Our defenses can be weakened for various reasons, such as stress or lack of some nutrients. It is vitally important to keep this in mind and learn to take care of our immune system to avoid infections and other problems, as well as to help fight them if they have already appeared. To do this, it is necessary to take care of our diet and we can even consult with our doctor for ways to strengthen our immune system, such as taking supplements or food complexes to enhance the presence of some nutrients in our body. For example, have you heard of lactoferrin? Not sure what it is or what it's for? It is a protein that helps strengthen the immune system, among other benefits.
what is lactoferrin
Lactoferrin , which is also known by the name lactotransferrin , is a type of transferrin protein. Specifically, it is a multifunctional glycoprotein that is produced by the glandular epithelial cells of a variety of mammalian species. For example, it is found in milk, but also in other body fluids.
This protein is capable of binding iron ions and transporting them through the blood throughout the body. Mainly, lactoferrin helps in the regulation of iron levels and in the reinforcement of the immune system .
To learn more about lactoferrin, you can go to health portals and specific scientific studies.
Main benefits of lactoferrin
Among the main benefits of lactoferrin we can indicate:
- It is a protein that promotes homeostasis or self-regulation of the body, providing balance in it.
- It binds to iron molecules and helps transport them through the blood, thus aiding in iron metabolism.
- It is an antioxidant protein.
- Improves skin, hair and nails.
- It helps in the action against bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites and yeasts.
- It favors the regulation and stimulation of the immune system.
- Recent studies have shown that improvement can be seen with lactoferrin in patients infected with COVID19, thanks mainly to its antimicrobial and immune system-stimulating action. To find out some details of these studies on the action of this protein to help treat SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection, you can go to the lactoferrin website indicated above and see publications such as the one indicated on Lactoferrin as potential preventive and adjunct treatment for COVID-19/ Int J Antimicrob Agents/ 2020, 56(3):106118 .
- It is anti-inflammatory.
- Favors the intestinal and skin microbiota.
- It intervenes in the process of cell proliferation and differentiation.
- It has also been detected that it is very likely to play a relevant role in different diseases, such as cancer.
How to take lactorferrin
Free lactoferrin is found naturally in milk, colostrum, neutrophils, blood, saliva, tears, gastrointestinal juices, and other fluids.
However, we currently also have encapsulated lactoferrin , which is the glycoprotein derived from bovine milk. It can be taken to obtain this protein in greater quantity than otherwise, since this encapsulated protein has a greater absorption than the free one. This reinforces the natural defenses by stimulating the immune system, has antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, among other properties and other benefits, as we have seen before.