Tags: lactoferrin | healing | milk

Breast-milk Protein Heals

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 12:20 PM

An iron-building protein in breast milk has been found to heal wounds, boost immunity and even offer protection from cancer and should be more widely developed as a therapeutic agent in disease treatment, according to a new scientific report.
Writing in the journal Biochemistry and Cell Biology, University of Calgary health specialist Dr. Hans Vogel said the protein – lactoferrin – has so many potential applications is could be considered the “Swiss army knife” of available therapeutic agents.
"We now know that lactoferrin is a protein that has many functions in innate immunity and that it plays a role in protecting us from bacterial, viral, fungal, and protozoal infections. It can even protect us from some forms of cancer," said Vogel.
"Some people describe this protein as the 'Swiss army knife' of the human host defense system. In part it does all this by binding iron, but many other properties of the protein contribute to its function."
In a special issue, the editors of Biochemistry and Cell Biology published 27 different studies on the health benefits and possible new treatment applications of lactoferrin, which is found in breast milk, but also human blood, tears and saliva.
Among the findings: Lactoferrin heals skin wounds; promotes healthy development of the small intestine in early life; may block influenza’; prevents preterm child delivery; and promotes overall health by regulating beneficial bacteria in the digestive system.
"Lactoferrin is quite an unusual protein that has many effects on health," Vogel said. "It is also used as a general health-promoting substance, and in Japan it is added to infant formula…. It is particularly exciting to see that clinical trials are now going on in the infectious disease area and in cancer."

© HealthDay

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Lactoferrin protein found to heal wounds, boost immunity and protect against cancer.
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 12:20 PM
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