WHAT IS LACTOFERRIN?
Bovine lactoferrin is a type of lactoferrin that is extracted from cow’s milk. It is structurally very similar to human lactoferrin, leading to its use in sophisticated infant formulas.
Lactoferrin is a multifunctional protein that has been studied for its potential health benefits, such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects. It has also been shown to improve iron status in women. It has been used in various applications, including functional foods and dietary supplements. Adults seeking out immune boosting products will often turn to the outstanding benefits lactoferrin may provide.
Bovine lactoferrin is often preferred over recombinant human lactoferrin for commercial use due to its high abundance and ease of extraction from cow’s milk.
VERSATILITY OF LACTOFERRIN
Lactoferrin has been shown to have various health benefits and has been studied for its potential applications in several areas, including:
- Immune Support: Lactoferrin has been found to have immunomodulatory effects, meaning it can help regulate the immune system. It has been shown to stimulate the production of white blood cells, enhance natural killer cell activity, and improve the body’s defense against infections.
- Gut Health: Lactoferrin has been studied for its potential to promote gut health. It can bind to iron, which helps to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut. Lactoferrin has also been shown to improve the growth of beneficial bacteria, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.
- Skin Health: Lactoferrin has been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects, which can help improve skin health. It has been studied for its potential to treat acne, eczema, and other skin conditions.
- Sports Nutrition: Lactoferrin has been studied for its potential to enhance exercise performance and aid in recovery. It has been shown to help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which can improve recovery time and reduce muscle damage.
- Cancer Treatment: Lactoferrin has been studied for its potential as a cancer treatment. It has been shown to have anti-tumor effects and can help prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells.
Lactoferrin is a natural component of milk and dairy products, and it is commonly used as an ingredient in various applications due to its functional and nutritional properties. Here are some examples:
- Infant Formula: Lactoferrin is added to infant formula as it is naturally present in breast milk and provides essential nutrients for infants.
- Cheese: Lactoferrin is found in cheese and may contribute to its antimicrobial properties.
- Yogurt: Lactoferrin is used in yogurt to enhance its nutritional value and to provide antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Bakery Products: Lactoferrin may be used in bread, cakes, and other bakery products to improve their texture, shelf life, and nutritional value.
- Beverages: Lactoferrin may be added to sports nutrition drinks or functional beverages to support recovery after exercise, immune support, or gut health.
LACTOFERRIN IN BEVERAGES
Lactoferrin has been used in some beverage products for its potential health benefits. One example is in sports nutrition drinks, where lactoferrin may be added to support recovery after exercise. Lactoferrin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce muscle damage and improve recovery time after intense exercise.
Lactoferrin has also been studied for its potential use in functional beverages, which are marketed as health supplements rather than traditional soft drinks. These functional beverages may contain lactoferrin in combination with other beneficial ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, or probiotics to provide targeted health benefits such as immune support or gut health.
LACTOFERRIN IN SUPPLEMENTS
Lactoferrin is commonly used as a dietary supplement due to its potential health benefits. Lactoferrin supplements are typically available in capsule or powder form and can be found at health food stores, online retailers, and some pharmacies.
Lactoferrin supplements are often marketed as immune support supplements, as lactoferrin has been shown to stimulate the production of white blood cells and enhance natural killer cell activity. Lactoferrin supplements may also be used to support gut health, as lactoferrin can bind to iron and help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut.
LACTOFERRIN IN CONFECTIONS
However, some manufacturers have been exploring the use of lactoferrin in functional confections, such as gummies or chews, that are marketed as health supplements rather than traditional candies. These functional confections may contain lactoferrin in combination with other beneficial ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, or probiotics, to provide targeted health benefits such as immune support or gut health.
LACTOFERRIN IN INFANT FORMULA
Lactoferrin is a naturally occurring protein found in breast milk and is an important component of human milk. It plays a vital role in supporting the growth and development of infants by providing antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, and nutritional benefits. Infant formula manufacturers have recognized the importance of lactoferrin in infant nutrition and have started adding it to their products. Lactoferrin can be extracted from cow’s milk and is then added to infant formula to increase its nutritional value and mimic the benefits of human milk.
Studies have shown that lactoferrin in infant formula may help support the immune system and protect against infections. It may also help with the absorption of iron and other nutrients, which can be important for infants who may not be getting enough nutrients from their diet alone.