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Lactoferrin: The building block of life and Mother Nature’s immune booster

Mother Nature sure knows what she is doing. She provides the sun to warm our bodies, the rain to cool our feet, and nutrient-rich soil for our crops. And she supplies all humans with a life-sustaining food the minute they are born…..lactoferrin.

Lactoferrin….from lacto (milk) and ferrin (iron)…is a basic building block of life, and so much an essential protein that is strong in breast milk. In short it is vital to health.

Lactoferrin is present in all of your bodily fluids, including saliva, tears, white blood cells, sperm and vaginal secretions, and spinal fluid. But the majority of lactoferrin is located in glands found in your digestive, respiratory, and reproductive systems, providing protection against invading microorganisms and toxic insult.

Lactoferrin is vital to a number of important physiological functions. It helps you absorb and utilize iron and other essential trace minerals, such as copper, zinc, manganese, and vanadium. It also increase antioxidant activity, assists in preserving intestinal health, helps maintain beneficial bacteria, increases the inflammatory response, inhibits growth multiplication of harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, and neutralizes toxic and allergic compounds.

But Lactoferrin’s primary role is to provide support for your immune system. Replenishing your stores of Lactoferrin can help to offset these assaults . By interacting with specific receptors on blood cells and regulating several biochemical mediators of immune response, lactoferrin can help to stimulate your immune functions.

It can do this, in part, because it is a prebiotic, meaning it supports probiotic bacteria…the beneficial organisms that help keep you healthy. In contains 19 different strains of beneficial bacteria, 13 different strains of Lactobacillus.

This is critical, because it’s widely accepted that the large intestine of breast fed infants is populated predominantly by Bifidobacteria,  which have protective effects against several disease-causing pathogens.

All of this helps to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal system. This is one of the areas that is key for lactoferrin. It’s in the gut that stimulates beneficial pro biotic bacteria, protecting you from harmful pathogens, reducing and even eliminating toxic compounds and free radicals, and maintaining regularity. from ViTality Publications.

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Read the most frequently asked questions and responses by Dr. Naidu

Frequently asked questions about Lactoferrin

What is lactoferrin? The word ‘lactoferrin’ (‘lacto’ – means milk; ‘ferrin’ – means iron) denotes an iron-binding compound present in milk. However, LF is known to bind several other metals including copper, zinc, manganese, and vanadium. Furthermore, LF is present in sperm, amniotic/seminal/cerebrospinal/gastric fluids, saliva, tears, vaginal secretions and other body fluids that bathe mucosal surfaces. LF is also present in the white blood cells (neutrophils) and is localized in several tissues.  

What is the chemical nature of lactoferrin? LF is a protein and each of these protein molecules has a capacity to avidly bind two atoms of iron in a reversible manner. Based on its iron-binding status, LF molecule could exist in either ‘apo’ (iron-free) or ‘holo’ (iron-saturated) forms. LF molecule could also exist (in a very low proportion), as a partially iron-saturated form, i.e. a single atom of iron bound to each molecule. All the three LF forms are inter-convertible.

What is the role for lactoferrin in the body? The primary function of LF is to provide total body protection (innate host defense) and to maintain a healthy physiology (regularity). LF is considered a multi-functional protein with a role in several important physiological pathways.

Is lactoferrin a nutraceutical? Yes. LF fulfills the true definition of a nutraceutical agent. It provides elemental nourishment to the body with the bio-availability of iron and other essential trace metals. It provides prebiotic nourishment to enhance beneficial microflora (‘probiotics’) in the gut. As a microbial blocking agent, LF inhibits growth-multiplication of harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites; as well as neutralizes toxic and allergic compounds.

How does the body expend (physiological turnover) lactoferrin? In the process of body defense LF is secreted in response to any external stimuli – into the oral cavity (saliva/crevicular fluid) and intestinal lumen (mucins/gastric juices).  Following the digestive process, any unabsorbed LF is excreted in the feces, while the absorbed LF passes through the urine. LF is also spent in the tears; via sebum and exudates in skin during inflammation; via seminal fluids in bone joints during exercise; via sperm and vaginal secretions during sex.

What are the indication of a long-term deficiency and/or dysfunctionality of lactoferrin in the body? Such a situation is indicative of a physiological disorder and/or an acute clinical condition and/or a chronic illness.

Why does our body need lactoferrin supplementation? The dietary and working habits, stress and environment in our modern life style deplete and compromise our innate defenses. The outcome – an increased susceptibility to infections, irregularity and pain. Replenishment of the body with LF (supplementation) could provide a balance to the innate defense. 


Which iron-form of protein is used in Lactoferrin  The product contains about 80% of apo-LF (iron-free form) to provide prebiotic and antimicrobial benefits; and about 20% of holo-LF (iron-saturated form) to enhance antioxidant, immune stimulation and detoxification effects.

What are the benefits of taking Lactoferrin  Nutraceutical replenishment for total body health, regularity and balance. Specific health benefits include stimulation of beneficial intestinal flora, protection against harmful pathogens, prolonged antioxidant activity, and help to modulate immune responses.

What is unique about Lactoferrin  Unlike any lactoferrin supplements produced from whey proteins and/or colostrum; Lactoferrin  is derived directly from cow milk obtained from a disease-free geographic region. The product is further cleansed to ultra-purity to enhance bioavailability and functionality of lactoferrin using a unique patent-pending protein technology. In fact, it took about 3 quarts of milk to produce a single capsule (60 mg lactoferrin content) of Lactoferrin . 

Should Lactoferrin  be taken with food or empty stomach; daytime or bedtime? Either way, and conveniently at any time.

What is the suggested dosage for Lactoferrin  A single capsule of 60 mg/day is the suggested dosage as part of regular replenishment for a normal healthy individual. However, depending upon the life-style, age and health-status, increasing the dosage to 2 or 3 capsules per day could benefit certain individuals.

What are the side effects from taking Lactoferrin  There are no side affects, (to our knowledge). However, if any discomfort is noticed by consuming Lactoferrin  immediately stop taking the product and consult your primary health care provider.

Can individuals with lactose-intolerance take Lactoferrin  Yes. The milk ‘protein’ lactoferrin is different from the milk ‘sugar’ lactose. Lactose-intolerance is associated with the body’s inability to produce a specific sugar-splitting enzyme called ‘lactase’, which is required for the digestion of lactose in the gastrointestinal tract. In contrast, the intestinal assimilation of lactoferrin is accomplished by a receptor-mediated independent pathway.

Can individuals with milk protein allergy take Lactoferrin  Yes. In contrast to lactose intolerance which is observed mainly in adults, milk protein allergy occurs primarily in infants and young children and rarely develops in adults. Furthermore, milk protein allergy rarely persists beyond three years of age. Milk proteins that are reportedly associated with allergic reactions are: casein, casein derivatives (sodium and/or calcium-based), lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin and bovine serum albumin. LF does not belong to this group of milk allergens. To our knowledge - any LF-associated or LF-mediated milk protein allergic reactions in human subjects has not been reported. However, if the person has any medical condition (including any milk protein allergy), it is advisable to consult with that person’s health care provider before use of this or any supplement.  

Can pregnant women take Lactoferrin  Yes. Iron-deficiency induced anemia is common during pregnancy. Lactoferrin  could help iron absorption and boost immune defense. In fact, an increased daily dosage of Lactoferrin  (120 mg, i.e. 2 capsules) could provide a health benefit for pregnant women. However, if the person has any medical condition (including pregnancy), it is advisable to consult with that person’s health care provider before use of this or any supplement.  

Can individuals with acute clinical conditions take Lactoferrin  Yes. Lactoferrin  is a replenishment of body’s own natural defense. An increase in the Lactoferrin  dosage (2 or 3 capsules per day) could further benefit certain clinical conditions. However, if the person has any medical condition (including any acute illness), it is advisable to consult with that person’s health care provider before use of this or any supplement.  

Can individuals with chronic clinical conditions take Lactoferrin Yes. Lactoferrin  is a replenishment of body’s own natural defense. An increase in the Lactoferrin  dosage (2 or 3 capsules per day) could further benefit certain clinical conditions. However, if the person has any medical condition (including any chronic illness), it is advisable to consult with that person’s health care provider before use of this or any supplement.  

How Lactoferrin  is different from antibiotics? Antibiotics are generally non-selective antimicrobials; therefore, these agents not only kill harmful pathogens but also eliminate beneficial/commensal microorganisms, which often lead to antibiotic-induced diarrhea. Furthermore, development of antibiotic-resistance in microorganisms is an alarming health issue. In contrast, the antimicrobial activity of Lactoferrin  is selectively limited to pathogens with no issues of any development of microbial drug-resistance.

How Lactoferrin  is different from other prebiotics? Most prebiotic compounds are insoluble sugars or fibers (insulin, FOS, etc.) that stimulate the growth of beneficial flora (‘probiotic’ lactobacilli, bifidobacteria, etc.) as non-selective microbial nutrients. Lactoferrin  elicits an iron-independent metabolic stimulation of probiotic flora, which is a selective and unique prebiotic activity.

How Lactoferrin  is different from other antioxidants? The activity of most antioxidants is instantaneous; therefore, the functionality is not long lasting and could be limited. Lactoferrin  has a prolonged antioxidant activity over 10 hours.

How does Lactoferrin  stimulate immune functions? Lactoferrin interacts with specific receptors on blood cells (i.e. neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes and macrophages) and regulate several biochemical mediators of immune response. Lactoferrin  avidly binds to such immune cell cascade and helps stimulating the immune functions.

How does Lactoferrin  help maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract? Lactoferrin  stimulates probiotic bacteria that are beneficial for the gut, protects from harmful pathogens, reduces/eliminates toxic compounds and free radicals, helps to rejuvenate intestinal epithelial mucosa and maintains regularity.

Can Lactoferrin  be taken with other dietary supplements? Yes. In fact, Lactoferrin  constitutes the Base of the Wellness Pyramid as essential core nutrition for total body health including the maintenance of a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, Lactoferrin  would help intestinal absorption and further enhance the benefits of other dietary supplements. 

Can Lactoferrin  be taken together with alcoholic beverages? No. 

Can Lactoferrin  be taken together with hot beverages or foods? No. However, Lactoferrin  is stable at pasteurization temperatures and it is OK to consume this protein supplement with warm foods.

Can Lactoferrin  be given to pets? Yes. Lactoferrin has been shown to protect animal pets from viral, bacterial and parasitic infections. A capsule of Lactoferrin  can be given to pets about twice or thrice a week.

What is the total content of protein, carbohydrate and fat in Lactoferrin ? The product contains ~60 mg protein as lactoferrin, ~50 mg carbohydrate in the form of fructooligosaccharide (FOS) and the fat content is negligible to none.

Why Lactoferrin  should contain FOS (50 mg) – when it is known that certain individuals develop gas, bloating and abdominal discomfort from this carbohydrate? In certain individuals, the gastrointestinal tract is colonized by specific enteric bacteria that rapidly multiply by attacking readily digestible sugars (i.e. FOS) to form gaseous metabolites. This results in symptoms of gas, bloating, abdominal pain and interference with the absorption of nutrients in the intestinal tract. Persistence of such symptoms could lead to other clinical conditions including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crone’s disease. Most antimicrobial agents including lactoferrin are known to be more effective against microorganisms when rapidly multiplying. Accordingly, the presence of FOS in the Lactoferrin  formula helps in rapid multiplication of such gas forming microflora only to be primed for an effective elimination by lactoferrin. This targeted function is essential for the establishment and maintenance of a regular intestinal tract.

Can children take Lactoferrin ? Yes. It is important that the daily diets of children above the age of four, be supplemented with Lactoferrin . As an iron-binding protein, lactoferrin helps in the intestinal absorption of iron – a vital nourishment factor for the growth and development of children. However, it is advisable to consult with the child’s health care provider before use of this or any supplement.  

Can infants and children under the age four, take Lactoferrin ? Not Recommended. Though, lactoferrin is considered as an essential nutraceutical for infants and children under the age 4, and is added to several infant formulae worldwide (since 1986); this food application is regulated by federal agencies in respective countries.

Since lactoferrin is an iron-binding protein, how does Lactoferrin  affects anemic individuals or pregnant women taking iron supplements? Lactoferrin is a major gate keeper of iron as well as other essential bio-metals including copper, zinc, manganese and vanadium in the intestinal tract. Lactoferrin not only binds to iron and these bio-metals but also facilitate their absorption via specific receptors in the intestinal tract and also regulate their optimum levels in the body. It is conceivable that Lactoferrin  affects anemic individuals or pregnant women in a positive way by providing optimum amounts of iron in a bio-available form. However, if the person is pregnant, it is advisable to consult with that person’s health care provider before use of this or any supplement.  

Should Lactoferrin  not be taken with certain types of drugs? Lactoferrin is present in all our bodily fluids and secretions readily for any drug exposure and interactions, irrespective of Lactoferrin supplementation. However, if the person has any medical condition (under any medication), it is advisable to consult with that person’s health care provider before use of this or any supplement.  

At what time of the day should these be taken? Lactoferrin is a physiological replenishment. It can be taken anytime of the day.

Is it better to take them with food? If convenient - yes.

Does this product contain ingredient which have been genetically modified? Lactoferrin  is GMO-free.

How does the capsule remove micro-organisms and toxins? Lactoferrin is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent. It could elicit antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antiparasitic activities. The two prominent mechanisms of lactoferrin action are 1) stasis activity - lactoferrin is an iron-binding protein that could chelate iron and limit the bioavailability of this metal to microorganisms. This iron-deprivation leads to inhibition of microbial growth-multiplication. 2) Adhesion-blockade activity. Lactoferrin binds to specific receptors on the intestinal mucosa with high affinity and competitively displace adherent pathogens. Furthermore, Lactoferrin could inhibit the expression of attachment factors in harmful bacteria. The above two antimicrobial mechanisms contribute to the removal of microorganisms from the body. Lactoferrin is well-known to interact with endotoxins and neutralize their activity in the body.

Are these capsules gluten free? Yes

Can you take lactoferrin with all the other nutritional product we sell, without overdosing? Lactoferrin  is compatible with other nutritional products.
Is there soya in Lactoferrin? No