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Lactoferrin is a globular glycoprotein found in human,

bovine, and other mammalian milks. The content in human

milk is highest in colostrum (7g/L), dropping down to

around 1g/L in mature milk. Bovine and human lactoferrin

share a high degree of homology, making bovine

lactoferrin a good option for better matching mother’s

milk in infant formula. While bovine milk naturally contains

lower lactoferrin levels (0.5g/L) than human milk, Milk

Specialties Global can reach up to 95% lactoferrin purity

by employing processing technology.

Lactoferrin’s physiological functions are extensive and

mainly immune-related, from antifungal, antiviral and

antibacterial, to iron absorption, antioxidant, and

microbiome modulation.


Lactoferrin in breastmilk and formula provides immune support for the growing infant, both in terms of protecting the infant from harmful pathogens and facilitating their own immune development. Supplementing healthy formula fed infants with bovine lactoferrin has been shown to help maintain health, reduce frequency and duration of common immune system events, promote a more robust immune system defense against environmental stress and support respiratory function.


As an iron-binding protein, lactoferrin can support and

improve iron status in both infants and adults. Lactoferrin

has been shown to increase iron absorption by up to 56%

in young infants when consumed with supplemental iron.