Supplements

Lactoferrin: functions and usefulness in integration

Lattoferrina - copertina

Introduction

In this article we will talk about lactoferrin (LF), un fattore nutrizionale che può vantare numerose proprietà benefiche. Nota soprattutto per le sue qualità di immune defense, the lactoferrin è particolarmente abbondante nel latte materno o, più precisamente, nel colostrum (first milk).

Anche a causa dello scoppio della pandemia di COVID-19, verso la quale si stenta a trovare una cura sicura ed efficace, queste caratteristiche stanno ponendo questo prezioso nutriente al centro di numerosi studi ed approfondimenti scientifici. Mai come oggi infatti, si è alla ricerca di prodotti utili a strengthen the immune system, which are effective but also safe for the consumer.

This is why in the following lines we will try to understand better if theintegration with lactoferrin post-svezzamento – compresa l’età adulta – possa costituire o meno una risorsa utile per potenziare le nostre natural defenses against pathogens.

What is lactoferrin?

There lactoferrin it is a protein multifunctional della stessa famiglia della transferrina (una proteina di trasporto del ferro, abbondante nel corpo umano). Anche nota come lactotransferrin (LTF), it is a globular glycoprotein with a molecular mass of about 80 kDa, widely present in various fluids secretori umani come il latte, la saliva, le lacrime e diverse secrezioni nasali. Essa è inoltre contenuta nei granuli secondari dei neutrophil granulocytes (white blood cells) and is also secreted by some acinar cells of the exocrine pancreas.

Infine, quella di sintesi, può essere ottenuta attraverso la purificazione del latte o prodotta in modo ricombinante. Il colostro umano ne ha la concentrazione highest, seguito dal latte prodotto dalle mammelle, quindi dal latte vaccino (150 mg / L). La lactoferrin is, to all intents and purposes, one of the components of the immune system. It has effects antimicrobials (bactericidal, fungicidal) and is part of the innate defenses - mainly at the level of the mucous membranes (the most sensitive to viral aggression).

Conceived by nature as defence antibacterial for newborns of the human species, the lactoferrin plays several biological functions, also interacting with DNA and RNA, polysaccharides and heparin.

Functions and biological role

What is lactoferrin used for?

The function main of the lactotransferrin is that of to tie is to carry (da cui deriva il termine stesso) gli ioni iron nel circolo sanguigno. Non di meno, essa svolge una mansione fondamentale nella defence of the organism from various pathogens. Part of the immune system innate, this molecule is known for its properties:

  • antibacterial;
  • antivirals;
  • pesticides;
  • catalytic;
  • anticancer;
  • antiallergic.
Attività antibatterica

The main role of the lactoferrin is, as we have said, of sequester free iron. By doing so it becomes possible to remove the essential substrate, necessary for growth bacterial. Questa azione antibatterica è spiegabile anche dalla presenza di specifici receptors (lipopolysaccharides) on the cell surface of the microorganisms.

There lactoferrin si lega grazie al suo peptide specific, which is called lactoferricin, causing its own iron, already oxidized, to oxidize the target bacteria in turn. This facilitates the formation of peroxides which affect the permeability of the membrane, causing it to rupture (cell lysis). Una volta legata inoltre, la lactoferrin not only destroys the membrane, but penetrates even inside the cell.

That's why, although the lactotransferrin It also boasts other antibacterial mechanisms not related to iron - such as stimulation of phagocytosis – l’interazione con la membrana batterica esterna sopra descritta è quella preponderante e più studiata. È infine dimostrato che la lactoferrin can prevent the attachment of H. pylori in the stomach, reducing digestive system disorders.

Note: bovine has higher activity against H. pylori than the lactotransferrin Human.
 

Attività antivirale

There lactoferrin in sufficient "strength" it acts against a wide range of viruses (human and animal) based on DNA and RNA genomes, such as: herpes simplex 1 and 2, cytomegalovirus, HIV, HCV, hantavirus, rotavirus, poliovirus type 1, human respiratory syncytial virus, virus of murine leukemia is virus Mayaro.

The most studied mechanism of activity antiviral attributable to lactoferrin is its ability to diversion viruses from target cells. Many viruses tend to bind to the lipoproteins of cell membranes and thus to penetrate inside. There lactotransferrin it binds to the same lipoproteins thus repelling viral particles. L'apolactoferrin iron-free it is more efficient in this function than ololactoferrin; there lactoferricin instead, which is responsible for the antimicrobial (bacterial) properties of the lactoferrin, it shows almost no antiviral activity.

In addition to interacting with the cell membrane as specified above, the lattotranferrina it also binds directly to viral particles, as is the case with hepatitis viruses. This mechanism is also confirmed against i rotavirus, which act on different types of cells.

There lactoferrin suppresses also there replication of the virus after its penetration into the cell. Such an indirect antiviral effect is achieved by affecting the cells natural killer, granulocytes and macrophages - cells that play a crucial role in the early stages of viral infections, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Attività antifungina

There lactoferrin and the lactoferricin inhibit the in vitro growth of Trichophyton mentagrophytes, responsible for various skin diseases such as ringworm. Essa agisce anche contro la Candida albicans, a diploid fungus (a form of yeast) that causes infections oral is genitals opportunistic.

In seguito ad un utilizzo prolungato di fluconazole, numerous strains of candida that are resistant to this drug have emerged. However, a combination of the drug with lactoferrin can eradicate resistant strains of albicans and not only (C. glabrata, C. krusei, C. parapsilosis and C. tropicalis). To report the antifungal activity of lactoferricin exceeds that of lactoferrin.

Contrary to the previous ones, very little is known about the mechanism of the antifungal action. There lactoferrin seems to bind to the plasma membrane of C. albicans inducing an apoptotic process (cell death).

Attività anticancerosa

L'antitumor activity of lactoferrin bovine (bLF) has been demonstrated in experimental lung, bladder, tongue, colon and liver carcinogenesis in rats - Tsuda H, Sekine K, Fujita K, Ligo M (2002). "Cancer prevention by bovine lactoferrin and underlying mechanisms – a review of experimental and clinical studies". Biochemistry and Cell Biology. 80 (1): 131-6.

Furthermore, in another experiment conducted on hamsters, the lactoferrin bovine has reduced of the 50% the incidence of oral cancer. Attualmente, la bLF è utilizzata come ingrediente in yogurt, gomme da masticare, alimenti per lattanti e cosmetici – Chandra Mohan KV, Kumaraguruparan R, Prathiba D, Nagini S (September 2006). “Modulation of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes and redox status during chemoprevention of hamster buccal carcinogenesis by bovine lactoferrin". Nutrition. 22 (9): 940-6.

Where is it

Foods rich in lactoferrin

Come anticipato, esistono vari tipi di lactoferrin. Umani e animali non sintetizzano molecole identiche, così come leggermente diversi sono i loro effetti contro gli agenti patogeni. Escludendo il colostrum umano, ovviamente (che ne contiene circa 7 g / litro), le uniche fonti rilevanti di lactoferrin I'm the raw cow's milk or, at most, dealt with pasteurization latest generation technology - a process that however significantly impoverishes its contribution.

Since it is inadvisable to consume raw milk due to the risk of bacterial contamination, and since the industrial methods are much more advanced than those at home, we can say with certainty that milk commercial pasteurized be the richest of lactoferrin in assoluto. Diversamente è necessario appoggiarsi agli food supplements, safe source of lactotransferrin biologically active.

Detto questo, oggi come oggi, perché dovremmo assumerla? Può essere utile contro il COVID-19?

Supplement Against Covid-19

Lactoferrin against COVID-19: does it work?

La pandemia di coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) sta rapidamente avanzando in tutto il mondo nonostante le drastiche misure per la tutela della salute pubblica e personale. Per questo sono stati proposti come potenzialmente utili contro la sindrome respiratoria acuta grave coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vari antivirali e lactoferrin food supplements, but few were clinically relevant.

There lactoferrin, which as we have seen has shown efficacy against many other viruses - including the SARS-CoV-2 - could constitute a natural supplement, non tossico e disponibile per via orale. Possiede inoltre immunomodulatory effects is anti-inflammatory che potrebbero risultare particolarmente rilevanti nella fisiopatologia dei casi gravi di COVID-19. Pertanto alcuni scienziati stanno cercando di verificare la sua reale utilità a scopo price quotation is curative towards COVID-19 infection.

Oggi, a distanza di quasi 2 anni dall’inizio dell’emergenza sanitaria, iniziano ad emergere i primi risultati concreti, come ad esempio uno studio clinico, tutto italiano, che dimostra l’efficacia della lactoferrin nella lotta al Covid-19. In particolare:

In questo studio clinico retrospettivo la tempestiva somministrazione orale di lattoferrina si è dimostrata utile nei pazienti Covid. Un primo dato rilevante riguarda il tempo necessario per ottenere la negativizzazione del tampone molecolare negli 82 pazienti trattati con lattoferrina, tempo che è stato nettamente inferiore rispetto a quello osservato nei 39 pazienti non trattati (15 anziché 24 giorni).” (1)

We hope that further research and development will soon be able to define guidelines on the use of lactoferrin in the fight against the new coronavirus.

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