Sunday Supplement: Learning about Lactoferrin

Antivirals and nutritional supplements have been proposed as potentially useful against severe acute respiratory syndromes that cause Covid-19, yet you never hear any public health official mention anything about them.  Not even Vitamin D.  I wonder why?

It was brought to my attention that taking Lactoferrin capsules might be another great immune boosting factor and preventative to getting covid.

Not just any MILK

Like I said before, my general health is very good and I eat well.  However since I first heard about Covid I’ve decided to add a few more proactive supplements to my vitamin regime. Only those that I cannot get sufficient amounts from food alone. Because a healthy immune system is the best defense for fighting a virus. 

Once covid is under control in the general population and over time, I’ll go back to my vitamin basics. I’m fully aware that vitamins alone do not a healthy body make.  However, after doing some research myself, it appears that these extras cannot hurt and at the very best can help improve immunity.  So far, so good.

Lactoferrin’s Anti-Viral effects

Lactoferrin is considered an essential in providing an increased defense for our immune systems. Lactoferrin deprives unwanted bacteria in the body from the nutrients they need to continue spreading. Lactoferrin is able to boost your body with beneficial antioxidants, enhance oxygenation of the tissues and improve white blood cell health. It seems to protect against bacterial infection, possibly by preventing the growth of bacteria by depriving them of essential nutrients or by killing bacteria by destroying their cell walls.

There are many new products on the market promoting their inclusion of lactoferrin as a healthy ingredient, but what exactly is lactoferrin? Lactoferrin is a protein found naturally in cow and human milk, and it is especially abundant in colostrum. It is also found naturally in our tears and saliva, and possesses a wide variety of healthy benefits for our bodies. 

As an iron-binding milk glycoprotein, it promotes the growth of selected probiotic strains. It acts as an antimicrobial agent largely by binding the iron needed for growth of the microorganisms. 

Lactoferrin has been found to both directly and indirectly inhibit several viruses that cause disease in humans. It directly inhibits viruses by binding to viral receptor sites, thus preventing the virus from infecting healthy cells.

The importance of lactoferrin in viral infections warrants a great deal of further research and use by clinicians. There is little doubt that lactoferrin is a key molecule for the body and the immune system in the fight against viruses and other microbes, and could be an effective supplement for people with viral infections.

Maybe most promising and interesting, there is research that points to lactoferrin being able to improve the efficiency of antibiotic treatments in the fight against pathogenic microbes. Considering the out of control use of antibiotics and the rise in antibiotic resistant strains of “bad bugs,” this is very good news. Would the combination of lactoferrin and antibiotics be the knockout punch to certain bacteria that are not being killed by antibiotic treatments alone? More research is needed, but the evidence is very compelling.

Conclusion

There is little doubt that lactoferrin is a major find and a potential breakthrough as a natural nontoxic treatment in an array of human ailments. Though a handful of companies are able to produce lactoferrin at this time, there is only one company producing the apolactoferrin (iron depleted) form in large quantity. Studies suggest that the superior form to supplement with is apolactoferrin.

Disclaimer

As with everything else, take time to do your own research as there can be pros and cons to taking too much or too little of any one supplement.  The ones I’ve mentioned are supposed to help strengthen your immune system to oncoming viruses.  Having said that, depending on your overall health and what medications you may already be taking, it’s always best to check with your health provider.

This is the last of a series of natural Covid Combatants.  I’ll continue to post about other “healthy habits” in the upcoming weeks ahead.  

Sources:

Chang, R. (2020) Re: Lactoferrin and COVID-19https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32738305/

Life Extension Magazine

Symbiotics.com

Word of Mouth from a few knowledgeable individuals