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There is much excitement about the beneficial discoveries of a single-chain minor glycoprotein called Lactoferrin, a subfraction of whey protein. To break down the word lactoferrin; lacto means milk and ferrin means iron.
Lactoferrin is an iron-binding composite and is part of the transferrin or iron transporter group of glycoproteins. It is found in bile, tears, breast milk, mucous, seminal fluids, vaginal secretions, amniotic sac of the uterus, cerebrospinal and gastric fluids, saliva and white blood cells.
The health benefits of lactoferrin are so incredulous that there are nearly 2,300 individual studies being done at this present time. The endorsements for the lactoferrin supplement are equally impressive, as scientists, researchers and physicians alike are witnessing a plethora of positive results in case after case.
The concentration of lactoferrin in human breast milk can measure up to 15%, whilst the measurement from cow’s milk is 0.5 – 1.0%. The FDA has approved lactoferrin, which is found in health food supplements, baby formula and other products.
Lactoferrin was discovered as a protein component in the immune system around 1940. It was not until the early 1960s that a pure form of lactoferrin from cow’s milk was gleaned. The cattle had received no hormone or antibiotic injections, and were alfalfa or grass fed.
Lactoferrin has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, immunomodulatory and antioxidant functions. The following areas have been studied to test the results and effects when lactoferrin is used in different forms:
The studies are being continued because of positive results in various tests.
According to the National Institutes of Health, a study at the Nutritional Science Laboratory in Japan revealed that bovine lactoferrin had a favorable effect on infections in both the digestive tract and nondigestive tissue.
The study also revealed positive effects from lactoferrin in clinical studies done on patients suffering from chronic hepatitis C, Helicobacter pylori infection, tinea pedis and other diseases. Lactoferrin also demonstrated protective effects against infection.
In the test for cancer, the National Institutes of Health still requires more information. However, they are satisfied to report their conclusion that lactoferrin has the potential to be a safe and effective means of treating cancers of the neck and head.
An independent researcher named Geoff Kwait, Ph. D. reports that lactoferrin, which binds iron, will also deprive infectious organisms of essential iron. These organisms include fungi, parasites, bacteria and viruses. Lactoferrin has a positive effect in elimination.
The International Osteoporosis Foundation and the National Osteoporosis Foundation 2009 reported on the results of a study. The use of lactoferrin supplements showed that it significantly reduced bone resorption.
Lactoferrin supplements also increased osteoblastic bone formation. Lactoferrin restored the balance of bone metabolism within a six month period.
There are volumes of positive reports on the use of lactoferrin supplements and its contribution to healing and overall health.
The recommended daily allowance for Lactoferrin supplements seems to fluctuate, depending upon the manufacturer. During clinical studies, individuals were given 60 – 150 mg/day for the purpose of testing. The typical dosage for lactroferrin is 250 – 500 mg daily, taken one to three times a day.
Lactoferrin should be taken on an empty stomach for maximum absorption. Infants, children and adolescents and adults that are small should take lower dosages of 60 – 120 mg/day.
Higher dosages are given for countering certain illnesses. Athletes involved in heavy weight training, people who are doing strenuous exercise and larger adults should also take higher dosages.
No adverse side effects have been reported on any of the studies of individuals ingesting lactoferrin or lactoferrin supplements. Since lactoferrin is an iron-binding protein, individuals who suffer with an iron deficiency may experience tingling in extremities, headaches, weakness and brittle nails.
Iron-deficient individuals are also prone to disease and stress. Taking an iron supplement would help to regulate the imbalance due to iron deficiency.
This article is for informative purposes only and is not intended to take the place of medical advice given by your family physician. For more information about products containing lactoferrin, use the free supplement finder now!