Choosing The Right Lactoferrin Supplement

Choosing The Right Lactoferrin Supplement


Lactoferrin is a bioactive molecule
that is naturally made inside our body. Lactoferrin is well-documented with
several health benefits such as immune defense, metal transport, intestinal
health and much more. This nutraceutical has emerged as an important functional
food ingredient for dietary supplements and infant formulations worldwide. Recent
consumer demand has flooded the global market with various lactoferrin
supplements. This film is intended to provide a scientific rationale and how
to choose the right lactoferrin supplement for your self-care. Let us
start from the basics. Source of the lactoferrin protein itself. Lactoferrin is harvested either from
all-natural dairy sources or from genetically modified organisms known as
GMOs. Lactoferrin from GMO or recombinant sources include transgenic cows, yeast,
genetic constructs and GMO rice plants. Such GMO derived like difference however
are not yet common to the dietary supplement market. Dairy animals provide
an abundant natural resource for native lactoferrin classified in three common
reserves. Colostrum, milk and whey. Though rich in lactoferrin content, bovine
colostrum is not suitable for large scale protein fractionation due to its
limited availability. Also bovine colostrum poses the risk of inate
contamination with blood other biological secretions and microbial
exposure during the delivery of baby calf. Therefor milk and whey are the two
most preferred dairy sources for large-scale extraction of lactoferrin. Let us compare the features of milk and
whey as starting materials for lactoferrin extraction.
Fresh unprocessed milk serves as a natural direct source for lactoferrin
extraction. Processed whey, a byproduct of cheese manufacturing and the derivative
of milk fermentation is also widely used as an alternative source for lactoferrin
extraction. Whey is derived from milk as a byproduct of cheese fermentation
through the following six steps. Step 1 : starter cultures are added to warm milk Step 2 : after acidification of milk rennet is added. Step three : milk is coagulated to form curd. Step 4 : curd is stirred to release
liquid whey. Step 5 : curd is pressed to drain liquid whey. Step 6 : liquid drain is used for whey protein extraction. Comparison between lactoferrin extracted from milk and whey are shown here. Raw milk has neutral pH of about seven.
And lactoferrin extracted from this original source is known as milk protein isolate
or milk lactoferrin. Processed whey has an acidic ph below 5. Extraction from
whey produces whey protein isolate or whey lactoferrin for marketing advantage
however some companies promote this cheese “byproduct” as “MILK DERIVED
LACTOFERRIN” . Whey lactoferrin have certain functional limitations compared to MILK
LACTOFERRINs. To overcome these functional constraints and dietary
supplements, whey lactoferrin is generally administered at higher doses compared to milk lactoferrin. Based on these observations the natural unprocessed
milk is the most preferred and superior starting material for lactoferrin
extraction. There are several patented advanced
methods to isolate and purify lactoferrin protein directly from
natural unprocessed milk. Dairy plants around the world use different
procedures to extract lactoferrin from milk. Initial steps of milk fractionation
include an ultra filtration step to remove milk sugar lactose. A solvent
extraction step to remove milk fats. A chromatographic step to separate milk
proteins and a salt gradient elution step to isolate lactoferrin fraction.
Milk lactoferrin fractions are dialyzed to remove salts and dehydrate
the protein solution into a fine powder form, either by spray drying at a hot
temperature or freeze drying at a cold temperature.
Lactoferrin is a glycoprotein which is easily damaged by heat. Lactoferrin is
denatured at 90 degrees Celsius. Therefore lactoferrin protein powders
obtained from freeze drying and spray drying processes are significantly
different. Freeze drying process is below minus 10 degrees Celsius. At this
temperature lactoferrin structure is stable. The
freeze-dried protein powder contains no cationic peptide fragments and shelf
life of the ingredient is well preserved. Spray drying on the other hand uses heat
above 110 degrees Celsius. At this temperature lactoferrin structure is susceptible to denaturation. The spray drying process
generates cationic peptides and compromises the shelf-life
of the protein powder. Cold storage of raw milk during
collection, transport and storage, refrigeration during milk fractionation
and protein extraction… and freeze drying below minus ten degrees Celsius are
vital for harvesting a stable and bioactive milk lactoferrin. Harvesting a pure protein with quality
control measures does not necessarily ensure a functionally active lactoferrin.
Lactoferrin requires several essential cofactors in specific ratios for
biological activity. Molecular activation or functional optimization is a
prerequisite step before formulating lactoferrin into a supplement. Molecular
activation protocols are well established among lactoferrin
scientists. A patented functional optimization method “TCR technology” is a proven method to prepare highly potent lactoferrin for food supplement
applications. Functional optimization of “TCR milk lactoferrin” can be verified and
compared with other commercial milk, whey, … or milk derived forms of lactoferrin.
Bacterial Growth Inhibition Assay. Growth inhibition potential of “TCR milk lactoferrin” against human enteric pathogen, e.coli was measured. Bacterial nutrient
broth was mixed with “TCR milk lactoferrin”
or regular milk lactoferrin or whey lactoferrin at one milligram
per millilitre concentration. Broth without any lactoferrin served as
control. An e coli strain with green fluorescent protein is inoculated into
all four broths and incubated at 37 degrees celsius. After 24 hours the
intensity of green fluorescence in all four broths was measured. Note that the
intensity of the green fluorescence is directly proportional to bacterial
growth density. The test results are displayed. Bacterial growth was affluent
as indicated in bright green fluorescence in the control broth after
24 hours. The green intensity was a shade below the control with regular milk
lactoferrin and whey lactoferrin broths suggesting a moderate bacterial
growth inhibition. Now watch the “TCR milk lactoferrin” broth. ecoli inoculum remained as cell suspension with no growth multiplication
whatsoever. A perfect microbial growth inhibition.
Cell Apoptosis Assay. Effect of “TCR milk lactoferrin” on human intestinal
epithelia was tested. Tissue culture medium was mixed with “TCR milk
lactoferrin” or regular milk lactoferrin or whey lactoferrin at 1 milli molar
concentration. Medium without lactoferrin served as control. Each of the 4 media
were added to cell monolayers. Apoptosis known as programmed cell death was
examined after 24 hours. View the experimental data. Control cell
monolayers showed moderate 5% apoptosis, while lactoferrin
from regular milk and whey caused extensive cell death of 35% and 53%
respectively. This cytotoxicity is due to high
cationic peptides in lactoferrins extracted from
regular milk and whey. Conversely the “TCR milk lactoferrin” is safe on human
intestinal epithelia with negligible apoptosis of less than 1%. These data
indicate the protective nature of functionally optimized “TCR milk
lactoferrin”. Remember lactoferrin is a bioactive protein
naturally present in your body. From a physiological perspective it is
considered a multifunctional bio-replenishment that supports immunity , intestinal health and much more. Take-home message : All lactoferrins are not
created equal. Therefore choose before you use. Self-care is the ultimate
health care.

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