Lactoferrin

18/Description

About

Lactoferrin is a protein found in cow milk and human milk. Colostrum, the first milk produced after a baby is born, contains high levels of lactoferrin, about seven times the amount found in milk produced later on. Lactoferrin is also found in fluids in the eye, nose, respiratory tract, intestine, and elsewhere. People use lactoferrin as medicine.

Some people worry about getting “mad cow disease” from medicinal lactoferrin taken from cows, but this risk is generally considered very small. Additionally, most medicinal human lactoferrin is taken from specially engineered rice.

Lactoferrin is used for treating stomach and intestinal ulcers, diarrhea, and hepatitis C. It is also used as an antioxidant and to protect against bacterial and viral infections. Other uses include stimulating the immune system, preventing tissue damage related to aging, promoting healthy intestinal bacteria, preventing cancer, and regulating the way the body processes iron.

Some researchers suggest lactoferrin might play a role in solving global health problems such as iron deficiency and severe diarrhea.

In industrial agriculture, lactoferrin is used to kill bacteria during meat processing.

How it works

Lactoferrin helps regulate the absorption of iron in the intestine and delivery of iron to the cells.

It also seems to protect against bacterial infection, possibly by preventing the growth of bacteria by depriving them of essential nutrients or by killing bacteria by destroying their cell walls. The lactoferrin contained in mother's milk is credited with helping to protect breast-fed infants against bacterial infections.

In addition to bacterial infections, lactoferrin seems to be active against infections causes by some viruses and fungi.

Lactoferrin also seems to be involved with regulation of bone marrow function (myelopoiesis), and it seems to be able to boost the body's defense (immune) system.

Effectiveness

Possibly Effective
Hepatitis C

Some patients with hepatitis C seem to respond to lactoferrin taken from cows. Doses of 1.8 or 3.6 grams/day of lactoferrin are needed. Lower doses don't seem to work.

Concerns

Lactoferrin is safe in amounts consumed in food. Consuming higher amounts of lactoferrin from cow's milk might also be safe for up to a year. Human lactoferrin that is made from specially processed rice appears to be safe for up to 14 days. Lactoferrin can cause diarrhea. In very high doses, skin rash, loss of appetite, fatigue, chills, and constipation have been reported.

18/Warnings

Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Lactoferrin is safe forpregnantand breast-feeding women in food amounts. But larger medicinal amounts should be avoided until more is known.Dosing considerations for Lactoferrin.

Interactions

No information available.

The information provided on this page is for reference purposes and is not meant to be used as a medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a medical professional. The content on this page has been provided with thanks by RxList.com