Effect of a Growth Protein-Colostrum Fraction on bone development in juvenile rats

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 Jan;72(1):1-6. doi: 10.1271/bbb.60695. Epub 2008 Jan 7.


Colostrum is a complex mixture of bioactives that promotes neonate growth. Studies show that it contains components capable of promoting bone formation and inhibiting bone resorption. Although many colostrum-based nutritional supplements have been developed as growth promotants, few studies have investigated their functional effects. A bovine colostrum 1-30 kDa fraction, Growth Protein-Colostrum (GP-C), was administered to juvenile rats as a dietary supplement to determine effects on growth and development. GP-C enhanced the growth and mineralization of the femur as evidenced by increased serum osteocalcin and bone mineral density. Increased levels of serum growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 suggest that the mechanism of enhanced growth is partially controlled by endocrine factors. GP-C was also found to increase osteoblast proliferation in vitro, a finding that indicates a possible mechanism of action of GP-C, but further studies are required. Based on our findings, we hypothesize that a colostrum-based dietary supplement enhances bone growth and development in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Bone Density
  • Bone Development / physiology*
  • Cattle
  • Colostrum / physiology*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Human Growth Hormone / blood
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Male
  • Milk Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Milk Proteins
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I