Lactoferrin


Author: Theres Eisenreich ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎|‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎Published: May 3rd 2022‎‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎|‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎Updated: May 3rd 2022

Lactoferrin

Lactoferrin

Well protected since the
beginning of time

Hardly anything works as effectively and (mostly) secretly in the background as our immune system. For millions of years, ever since humans have existed, it has been trying to maintain our health and keep diseases of all kinds away from us. It is supported by complex immune structures and numerous substances, some of which the body can even produce itself, such as lactoferrin.

What is lactoferrin?

Lactoferrin is a multifunctional, antiviral and antimicrobial immune protein and part of the innate immune system. It belongs to the so-called glycoproteins of the transferrin family. This means that it can bind iron to itself and thus also contributes to a balanced iron metabolism. And with this we are almost on the trail of the naming of lactoferrin: Since it mainly occurs in (mother's) milk, the name is composed of lacto = milk and ferrin = iron.

An all-rounder protein -
how does lactoferrin work?

Strengthens the defences

Lactoferrin is released by mucous membranes and some glandular tissues, as well as by neutrophil granulocytes (certain immune cells). The latter are attracted to the site of inflammation and release lactoferrin there. It attaches itself to viruses, bacteria and to toxic components of the bacterial surface and neutralises them.

Lactoferrin also has immunomodulating and thus positive properties for our body's defences: on the one hand, lactoferrin can have a pro-inflammatory effect where this is just naturally needed, and on the other hand, it can also resolve an inflammation, which is particularly important in cases of silent inflammation, for example. In addition, in the case of an infection, it ensures that the balance between the elimination of pathogens and tolerance to the body's own tissue is maintained.

Supports iron balance and intestinal health

As mentioned above, lactoferrin can bind iron to itself, which is advantageous, for example, in the case of an infestation with pathogens: if these invaders are deprived of iron, this also inhibits their growth and further development. At the same time, lactoferrin improves the distribution of iron in the body and can thus provide additional support in the case of iron deficiency.

In contrast to the bad pathogens, lactoferrin promotes the growth of probiotic bacteria and thus supports a healthy intestinal flora with all its good bacteria. It thus maintains the intestinal flora while warding off harmful bacteria and viruses.

Where does lactoferrin occur?

Since lactoferrin is part of the innate immune system, it is found in various body fluids. The highest amount of lactoferrin is found in human colostrum. This is the initial milk that babies get from their mothers when breastfeeding after birth: with 8 mg per ml of lactoferrin, the colostrum supplies the little one and thus supports its immune system.

Lactoferrin is also found in tear fluid, saliva, vaginal secretions and seminal fluid. Of course, it is also found in the mucous membranes and directly in the white blood cells (immune cells) where it is associated with the immune system.

The innate immune system - how it works

The non-specific immune system, which is innate to us, forms in the womb and protects us from hour zero to a certain degree from invaders. It is the first line of defence of the immune system and an important protective barrier.
Various defence mechanisms ensure that initial contact with pathogens is ended as quickly as possible. Let's take a closer look at these:

The protection of the skin, with a surface area of approximately 2 m² , and the mucous membranes of, for example, the nose, mouth, throat, bronchi and gastrointestinal tract (the intestine has a surface area of an incredible 400 m² ), is also called the skin- and mucosa-associated immune system. While the skin is a mechanical protection of the body against invaders, the mucous membranes of the bronchial tubes transport the pathogens outside by sliming them in and removing them with the help of the cilia. If the mucus is swallowed, for example after coughing, the stomach acid does the rest.

Even if it does not appear so at first glance, the mucous membrane of the intestine actually has the most intensive contact with the outside world through food. This is how fungi, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens are smuggled into the body. The defence capacity of a healthy intestinal flora and intestinal mucosa can then eliminate these.

Another mechanism is phagocytosis: in this process, pathogens are eaten and digested by large phagocytes (macrophages) and small phagocytes (neutrophil granulocytes, i.e. a subtype of white blood cells). Macrophages and neutrophil granulocytes belong to the non-specific defence cells and are found in every tissue.
The dendritic cells of the immune system take up components of the previously phagocytised, i.e. digested pathogen and present these so-called antigens on their cell surface in order to trigger a specific immune response to them via the T and B lymphocytes.
The complement system - a system that can be activated during an immune reaction to the surfaces of microorganisms - is also part of the innate immune system. It has important things to do in the form of various successive reactions: One of these reaction steps is, for example, the perforation of bacteria, naturally with the aim of rendering them harmless. Other tasks are, for example, the marking of pathogens so that they are more quickly recognised as invaders or the triggering of inflammation to better eliminate pathogens.

Last but not least, there are the natural killer cells (NK). Their speciality is to recognise virus-infected cells as well as cancer cells and to destroy them by means of cell toxins.

What is important when choosing a lactoferrin product?

It can make sense to supplement with a high-quality lactoferrin product for a number of reasons. There are now many different products on the market, so a few pointers can help guide you through the lactoferrin jungle.

High degree of purity

Since lactoferrin is mostly extracted from cow's milk, it is very important that the extracted protein is thoroughly purified so that it no longer contains toxins or other unwanted interfering substances.

Gastro-resistant 

For lactoferrin to be fully effective, it is crucial that the protein is released in the intestine and does not fall victim to gastric juice. Therefore, enteric-coated capsules are a must for a good lactoferrin product.
Small hint: For this reason, lactoferrin capsules should also not be opened and dissolved in liquid!

Useful accompanying substances

Lactoferrin has many positive effects on the body, such as supporting a healthy immune system and normal iron metabolism. Therefore, other substances, such as a well-tolerated vitamin C, make great sense, which supports both in a complementary way.

Which lactoferrin product is available from TISSO?

Pro Lactoferrin Immune contains high-purity, premium-quality bovine lactoferrin, which is also combined with buffered, stomach-friendly vitamin C to support the immune system and iron balance.
The branded raw material Lactoferrin CLN™ has a uniquely high degree of purity of 98% thanks to patented two-stage purification and is therefore demonstrably more bioactive than conventional lactoferrin products.
Enteric-coated capsules (DRcaps®) ensure that the ingredients are only released in the intestine and are spared from gastric acid..

ohne Zusatzstoffe Glutenfrei Laktosefrei Fruktosefrei Frei von Schadstoffen Natürliche Inhaltsstoffe Hefefrei Hypoallergen Vegetarisch

Sources:
Wang, B., et al., Lactoferrin: Structure, function, denaturation and digestion. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2019. 59(4): p. 580-596.
Berlutti, F., et al., Antiviral properties of lactoferrin--a natural immunity molecule. Molecules, 2011. 16(8): p. 6992-7018.
www.lactoferrin.de

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