Health Benefits of Bovine Lactoferrin

We believe deeply in the health benefits of bovine lactoferrin in the homeopathic treatment of diverticulitis and other ailments. Many benefits are propounded, frequently without any supporting evidence. We encourage you to be cautious about relying on claims that suggest lactoferrin is the “Swiss Army Knife” of proteins, and to work closely with your healthcare provider regarding your medical needs.

Many of the benefits of lactoferrin that are reported in the literature, while strongly encouraging, have not been reviewed by FDA as part of a comprehensive submission to determine a benefit/risk profile. The exception to this statement is in those instances where FDA has reviewed GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) submissions for which we have provided a link here.

Importantly, most of the studies published are not based upon the same purity standards, including for endotoxin, which makes it difficult if not impossible to link clear interpretations of results across those various studies.

From our view, the most consistently reported benefits appear to related to maintaining a normal inflammatory state, with repeated evidence that bovine lactoferrin inhibits over production of IL-1(b), IL-6 and TNFa.

Bovine Lactoferrin: What is it?

Lactoferrin is a protein found in all mammalian secretions, including milk, tears, saliva and vaginal secretions. It is found in the highest concentrations in colostrum (mothers first milk) and amniotic fluid. Bovine lactoferrin is harvested and purified from cow’s milk.

Lactoferrin is a relatively large protein (~80kDa) and is one of several hundred proteins, peptides and growth factors found in milk. It was first identified about 50 years ago when it was originally viewed as “the iron binding protein.” Since that time lactoferrin has been the subject of thousands publications by scientists around the world, providing us a great deal about the protein beyond its ability to bind iron. A small sampling of important publications can be found here.

Lactoferrin has been found to be Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for several uses in the US where it is broadly available as a nutritional supplement. Notably, lactoferrin is a component of the Biotene oral care brand marketed by Glaxo SmithKline. Outside of the US it is widely used to supplement infant formula, and in fact the overwhelming volume of lactoferrin produced worldwide is for this purpose.

Quality Attributes: Milk vs Cheese Whey Derived Lactoferrin

The vast majority of global bovine lactoferrin production comes from cheese whey, which is otherwise a waste by-product of the cheese making process. The reason for this is simple: this is the cheapest way to produce “supplement grade” material for which there are no generally accepted quality standards. But using cheese whey has consequences.

The very process of producing cheese leads to by-product contamination from mold, yeast and most importantly bacteria. Degraded lactoferrin produces protein fragments and large quantities of endotoxin, a proinflammatory lipopolysacharide substance. It is common for cheese whey derived lactoferrin to contain >500 endotoxin units per milligram. For consumers interested in the much heralded “immune support” characteristics of bovine lactoferrin this is precisely the wrong outcome.

AcaciaTM bovine lactoferrin is harvested from fresh cow’s milk immediately after it is pasteurized and fat is skimmed. The result of this choice and rigorous processing methods is that Acacia bovine lactoferrin contains less than 1 endotoxin unit per milligram and is >95% pure, whole protein. This extraordinarily pure profile allows our bovine lactoferrin to function in the important ways that nature has intended, and that science has explored.

What are people saying about Acacia™ Lactoferrin?

Scientific Studies Detailing the Role of Lactoferrin in Human Health

Lactoferrin (both bovine and human) have been extensively studied for decades. Here we provide a small selection of the available publications, focusing on clinical studies involving the digestive system of premature infants and anti-inflammatory benefits in anemia during pregnancy. We encourage all of our readers to explore the published literature. Please visit PubMed or Medline as well as the studies provided below for this purpose.

Intestinal Infection and Inflammation in Neonates
Intestinal Infection and Inflammation in Neonates

Intestinal Infection and Inflammation in Neonates

Lactoferrin and necrotizing enterocolitis.

Sherman MP1, Miller MM, Sherman J, Niklas V.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24503532

Lactoferrin and necrotizing enterocolitis.

Sherman MP1,

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23415265

Lactoferrin-enhanced anoikis: a defense against neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis.

Sherman MP1, Petrak K.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15950395

Neonatal small bowel epithelia: enhancing anti-bacterial defense with lactoferrin and Lactobacillus GG.

Sherman MP1, Bennett SH, Hwang FF, Yu C.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15222479

Lactoferrin protects neonatal rats from gut-related systemic infection.

Edde L1, Hipolito RB, Hwang FF, Headon DR, Shalwitz RA, Sherman MP.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11668022

Bovine lactoferrin supplementation for prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis in very-low-birth-weight neonates: a randomized clinical trial.

Manzoni P1, Meyer M2, Stolfi I3, Rinaldi M4, Cattani S5, Pugni L6, Romeo MG7, Messner H8, Decembrino L9, Laforgia N10, Vagnarelli F11, Memo L12, Bordignon L12, Maule M13, Gallo E14, Mostert M15, Quercia M10, Bollani L9, Pedicino R3, Renzullo L8, Betta P7, Ferrari F5, Alexander T2, Magaldi R4, Farina D14, Mosca F6, Stronati M14.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24709463

Bovine lactoferrin prevents invasive fungal infections in very low birth weight infants: a randomized controlled trial.

Manzoni P1, Stolfi I, Messner H, Cattani S, Laforgia N, Romeo MG, Bollani L, Rinaldi M, Gallo E, Quercia M, Maule M, Mostert M, Decembrino L, Magaldi R, Mosca F, Vagnarelli F, Memo L, Betta PM, Stronati M, Farina D; Italian Task Force for the Study and Prevention of Neonatal Fungal Infections–the Italian Society of Neonatology.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2218464

Lactoferrin for prevention of neonatal infections.

Manzoni P1, Mostert M, Stronati M.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21415742

Clinical Benefits of Lactoferrin for Infants and Children.

Manzoni P1.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27234411

Lactoferrin for prevention of neonatal infections.

Manzoni P1, Mostert M, Stronati M.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21415742

Clinical use of lactoferrin in preterm neonates: an update.

Manzoni P1, Tarnow-Mordi W, Franco C, Gallo E, Spera AM, Rizzollo S, Decembrino L, Stronati M, Lanari M, Farina D.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21089728

Lactoferrin and prevention of late-onset sepsis in the pre-term neonates.

Manzoni P1, Decembrino L, Stolfi I, Pugni L, Rinaldi M, Cattani S, Romeo MG, Messner H, Laforgia N, Vagnarelli F, Memo L, Bordignon L, Saia OS, Maule M, Gallo E, Mostert M, Magnani C, Quercia M, Bollani L, Pedicino R, Renzullo L, Betta P, Ferrari F, Magaldi R, Mosca F, Stronati M, Farina D; Italian Task Force for the Study and Prevention of Neonatal Fungal Infections; Italian Society of Neonatology.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20138718

Bovine lactoferrin supplementation for prevention of late-onset sepsis in very low-birth-weight neonates: a randomized trial.

Manzoni P1, Rinaldi M, Cattani S, Pugni L, Romeo MG, Messner H, Stolfi I, Decembrino L, Laforgia N, Vagnarelli F, Memo L, Bordignon L, Saia OS, Maule M, Gallo E, Mostert M, Magnani C, Quercia M, Bollani L, Pedicino R, Renzullo L, Betta P, Mosca F, Ferrari F, Magaldi R, Stronati M, Farina D; Italian Task Force for the Study and Prevention of Neonatal Fungal Infections, Italian Society of Neonatology.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19809023

Infection, Inflammation and Endotoxin
Infection, Inflammation and Endotoxin

Infection, Inflammation and Endotoxin

Aerosolized bovine lactoferrin reduces neutrophils and pro-inflammatory cytokines in mouse models of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections.

Valenti P, Frioni A, Rossi A, Ranucci S, De Fino I, Cutone A, Rosa L, Bragonzi A, Berlutti F.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28129511

Effect of bovine lactoferrin on Chlamydia trachomatis infection and inflammation.

Sessa R, Di Pietro M, Filardo S, Bressan A, Rosa L, Cutone A, Frioni A, Berlutti F, Paesano R, Valenti P.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28094551

Lactoferrin prevents LPS-induced decrease of the iron exporter ferroportin in human monocytes/macrophages.

Cutone A, Frioni A, Berlutti F, Valenti P, Musci G, Bonaccorsi di Patti MC.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24793588

Lactoferrin differently modulates the inflammatory response in epithelial models mimicking human inflammatory and infectious diseases.

Frioni A, Conte MP, Cutone A, Longhi C, Musci G, di Patti MC, Natalizi T, Marazzato M, Lepanto MS, Puddu P, Paesano R, Valenti P, Berlutti F.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24793588

Lactoferrin and oral diseases: current status and perspective in periodontitis.

Berlutti F, Pilloni A, Pietropaoli M, Polimeni A, Valenti P., Ann Stomatol (Roma).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22545184

LF immunomodulatory strategies: mastering bacterial endotoxin.

Latorre D, Berlutti F, Valenti P, Gessani S, Puddu P.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22300429

Bovine lactoferrin in preventing preterm delivery associated with sterile inflammation.

Paesano R, Pietropaoli M, Berlutti F, Valenti P.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22292525

Lactoferrin decreases inflammatory response by cystic fibrosis bronchial cells invaded with Burkholderia cenocepacia iron-modulated biofilm.

Valenti P, Catizone A, Pantanella F, Frioni A, Natalizi T, Tendini M, Berlutti F.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22230411

Antiviral properties of lactoferrin–a natural immunity molecule.

Berlutti F, Pantanella F, Natalizi T, Frioni A, Paesano R, Polimeni A, Valenti P.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21847071

Bovine lactoferrin counteracts Toll-like receptor mediated activation signals in antigen presenting cells.

Puddu P, Latorre D, Carollo M, Catizone A, Ricci G, Valenti P, Gessani S.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21799877

Bovine lactoferrin interacts with cable pili of Burkholderia cenocepacia.

Ammendolia MG, Bertuccini L, Iosi F, Minelli F, Berlutti F, Valenti P, Superti F.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20364433

Immunoregulatory role of lactoferrin-lipopolysaccharide interactions.

Puddu P, Latorre D, Valenti P, Gessani S.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20191308

Reciprocal interactions between lactoferrin and bacterial endotoxins and their role in the regulation of the immune response.

Latorre D, Puddu P, Valenti P, GessaniS.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22069546

Effects of lactoferrin in 6 patients with refractory bacterial vaginosis.

Otsuki K, Imai N.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28140620

Vaginal Lactoferrin Modulates PGE<sub>2</sub>, MMP-9, MMP-2, and TIMP-1 Amniotic Fluid Concentrations.

Trentini A, Maritati M, Cervellati C, Manfrinato MC, Gonelli A, Volta CA, Vesce F, Greco P, Dallocchio F, Bellini T, Contini C.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27872513

Vaginal lactoferrin administration before genetic amniocentesis decreases amniotic interleukin-6 levels.

Vesce F, Giugliano E, Bignardi S, Cagnazzo E, Colamussi C, Marci R, Valente N, Seraceni S, Maritati M, Contini C.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24642648

Administration of oral and vaginal prebiotic lactoferrin for a woman with a refractory vaginitis recurring preterm delivery: appearance of lactobacillus in vaginal flora followed by term delivery.

Otsuki K, Tokunaka M, Oba T, Nakamura M, Shirato N, Okai T.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24118573

Vaginal lactoferrin in asymptomatic patients at low risk for pre-term labour for shortened cervix: cervical length and interleukin-6 changes.

Locci M, Nazzaro G, Miranda M, Salzano E, Montagnani S, Castaldo C, De Placido G.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23445135

Influence of lactoferrin in preventing preterm delivery: a pilot study.

Giunta G, Giuffrida L, Mangano K, Fagone P, Cianci A.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21922138

Preliminary evaluation of a vaginal cream containing lactoferrin in the treatment of vulvovaginal candidosis].

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18487962

Recombinant human lactoferrin has a potential to suppresses uterine cervical ripening in preterm delivery in animal model.

Yakuwa K, Otsuki K, Nakayama K, Hasegawa A, Sawada M, Mitsukawa K, Chiba H, Nagatsuka M, Okai T.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17031657

Activated lactoferrin’s ability to inhibit Candida growth and block yeast adhesion to the vaginal epithelial monolayer.

Naidu AS, Chen J, Martinez C, Tulpinski J, Pal BK, Fowler RS.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15603095

Activated lactoferrin and fluconazole synergism against Candida albicans and Candida glabrata vaginal isolates.

Naidu AS, Fowler RS, Martinez C, Chen J, Tulpinski J.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15603095

Influence of lactoferrin in preventing preterm delivery: a pilot study.

Giunta G, Giuffrida L, Mangano K, Fagone P, Cianci A.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2192213