Lactoferrin is an iron-transporting natural glucoprotein that plays an important role in the body’s non-specific defences. A powerful broad-spectrum antibiotic that, unlike pharmaceutical ones, successfully fights multiple viruses (herpes simplex, hepatitis C virus, adenoviruses, cytomegalovirus) and is also effective against bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Lactoferrin, as a strong antioxidant, significantly reduces the harmful effects of free radicals. It protects the body from damage because it has the ability to modulate the inflammatory process, increasing the body’s resistance forces. It occurs in two forms in the body: hololactoferrin (bound to iron) and apolactopherin (without iron).
What do we know about lactoferrin?
Lactoferrin is a multifunctional extracellular glucoprotein that functions as an essential element of innate immunity in mammals. It belongs to the major serum transport proteins and is responsible for the immune protection of the mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive and genitourinary systems, but can also be found in various body fluids and secretions (tears, saliva, bronchial secretions, bile, pancreatic juice, intestinal and genital secretions), which are rich in antimicrobial peptides with anti-inflammatory activity. For example, each molecule of the protein lactoferrin can bind to two Fe3+ ions. Many pathogenic bacteria are known to require iron for their growth and show an affinity for it. Which means that their virulence is directly dependent on the presence of iron in the environment in which they develop. A healthy organism is characterized by low concentrations of the element in mucous secretions, but in the presence of pathology, the concentration of iron increases, which favors the process of bacterial development. Lactoferrin, as the main constituent of these secretions is in its apo form. It binds through strong bonds to the iron and thus “deprives” the bacteria of it. The presence of apolactopherin in the extracellular space maintains low iron levels and successfully inhibits bacterial growth. Scientists prove that lactoferrin thus has the ability to inhibit the development of multiple bacterial species.
Lactoferrin is contained in Colostra Collactiv 3
What is the main source of protein?
Lactoferrin was first isolated from mammary secretion, in concentrations of about 7 mg/ml, but was later found to be synthesized mainly by the covering epithelial cells and secreted in mucosal secretions in concentrations of 2 mg/ml. The richest source of lactoferrin is colostrum, which is known to be the first milk that mammalian mothers feed to their offspring. Its production lasts from 48 to 72 hours before the appearance of the usual breast milk. Colostrum contains a high concentration of vital growth and immune system development and maturation modulating factors that are critical for the normal nourishment and development of all tissues and organs in the human body. Its formation is much more complex than ordinary milk and its ingredients are not found in such high concentrations elsewhere in nature. Lactoferrin, derived from cow colostrum, is used for industrial purposes because it is an ideal source of natural antibodies, restage factors, immune factors and other, especially nutrients. In addition, cow colostrum is a completely safe, wholesome and natural food that can be consumed unlimitedly and has absolutely no levels of toxicity. And in recent years, “human” lactoferrin has been produced by genetic engineering methods.
Main functions of lactoferrin
- Antibacterial activity – due to the binding of lactoferrin with iron, and on the other hand it also binds to vitamin B12, thus making them inaccessible to bacteria, which significantly limits their multiplication. Recently, the proteolytic activity of iron-transfer protein has also been shown to target certain bacterial virulence factors and reduce the pathogenicity of microorganisms. Lactoferrin is of particular importance for babies and for people with weakened resistances. It is effective against E. coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Listeria, Candida.
- Antimycotic and antiparasitic action – associated with the absorption of lactoferrin on the cell surface of the pathogenic microorganism.
- Antiviral action – the protein prevents viruses from attaching to cell walls and penetrating cells. This means that it is a key molecule for the immune system. For example, patients infected with the AIDS virus have been found to have severely reduced oral lactoferrin levels, making them particularly susceptible to various infections.
- Anti-inflammatory action – lactoferrin has the ability to bind to polysaccharides secreted by microorganisms, thus it activates various immune cells.
- Probiotic action – lactoferrin inhibits the development of harmful bacteria in the intestine and supports the development of bifidobacteria contributing to normal microflora. It has a beneficial effect on the treatment of various allergic and infectious bowel-related diseases if taken regularly and in satisfactory amounts.
- Anticancer action – sufficient in vivo and in vitro experiments have been performed proving the anticarcinogenic properties of glucoprotein. It is also a fact that lactoferrin has a potent suppressive effect on pancreatic cancer in particular, and it is an important part of curative therapy.
- Antioxidant action – by binding to free iron in the blood, apolactoferrin reduces the formation of free radicals and protects lipids from oxidation and cells from destruction. On the other hand, holo-lactoferrin carries iron necessary for cells, which leads to slowing down the aging process and lowers the body’s susceptibility to various degenerative and cancerous diseases.
The viruses that are constantly mutating in the toxic environment around us, as well as the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, which are no longer the “miracle cure”, make lactoferrin an indispensable tool in the fight against them.