Arm your immune system with nature’s best defense—lactoferrin

Arm your immune system with nature’s best defense—lactoferrin

You hear a lot about the immune system these days. Often, in medicine, the more you hear about something, the less important it turns out to be. But in this case the press has it right. At the risk of being accused of hyperbole, I will say this: The immune system is everything.

Your best defense against threats from within-viruses, bacteria, chemicals, parasites, fungi, tumors, etc. (it’s a jungle in there) is a well-armed immune system.

Mother Nature’s secret weapon

One of the most important weapons this special force has for your defense comes from a sweet and natural source-mother’s milk! The substance, called lactoferrin, is an enzyme that kills biological invaders by denying them iron. In other words, it induces an iron deficiency anemia in the invaders.

Mother’s milk, known as colostrum, has a very high concentration of lactoferrin. This remarkable chemical acts as a defensive shield for the baby against all microscopic invaders. This milk is the only source of lactoferrin available to the newborn baby. It is not available in artificial formula and probably never will be-at least in our lifetimes.

But lactoferrin is not just for babies. It’s an important nutrient that you need for your survival, at any age. When you contract an infection, there is a rapid rise in the lactoferrin content of the blood. For example, if you contract a sore throat, white blood cells race to the scene and start firing lactoferrin-containing granules that bind up all the iron at the scene of conflict, causing a rapidly induced iron deficiency anemia that neutralizes the bacteria.

Bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and other pathogens that require iron to grow will not be able to survive if lactoferrin binds iron in your blood and keeps it away from those cells.

Lactoferrin’s mission: search and destroy-but only the bad guys

Of course, your body needs a certain amount of iron for good health. While lactoferrin makes iron unavailable to harmful intestinal bacteria or cancer cells, it also has the unique ability to transport iron to areas where it is needed. This amazing molecule can fight against infectious agents selectively while allowing important cells, such as the immune cells, to have the amount of iron needed to fight the good fight: It’s one of those great mysteries of life.

Action to take:

While healthy, take one 100-milligram capsule twice daily to bolster your immune system. At the first sign of an infection, double the dose. If you’re recovering from cancer, you can take up to 1,500 milligrams a day without fear of side effects. (This may seem like an extreme amount, but keep in mind that large quantities of lactoferrin are well-tolerated and easily processed by newborn babies.)

Since lactoferrin is a natural substance, large pharmaceutical companies aren’t able to patent it and make millions. But it is available from a number of sources, including some health food stores. If you cannot find lactoferrin in your area, you may wish to order it (as a product called Immunoguard) from a company called Advanced Nutritional Products, P.O. Box 1634, Rockville, MD, 20850, tel. (301)987-9000. RH

Kamen, Betty, Ph.D. “Lactoferrin: A Healing Answer.”