. I was sold on colostrum (specifically ARMRA Colostrum) after hearing the founder, Dr. Sarah Rahal MD, speak on its benefits, and looking at the research.  

I was specifically intrigued by the claims to help strengthen the gut barrier. Probiotics are probably the most popular gut health supplement, but they only add good bacteria to the gut; they don’t address whether that good bacteria can survive or the health of the rest of the gut besides the bacteria inside of it. Colostrum does.

I consider myself sensitive to taste (and get especially grossed out by animal-derived products) so I worried about scooping the powder straight into my mouth (you can add it to a liquid, but I’m going to take anything I have to add to liquid much less than anything I can take on its own). I was pleasantly surprised by the taste: it did not bother me whatsoever. It’s a thick powder (not chalky) that semi-resembles a Milk Dud…? Taking a scoop while making my morning latte quickly became an easy morning ritual and three months later, it feels like a core part of my routine. Since I have been working to heal my gut for years, I didn’t notice any dramatic results, beyond slightly less bloating and more energy. I also have not gotten sick at all (in three months, I usually at least get some sniffles). But the research is enough to make me believe it’s working to help my body functionally; because I try so many supplements, I rarely stick to any long-term, but this will likely be one I always take.

No one supplement, routine, or ritual can heal our bodies: it’s our general lifestyle and mindset that heal. If you’re looking to improve your gut health, diet and stress levels will always be most important. However, if you’ve been working on your health like me and are looking for a tool to add that could help heal your gut, support your immune system, or improve recovery, colostrum works unlike any other supplement and IMO, is totally worth it.

Immune Revival

four flavors available

Shop now

Please consult a doctor or a mental health professional before beginning any treatments. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.