Lactoferrin Benefits and Side Effects

LactoferrinLactoferrin might sound like a funny name, but you are more familiar with it than you think because it’s one of the first things you ever ingested. Found in mother’s milk and in your own tears, it has always been a part of you.

Fighting infections is what lactoferrin is best known for. Studies have shown it to possibly be effective against H. Pylori and hepatitis C, a useful tool for treating stomach ulcers and diarrhea, and a protector against viral and bacterial infections. Infections of the digestive tract were also no match for this compound according to the study, along with improvements and reductions in inflammation. The study also suggested that it may contain cancer fighting properties as it was shown to inhibit tumor growth. A lack of lactoferrin may cause acne.

So what is it? Certainly as adults we can’t find the nearest newly lactating woman and get in line, so how do we get it? Well, immune system supplements of course.

Any reason not to take a this glycoprotein or colostrum supplement? Sure. Some capsules and powders are made from bovine colostrum, and although small, there is a tiny, miniscule risk of mad cow disease. Lactoferrin itself is safe when consumed in food, but there are little further tests to evaluate its safety as a supplement. People who already have weakened immune systems (for example, those with HIV) may have general sickness side effects including vomiting and nausea.

Overall, the supplement hasn’t been proven to be unsafe to consume in pill or powder form, and neither has colostrums; but at the same time hasn’t been necessarily proven to do much for us once out of our first few tender days of life. Time will tell how useful these items are as immunity boosters, however you should discuss any and all potential supplements with your physician before beginning any. Remember that diet and exercise on their own are fantastic immunity boosters without a supplement. Leafy greens, grapefruit and cauliflower can all help keep the sniffles away, but should you choose a supplement in addition to a healthy diet, a consultation with your doctor to rule out unwanted side effects and detect potential interactions is very important.