Bovine Colostrum, Telomeres, and Skin Aging

J Drugs Dermatol. 2021 May 1;20(5):538-545. doi: 10.36849/JDD.5851.


Background: Applied topically, growth factors, cytokines, and other components in bovine colostrum are known to affect collagen biosynthesis, thus offering promise as a therapeutic modality in wound healing, delay in skin aging, and skin rejuvenation.

Objective: To demonstrate the protective effect that liposomal bovine colostrum exerts on skin aging using telomere length as an aging biomarker.

Methods: Human fibroblasts were cultured for 8 weeks with colostrum at three concentrations (0.125%, 0.25%, 0.50%). Cells were cultured and assayed both under standard conditions, as well as with H2O2 added as an agent of oxidative stress. Alterations in proliferation rates, telomere lengths, and telomere shortening rates (TSRs) were determined in each treatment group and compared.

Results: Colostrum increased the proliferation rate of the fibroblast control cells and the addition of H2O2(without colostrum) decreased the proliferation rates of the fibroblast control cells. Under standard culture conditions, telomeres shortened progressively over 8 weeks and the addition of colostrum reduced the rate of telomere shortening. Under oxidative stress conditions (H2O2 – induced) the TSR increased; however, treatment with colostrum appeared to attenuate this increase.

Conclusions: Under normal culture conditions and after both 4 weeks and 8 weeks of treatment, liposomal bovine colostrum appears to exert a protective effect on telomere length erosion. Under culture conditions of oxidative stress and after 8 weeks of treatment, colostrum appears to exert a protective effect on telomere length erosion. These results suggest that topical treatment of the liposomal bovine colostrum formulation would enhance skin health as the skin ages. J Drugs Dermatol. 20(5):538-545. doi:10.36849/JDD.5851.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Colostrum / chemistry*
  • Culture Media / chemistry
  • Culture Media / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Liposomes
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Primary Cell Culture
  • Rejuvenation*
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Skin Aging / genetics
  • Telomere / metabolism
  • Telomere Shortening / drug effects


  • Culture Media
  • Liposomes
  • Hydrogen Peroxide