Overview

Lactoferrin is a protein found in cow milk and human milk. Colostrum, the first milk produced after a baby is born, contains about seven times more lactoferrin than is 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 lactoferrin that is taken from cows, but this risk is generally considered very small. Additionally, most lactoferrin supplements are produced from specially engineered rice.

Lactoferrin is used for diarrhea, swelling (inflammation) of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus (hepatitis C), low levels of healthy red blood cells (anemia) due to iron deficiency, common cold, blood infection (sepsis), and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.

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

How does it work ?

Lactoferrin helps regulate how well iron is absorbed into the body from the intestine.

It also seems to protect against infections from bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Lactoferrin seems to slow down the growth of bacteria by starving them of nutrients. It also destroys the walls around the bacteria. The lactoferrin contained in mother's milk is thought to help protect breast-fed infants against infections.

Lactoferrin also seems to be involved with the production of blood cells and how well the body fights off infections.

View References

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.