European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 53–60 | Cite as

Effect of bovine colostrum supplementation on the composition of resistance trained and untrained limbs in healthy young men

  • Grant D. Brinkworth
  • Jonathan D. Buckley
  • John P. Slavotinek
  • Andrew P. Kurmis
Original Article


This study examined the effect of bovine colostrum (BC) supplementation on the tissue composition of resistance trained (T) and untrained (UT) limbs. Using a double-blind design, subjects were randomly allocated to 60 g day−1 of BC (n=17) or whey protein (WP) (n=17) during 8 weeks of resistance training of the elbow flexors (EF) of their non-dominant arm (T). Axial magnetic resonance images of both upper arms, maximal voluntary isometric torque (MVC) of EF, and the one repetition maximum (1RM) for bicep curls were measured pre- and post-supplementation. There were no differences in macronutrient intakes (P>0.28) or the volume of training completed by T (P=0.98) between the two groups. T of BC experienced a significantly greater increase in circumference [BC 2.3 (3.0)%, WP 0.0 (4.2)%; P=0.05] and cross-sectional area (CSA) [BC 4.2 (6.0)%, WP −0.2 (8.3)%; P=0.05] compared with WP, due principally to a greater increase in skin and subcutaneous fat (SSF) CSA [BC 5.5 (10.9)%, WP −2.7 (14.1)%; P=0.03]. No tissue compartment changed significantly in UT of either group (P>0.05). MVC and 1RM increased for T and UT in both groups (P<0.05), but the increases were not different between groups (P>0.32). Since the SSF compartment increased in T but not UT, and fat turnover in adipocytes is under hormonal control and would not be localised to one arm, we suggest that the increase in SSF CSA in T of BC may have been due to an increase in skin CSA, rather than fat.


Exercise training Magnetic resonance imaging Nutritional supplement 



This study was supported by funding from Numico Research Australia Pty Ltd, Adelaide, Australia.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grant D. Brinkworth
    • 1
  • Jonathan D. Buckley
    • 1
  • John P. Slavotinek
    • 2
  • Andrew P. Kurmis
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Research in Education and Sports Science, School of Physical Education, Exercise and Sport StudiesUniversity of South AustraliaUnderdaleAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Medical ImagingFlinders Medical CentreBedford ParkAustralia
  3. 3.School of Informatics and EngineeringFlinders UniversityBedford ParkAustralia

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