Lactoferrin (LF) is a natural protein present in mammalian milk and exhibiting anti-microbial properties. Since its inception in the 60s, there have been numerous studies to establish the therapeutic value of the glycoprotein and its role in immunity.
Although younglings can obtain the supplement from suckling their mothers, commercially-made lactoferrin powder is available for all ages.
1. What is Lactoferrin?
Lactoferrin (146897-68-9) is an iron-binding glycoprotein belonging to the transferrin family. This protein is rich in antibodies and it is present in both human and cow milk. Besides, it is an extract of most biological secretions such as tears, saliva, nasal fluids, pancreatic juice, and bile. The body will naturally release the glycoprotein in response to an inflammatory stimulus.
Before you can make a lactoferrin buy, take a leaf through this commentary to see if the supplement is worth it.
Rich amounts of lactoferrin are present in colostrum, which is the first sticky fluid produced after giving birth. It is secreted in milk within the first two or three days of postpartum. Even though the secretion of colostrum comes to a close, significant amounts of lactoferrin will still be available in transitional and mature milk.
So, how do you extract lactoferrin from bovine colostrum?
Allow me to take you through a straightforward procedure of isolating lactoferrin.
The first step involves separating whey from the milk. Whey is the liquid byproduct that remains after curdling or coagulating milk with an acidic compound. The isolation process makes use of hydrophobic interaction chromatography and ion-exchange chromatography followed by successive elusion with saline solutions.
Bovine colostrum comes from cows. It is rich in proteins, antibodies, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats. These parameters have confirmed the therapeutic value of colostrum, hence, drawing interest among research scientists in the medical domain.
Given that the content of lactoferrin decreases as the postpartum time increases, a substitute source is recommended to the infant. Take, for example, the typical LF immediately after birth is about 7-14mg/ml. however, the concentration may drop to almost 1mg/ml with mature milk.
If you want to revel in the immunological lactoferrin, you should bank on bovine colostrum supplementation.
Commercially-made lactoferrin bulk powder is a product of bovine colostrum. However, the product has been a concern to some people who seem to be vexed with being infected with the mad cow disease. Well, let me assure you that this condition is rare. Besides, some lactoferrin baby supplements are extracts of genetically engineered rice, in favor of people who are intolerant to lactose.
2. Why use Lactoferrin Powder as the Supplements, the Lactoferrin Benefits are?
Cutibacterium and propionibacterium are responsible for most acne. Lactoferrin functions to deprives these bacteria of iron and reduces their effects.
In some situations, free radicals and reactive oxygen species contribute to the injury of the cells and DNA damage. Due to oxidative stress, inflammation may occur and impact on the growth of acne. According to research scientists, lactoferrin is a potent anti-oxidant, hence, the potentiality of combating the free radicals.
Taking lactoferrin alongside vitamin E and zinc will reduce acne lesions and comedones in as little as three months.
Besides, inflammation directly triggers the formation of acne and cysts by clogging the pores. The anti-inflammatory properties of lactoferrin guarantee rapid healing of the lesions.
Dermatologists emphasize on the fact that your gut health is a reflection of your skin. For instance, if your gastrointestinal tract is leaky or unhealthy, using all kinds of facial creams or world-class probiotics will not solve the skin inflammation, sports, or eczema. Taking lactoferrin will flush out the harmful microorganisms in the digestion tract while promoting the activity of the useful Bifidus flora.
Apart from treating acne, lactoferrin relieved the symptoms of psoriasis and accelerated the recovery from neuropathic foot ulcers, which is prevalent among patients with diabetes.
Countless studies confirm that Lactoferrin (LN) prevents viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungal infections from attacking the body. the compound works by binding to these microbes, destabilizing their cell structure, and blocking the cellular receptors.
In a particular study, the scientists noted that lactotransferrin (LTF) was more efficient in preventing herpes virus than the human version. In vitro studies also indicate that this supplement effectively manages the effects of HIV.
In slightly higher doses, lactoferrin functions to manage the virulence of Hepatitis C. According to Hepatology Research, this treatment increases the expression of interleukin-18, a protein responsible for driving back the Hepatitis C virus. For maximum efficiency, patients ought to take about 1.8 to 3.6 grams of the supplement per day. The reason is that low doses of lactoferrin will make no difference in the viral content.
There are speculations, which consider LF as a treatment for helicobacter pylori infections. When you stack the supplement with your typical ulcer treatments, the chances are that the drugs will be more effective. This claim has been a bone contention amongst researchers as the majority hold that lactoferrin powder uses will be invalid in the absence of prescription doses.
Regulation of Iron Metabolism
Lactoferrin will not only regulate the concentration of iron in the body but also increase its absorption.
There has been an ongoing clinical study that sought to compare the efficacy of LF against ferrous sulfate in iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy. Well, from the trial, lactoferrin proved to be more potent in stimulating the formation of hemoglobin and the red blood cells.
Women consuming the glycoprotein have optimum iron levels with zero side effects. Lactoferrin functions to reduce the possibility of miscarriages, preterm birth, and low birthweight.
Therefore, it is evident that it is an ideal supplement for pregnant moms and women of child-bearing age who lose some irons when in their menses. Vegetarians and frequent blood donors may as well benefit from lactoferrin supplements.
Healthy Gastrointestinal Tract
Lactoferrin baby supplement detoxifies and keeps the gut healthy. It gets rid of the harmful bacteria, which are responsible for inflammation. For example, these microbes account for the majority of gastroenteritis cases and enterocolitis, which damage the intestinal walls leading to premature death. If for some reason, your baby is not suckling, it’s highly recommended that you shift to bovine lactotransferrin (LTF).
3. Lactoferrin Benefits on the Baby
Lactoferrin baby supplement impedes the growth of microorganisms in the gut of newborn babies. These microbes include Escherichia coli, Bacillus stearothermophilus, Staphylococcus Albus, Candida albicans, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Several studies back up the fact that a daily intake of lactoferrin bulk supplement reduces the chances of noroviral gastroenteritis in babes.
Still in the gut, LF promotes the proliferation of the endothelial cells while expressing the growth of lymphatic follicles. Therefore, it becomes evident that lactoferrin supplementation may be a prescription for damaged intestinal mucus.
Breastfeeding is the principal source of iron for neonates. However, pediatricians recommend that additional supplementation of iron is necessary since breast milk contains little amounts of this mineral.
Allow me to explain why LF is an ideal supplement to preterm babies and infants born with low birthweight. Usually, this group is highly susceptible to iron-deficiency anemia. Administering the lactoferrin baby supplement will increase hemoglobin and red blood cells in the toddler’s system. Moreover, studies reveal that iron supplementation boosts the neurological development of the infant.
At times, harmful bacteria like E.coli feed on the iron present on the neonatal intestinal tract. Taking lactoferrin will deprive the microbes of iron and destroy them while ensuring that the host receives all the available minerals.
LF plays a significant role in the development of the baby’s immune system. Some of these lactoferrin powder uses include the increase of the activity of macrophages, immunoglobulins, NK cells, and the T lymphocytes, which are responsible for neonatal immunity. What’s more, administering LF reduces the susceptibility to allergens.
4. How Lactoferrin Improves Immune System?
Mediates between Adaptive and Innate Immune Functions
For the innate immune response, lactoferrin acts in several ways. For instance, it enhances the activities of the natural killer cells (NK) and neutrophils. The protein boosts phagocytosis and causes an increase in macrophages.
For the adaptive response, LF aids in the modulation of the T-cells and B-cells. In the case of inflammatory signaling, both innate and adaptive immune functions will merge to counter the occurrence.
Lactoferrin regulates the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and interleukin 12, which exhibit defensive properties against intracellular pathogens.
Mediates in the Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS)
The role of lactoferrin powder in suppressing the reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been fundamental in studying its relation to inflammation and cancer development. An increase in ROS translates to higher risks of inflammatory conditions due to apoptosis or cellular injury.
Immunity Against Microorganisms
The anti-microbial properties of lactoferrin cuts across bacterial, viral, parasite, and fungal infections.
Microbes thrive and depend on iron for growth and survival. When they invade the host, LF thwarts their iron utilization potential.
During the initial phase of infection, lactoferrin (LF) steps in to counter the foreign stimuli in two definite ways. The protein will either block the cellular receptors or bind to the virus, hence, preventing its entry into the host. Other anti-microbial actions of lactoferrin include destabilizing the cell way of the pathogen or blocking their carbohydrate metabolism.
Several studies corroborate lactoferrin powder uses in the management of Herpes virus, HIV infection, Human hepatitis C and B, influenza, and hantavirus. Besides, the supplement inhibited the proliferation of the alphavirus, rotavirus, human papillomavirus, and several others.
In some cases, Lactoferrin may not flush out all the infections but you can be sure that it will reduce the severity of the existing viral load. In previous studies, LF had been effective at curbing the SARS pseudovirus. Since SARS-CoV-2 falls in the same class as SARS-CoV, there’s a possibility that lactoferrin may decrease the virulence of COVID-19.
Although medics hold that boosting your immune functions does not protect one from coronavirus, lactoferrin supplementation will aid in the fight. After all, the same practitioners have observed that the aged and people with low immunity are at a high risk of contracting COVID-19.
5. Lactoferrin Powder Uses and Application
Lactoferrin bulk powder is available for research scientists and scholars who want to establish its medicinal value on the human body. It has broad application prospects in disease prevention, nutritional supplements, food and pharmaceutical antiseptics, and cosmetics.
For your analysis and lab experiments, ensure to source the compound from valid lactoferrin powder suppliers.
Lactoferrin powder use in baby milk powder
Infant powder formula improves continuously towards reflecting the biochemistry of the real breast milk from the mother. Lactoferrin is the number two most abundant protein in the mother’s breast milk. It is popular for bringing all types of benefits to the baby including is binding iron for immunity, prevention of cancer, and promoting healthy bones among others.
Lactoferrin is partculay abundant in the mother’s early milk which is known as colostrum. Colostrum contains around twice as much per mililiter as mature breast milk. This is to imply that the youngest infants require higher concentrations of lactoferrin for optimum development.
Improvement in an infant’s immune system is supported by Lactoferrin component in the infant’s formular. The protein plays a crucial function in the infant’s immune system and represents a first anti-viral and anti-microbial defense system. The key anti-microbial effect is mostly brought about iron-ions chelation, which are crucial for the growth of bacterial. Besides, lactoferrin is also believed to act as an antioxidant which can strengthen the immune response by enabling the differentiation, proliferation, and activation of immune cells.
6. Lactoferrin Side Effects
The safety of LF pivots on a few factors.
Lactoferrin bulk doses can be chancy. For instance, when the supplement is a derivative of a cow’s milk, you can confidently consume it in high amounts for a year. However, when the product originates from rice, the chances are that consecutively overdosing for two weeks will spark off some negative upshots.
Typical lactotransferrin (LTF) side effects include;
- Loss of appetite
- Skin rashes
Unlike most medicinal supplements, lactoferrin is safe for expectant and breastfeeding moms.
To bypass lactoferrin side effects, a dosage ranging between 200mg and 400mg is recommended. You should take it for two to three consecutive months. In rare cases, the period may go up to six months.
7. Who can Benefit from Lactoferrin?
Lactoferrin benefits both the mother and the infant.
During the gestation period, administering this supplement would have a positive impact on the size of the fetus and its birth weight. If the mother continues with the lactoferrin dosage during the lactation period, her breast milk production will significantly improve. Besides, the baby would indirectly glory in the colostrum to maintain healthy body weight.
Infants and Young Children who are not Breastfed or Mixed
The lactoferrin supplement ensures that an infant develops a powerful immune system while protecting the delicate gastrointestinal tract from allergens. Besides, the supplement acts as a laxative, aiding in the first bowel movement of the baby. Infant formulas rich in colostrum are available from local and online Lactoferrin powder suppliers.
Iron Deficiency Anemia
Lactoferrin supplement significantly increases the levels of hemoglobin, red blood cells, and ferritin. Although most people use ferrous sulfate to counter iron deficiency, numerous research studies are confirming that lactoferrin is more potent.
If you’re a vegetarian or a frequent blood donor, you’ll need iron-rich foods to make up for the low hemoglobin and ferritin levels. Otherwise, you can make a good lactoferrin buy from online vendors.
People with Low Immunity
Lactoferrin defends the body against pathogens by chucking out infectious microbes and inhibiting the proliferation of bacteria and viruses. The compound is actively involved in the modulation of signaling pathways responsible for monitoring the immune responses of a host.
Lactoferrin acts as a mediator, bridging and coordinating the interactions between adaptive and innate immune functions. For instance, it improves phagocytic activities by upregulation of the neutrophils and the macrophages. For the adaptive immune system, this compound speeds up the maturation of the T-cells and B-cells, which express cell-mediated and humoral immunity, respectively.
8. Lactoferrin with IgG
Just like lactoferrin, IgG or immunoglobulin G is a protective anti-microbial protein present in mammalian milk.
Several studies are available to explain the correlation between lactoferrin and IgG.
The concentration of lactoferrin in colostrum is significantly higher than that of IgG. According to research scientists, several factors affect the amounts of these proteins in milk.
For instance, both lactoferrin and IgG are sensitive to heat and pasteurization. Immunoglobulin G may withstand heat treatment of up to 100°C but barely for a couple of seconds. Contrary, lactoferrin slowly decreases with an increase in temperature until it completely degrades at 100°C.
Basing on these points, you must have noted that time and heating temperature are prime considerations when processing neonatal milk. Since milk pasteurization has been subject to controversy, most people resolve to dry-freezing.
The concentration of Lactoferrin (146897-68-9) is at its peak after giving birth. As the postpartum time increases, this protein gradually decreases, probably due to a reduction in colostrum. On the other hand, the fall in the levels of immunoglobulin G almost negligible throughout the lactation period.
However much lactoferrin drops off in the mammalian milk, its concentration will still be higher than that of IgG. This fact still stands whether in colostrum, transitional, or in mature milk.
- Yamauchi, K., et al. (2006). Bovine Lactoferrin: Benefits and Mechanism of Action Against Infections. Biochemistry and Cell Biology.
- Jeffrey, K.A., et al. (2009). Lactoferrin as a Natural Immune Modulator. Current Pharmaceutical Design.
- Lepanto, M.S., et al. (2018). Efficacy of Lactoferrin Oral Administration in the Treatment of Anemia and Anemia of Inflammation in Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Women: An Interventional Study. Frontiers in Immunology.
- Goldsmith, S.J., et al. (1982). IgA, IgG, IgM and Lactoferrin Contents of Human Milk During Early Lactation and the Effect of Processing and Storage. Journal of Food Protection
- Smith, K.L., Conrad, H.R., and Porter, R.M. (1971). Lactoferrin and IgG Immunoglobulins from Involuted Bovine Mammary Glands. Journal of Dairy Science.
- Sanchez, L., Calvo, M., and Brock, J.H. (1992). Biological Role of Lactoferrin. Archives of Disease in Childhood.
- Niaz, B., et al. (2019). Lactoferrin (LF): A Natural Anti-Microbial Protein. International Journal of Food Properties.