What Exactly Is Lactoferrin?
Lactoferrin is an immune-supporting protein found in human milk, cow milk, and other fluids in the human body. When a baby is first born, the initial breastfeeding fluid is called colostrum. This colostrum contains up to seven times the amount of lactoferrin than what is found in the breast milk later on. Wowza! 1 A huge boost of immune support is given to the newborn breastfeeding baby. And as the mom continues to breastfeed, thebreast milk antibodies keep coming!
Is Lactoferrin Sourced From Breast Milk?
This may sound like an odd question, but I have been asked this more than once. This supplemental protein is not sourced from human milk. It is usually sourced from cow or goat milk.
Why is Lactoferrin Beneficial For Children?
Many moms today are not breastfeeding their children as long as they used to many years ago. Less than half of American moms are exclusively breastfeeding by the time their child is 3-months old. This is far less than the recommended time frame. 2 As a result, their growing child is deprived of the many immune-boosting nutrients naturally found in breast milk–lactoferrin being one of those.
Also young bodies are quickly depleted of beneficial bacteria from the standard American diet of processed and packaged foods. Add to that the overuse of antibiotics. You now have kids whose immune systems are weak and unprotected.
Lactoferrin is researched for it’s many ways that it activates parts of the immune system. It can act as a natural prebiotic, giving support to the digestive system. I’ve also seen it used as an essential nutrient to combat ear infections, which tend to be common among kids.
Does Lactoferrin Contain Lactose?
No. Lactoferrin is not to be confused with lactose and does not contain it. Lactose is the sugar part of milk and dairy products and is not present in this nutrient. Children who are lactose-intolerant can still benefit from this supplement.
Is It OK For Children With Milk Allergies?
In most cases, yes. The most common milk protein allergens are found in the casein and whey fractions of milk. Lactoferrin is considered a “sub-protein,” and therefore highly unlikely to be a problem for kids with milk allergies.
However, I’m sure there’s always exceptions to this. My best advice would be to test a small amount of the product with your child first to see how they respond. If the milk allergies are severe, then you can stay away from lactoferrin altogether and find another immune-boosting alternative.
Where Can I Find a Quality Lactoferrin Product for My Child?
The one my children have used for years with great results is from Shaklee Corporation. This company was the first one to ever include this nutrient into their children’s all-natural chewable vitamins. I’m not sure how many other companies have followed suit. I personally trust Shaklee’s quality and integrity and have even posted a kids’ multivitamin comparison chart if you’d like to add this to your research.
Any Questions I May Have Missed?
Please post your questions below, and I will be happy to help you find your answers!