Understanding Purified Lactoferrin Benefits
Lactoferrin is a large protein, one of several hundred proteins, peptides and growth factors found in cow’s milk and human milk. It is found in the highest concentrations in colostrum (mother’s first milk) and quite notably in amniotic fluid. These concentrations are not just by chance… nature does not make random mistakes like that. Purified Bovine lactoferrin is harvested and purified from cow’s milk immediately after it is pasteurized and the fat is skimmed. The keyword here is “purified.” In order for bovine lactoferrin to effectively alleviate inflammation and corresponding pain in the digestive tract, the protein must be purified of endotoxin. If it is not purified then both its antimicrobial ability and the ability to remove endotoxin from the gut is severely limited.
Lactoferrin is one of the components of the immune system of the body; it shows antimicrobial activity and as part of the body’s innate defense system. This is especially important in human infants, but we now know it is critical in maintaining a health gut microbiome in adults as well.
Typical Uses Of Lactoferrin
While there is still plenty more to learn about the extent that lactoferrin can benefit the body, what we have found so far is promising:
- As an antioxidant, Lactoferrin helps protect against bacterial and viral infections
- Stimulates the immune system
- Prevents tissue damage related to aging
- Promotes healthy intestinal bacteria
- Relieves pain associated with GI tract infection
- Used in treating stomach and intestinal ulcers, and diarrhea
- Regulates the way the body processes iron
Lactoferrin was first identified about 50 years ago as “the iron-binding protein”. Since then lactoferrin has been studied by scientists around the world, providing us with insight about the functions of lactoferrin in addition to binding iron. Lactoferrin has been found to be safe for several uses in the US where it is broadly available as a nutritional supplement. Lactoferrin protects against bacterial infection by preventing the growth of pathogenic (bad) bacteria by depriving them of essential nutrients or destroying their cell walls. The lactoferrin found in a mother’s breast milk is credited as helping protect the baby against bacterial infections. It is linked to protecting the baby from infections caused by viruses and fungi. Lactoferrin also seems to be linked to the regulation of bone marrow function and an improved immune system.
Lactoferrin has been shown to help regulate iron absorption for those with iron deficiency. Iron deficiency is a fairly common disorder and the result can be extreme anemia, causing fatigue, lethargy, heart palpitations and even shortness of breath. Lactoferrin is a bioactive molecule that supports homeostasis: it can either prevent or resolve the interference of a liver peptide that disrupts iron transport and allows iron to move from storage in cells to bone marrow where hemoglobin is produced.
Lactoferrin is also used as a component in Biotene oral care brand products. Outside of the U.S., it is widely used to supplement infant formula and the overwhelming volume of lactoferrin produced is for this purpose.
The Importance of Purification
Globally, the vast majority of bovine lactoferrin production comes from cheese whey, which is otherwise a waste byproduct of the cheese making process. This is the cheapest way to produce “supplement grade” material for which there are no generally accepted quality standards. It is of great concern that the process of producing cheese leads to byproduct contamination from mold, yeast and bacteria. Degraded lactoferrin produces protein fragments and large quantities of endotoxin, a pro-inflammatory substance. This is counterproductive for consumers interested in “immune support” offered by bovine lactoferrin.
At Epiphany Therapeutics, we take special care to process Acacia™ bovine lactoferrin protein so it is as pure as possible. The final product is harvested from fresh cow’s milk immediately after it is pasteurized and the fat is skimmed. The result of this rigorous processing ensures Acacia bovine lactoferrin is virtually free of contamination, containing less than 1 endotoxin unit per milligram of product. That means Acacia bovine lactoferrin is >95% pure, whole protein. This extraordinarily pure profile allows bovine lactoferrin to function in the important ways that nature has intended, and that science has explored.
Take Charge Of Your Health With Acacia Bovine Lactoferrin
Epiphany Therapeutics now offers Acacia Purified Bovine Lactoferrin. It is manufactured from milk, not cheese whey or by-products, is gluten free and manufactured to both vegetarian and kosher standards and each capsule contains 250 mg of purified bovine lactoferrin. You get all of the good you could want from a lactoferrin product with none of the endotoxin that might cause an inflammatory response in the digestive system. Purity matters.
The best time to take lactoferrin is at least twice daily, including immediately before bedtime.
About the Authors
William Goolsbee has spent his career in Life Sciences including leading roles in drug development in immunology and genetic medicine. Recent senior positions include Chairman of the Board at Sarepta Therapeutics and Founder and CEO at Metrodora Therapeutics.
Dr. Gil Price
Gil Price M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer at the Propharma Group, where he provides medical supervision for all clinical trials. He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Drug Safety Solutions, where he oversaw safety monitoring for drugs in clinical development. Dr. Price also served as the Director of Clinical Development at Medimmune Oncology and Director of Medical Affairs at Glaxo.