Colostrum Vs. Collagen – Which Supplement is Better?

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By Rebekah Pierce

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

Colostrum Vs. Collagen

Are you thinking about supplementing? 

If so, you may have heard of the various touted benefits of both collagen and colostrum, each sold in capsules, pills, and many other forms. 

Supplements like these have always been a go-to for people who are attempting to treat various health conditions, are enthusiastic about fitness and exercise, or just want to boost their overall health and well-being. 

But when it comes right down to it, which is better? 

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at colostrum vs. collagen to give you an idea of which one might be best for your specific health and wellness needs and goals.

What is Colostrum?

Colostrum is a thick, yellowish liquid that is produced by female mammals in the early stages of lactation (the first few days after giving birth). It’s often referred to as “first milk” because it’s the first substance that a newborn mammal ingests.

So what’s so special about it? As it turns out, quite a lot.

Colostrum is packed with all kinds of antibodies and key nutrients that are essential for the growth and development of newborn mammals – and that may be beneficial to you as well.

For instance, colostrum contains high levels of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, as well as vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, vitamin A, and zinc. It’s also rich in immunoglobulins and other immune factors that help protect a newborn mammal from infections and illnesses.


Some studies have suggested that colostrum supplements, which are typically made with bovine colostrum (colostrum from cows), may be useful for several different applications, including the ability to support immune function, boost gut health, and even improve athletic performance. Some studies point to the ability of colostrum to reduce the effects of aging on the skin, too.

How does colostrum compare to breast milk? Both are produced by female mammals and contain many of the same nutrients and antibodies, whereas colostrum is produced in the first few days after giving birth. Breast milk is produced throughout lactation and changes in comparison over time to meet the changing nutritional needs of a growing infant.

Again, colostrum supplements are made from bovine colostrum (not colostrum from humans). 

What is Collagen?

Collagen is another unique nutrient that’s worth paying attention to. 

It’s a protein that makes up a whopping 30% of all the proteins in our bodies. It’s found in our skin, bones, muscles, tendons  – even our teeth. It is, quite simply, the glue that holds our bodies together.

So what’s so great about collagen

Like colostrum, it boasts all kinds of nutritional benefits. It can help improve the health of your hair, skin, and nails, and it’s also wonderful for boosting joint health and reducing joint pain.

It can even improve gut health and digestion, as well as promote weight loss and muscle growth. Some studies even suggest it might be able to reduce the appearance of cellulite, meaning it may have certain cosmetic benefits as well.

collagen tablets

How does collagen compare to other proteins? 

For starters, collagen is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies need but can’t produce on their own. This means it’s a great source of protein for people who are following a plant-based diet.

Not only that, but collagen’s unique amino acid profile means that it’s rich in glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, all three of which are vital for building and maintaining healthy connective tissue. So while other proteins may be great for building muscle, collagen is the real MVP when it comes to joint health and overall body support. 

Differences Between Colostrum and Collagen

Now that you know what colostrum and collagen both are, let’s explore what sets these two apart.

First, the nutrients and protein. To recap, colostrum is the thick, yellowish fluid that mammals produce after giving birth (often referred to as first milk) and is packed with vitamins, antibodies, growth factors, and immune-boosting proteins

Collagen, on the other hand, is a protein that’s found in our connective tissues. It gives our skin elasticity and keeps our joints healthy. Colostrum is geared more toward supporting the immune system, while collagen is focused on promoting healthy joints and skin.

Interestingly, though, colostrum can help improve collagen production naturally – so the two do play off each other. 

Colostrum has been shown to boost the immune system, improve gut health, and even aid in muscle recovery. Collagen, on the other hand, can help reduce joint pain and stiffness, improve skin elasticity, and even promote hair and nail growth.

Colostrum typically comes in a powder or capsule form, and the recommended dosage can vary depending on the brand and the specific product. Generally, you’ll take one or two capsules or packets per day.

Collagen is also available in powder or capsule form. The recommended dosage is typically one scoop (or two to three capsules) per day. You can mix the powder into your coffee or smoothie for an added boost.

When to Choose Colostrum or Collagen Supplements?

So which one should you choose? It depends on your health concerns and goals.

First up, colostrum. This supplement is derived from the milk produced by mammals right after giving birth. It’s chock-full of immune-boosting nutrients and can help support gut health. 

Colostrum supplements are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties, making them a great option for anyone dealing with issues like joint pain or excessive inflammation. It’s a popular choice for athletes looking to improve their performance, too. 

As for collagen, it’s a good option to improve the health and elasticity of your nails, skin, and joints.

It’s especially popular with older adults. As we age, our natural collagen production slows down, which can lead to wrinkles, weaker nails, and joint issues. That’s where collagen supplements come in; they help to support the body’s natural collagen production and can improve skin and nail health, as well as soothe achy joints.

With that said, some supplements combine both colostrum and collagen for a one-two punch of health benefits. These can be particularly useful for athletes or anyone looking to support their overall wellness. 

You certainly don’t have to choose between colostrum or collagen. You can definitely take both, as long as you’ve got the all-clear to do so from your doctor and as long as both are working to support your health needs.

Final Thoughts: Colostrum vs. Collagen

So which supplement should you choose? In the battle between colostrum vs. collagen, there’s no real winner. Both offer a variety of benefits; and again, you don’t have to choose. Many people find it helpful to use both, either separately or in a combined form. 

If you’re interested in trying colostrum or collagen supplements, there are plenty of options available. You can find them at health food stores, online retailers, and even some grocery stores. As always, do your research and choose a high-quality product from a reputable brand. And if you’re still unsure about whether these supplements are right for you, don’t hesitate to consult with a healthcare professional. 

Your health and wellness are worth investing in, and both colostrum and collagen may be able to help. Give them a try!


What are the disadvantages of colostrum?

Some people may experience digestive issues like bloating or gas, but these are fairly rare. It’s always best to start with a small amount and gradually increase your intake if you’re worried about any negative effects.

Is colostrum good for anti-aging?

Colostrum is packed with growth factors and antioxidants that can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, it stimulates collagen production, giving your skin a more youthful, plump look.

Does colostrum rebuild cartilage?

Colostrum contains a protein called growth hormone, which helps stimulate the growth and repair of cartilage tissue. This can be especially helpful for people who suffer from joint pain or arthritis.

Does colostrum help saggy skin?

Colostrum is rich in growth factors that promote collagen production, which gives your skin its elasticity, so by increasing its levels, colostrum can help firm up saggy skin and reduce the appearance of jowls or droopy eyelids.

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Rebekah Pierce

Rebekah Pierce is a professional writer specializing in a variety of niches, including health and fitness. Her unique blend of experience managing and owning a regenerative farm, along with a background working in both secondary and higher education, gives her the versatility needed to write about a variety of topics. She has a B.A. in English and a M.S.Ed. in Special Education. She's an avid runner, having completed multiple marathons and half marathons, and believes in the profound power of overall health, wellness, and good nutrition when it comes to changing lives!