Skip to main content Accessibility help


In a nutshell

Lactoferrin is found in milk - human and animal. It has therapeutic potential as an iron supplement, against infection, inflammation and cancer.

The evidence is so far mainly laboratory and animal data, with a small number of human trials beginning to be published, to this point with mixed results. An example is its use as treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection.



Hide All
1. Ling, JM. et al. Perspectives on interactions between lactoferrin and bacteria. Biochem Cell Biol. 2006 Jun;84(3):275–81.
2. Marshall, K. Therapeutic applications of whey protein. Altern Med Rev. 2004 Jun;9(2):136–56.
3. Andersen, JH. Technology evaluation: rh lactoferrin, Agennix. Curr Opin Mol Ther. 2004 Jun;6(3):344–9.
4. Ward, PP. et al. Multifunctional roles of lactoferrin: a critical overview. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2005 Nov;62(22):2540–8.
5. Clare, DA. et al. Biodefense properties of milk: the role of antimicrobial proteins and peptides. Curr Pharm Des. 2003;9(16):1239–55.
6. D'Inca, R. et al. Calprotectin and lactoferrin in the assessment of intestinal inflammation and organic disease. Int J Colorectal Dis. 2006 Jul 13; [Epub ahead of print]
7. Yakuwa, K. et al. Recombinant human lactoferrin has a potential to suppresses uterine cervical ripening in preterm delivery in animal model. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2006 Oct 10; [Epub ahead of print]
8. Bethell, DR. et al. Recombinant human lactoferrin treatment for global health issues: iron deficiency and acute diarrhea. Biometals. 2004 Jun;17(3):337–42.
9. Lonnerdal, B. et al. Absorption of iron from recombinant human lactoferrin in young US women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;83(2):305–9.
10. Hernell, O. et al. Iron status of infants fed low-iron formula: no effect of added bovine lactoferrin or nucleotides. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Oct;76(4):858–64.
11. Yamauchi, K. et al. Bovine lactoferrin: benefits and mechanism of action against infections. Biochem Cell Biol. 2006 Jun;84(3):291–6.
12. Berkhout, B. et al. The antiviral activity of the milk protein lactoferrin against the human immunodeficiency virus type 1. Biometals. 2004 Jun;17(3):291–4.
13. Kim, WS. et al. Growth-promoting effects of lactoferrin on L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium spp. Biometals. 2004 Jun;17(3):279–83.
14. Conneely, OM. Antiinflammatory activities of lactoferrin. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Oct;20(5 Suppl):389S395S.
15. Okuda, M. et al. Bovine lactoferrin is effective to suppress Helicobacter pylori colonization in the human stomach: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Infect Chemother. 2005 Dec;11(6):265–9.
16. Zullo, A. et al. Quadruple therapy with lactoferrin for Helicobacter pylori eradication: a randomised, multicentre study. Dig Liver Dis. 2005 Jul;37(7):496500.
17. Okada, S. et al. Dose-response trial of lactoferrin in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Jpn J Cancer Res. 2002 Sep;93(9):1063–9.
18. Tanaka, K. et al. Lactoferrin inhibits hepatitis C virus viremia in patients with chronic hepatitis C: a pilot study. Jpn J Cancer Res. 1999 Apr;90(4):367–71.
19. Yamauchi, K. et al. Oral administration of bovine lactoferrin for treatment of tinea pedis. A placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Mycoses. 2000;43(5):197202.
20. Trumpler, U. et al. Antibacterial prophylaxis with lactoferrin in neutropenic patients. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1989 Apr;8(4):310–3.
21. Cornish, J. et al. Lactoferrin and bone; structure-activity relationships. Biochem Cell Biol. 2006 Jun;84(3):297302.
22. Lindmark-Mansson, H. et al. Antioxidative factors in milk. Br J Nutr. 2000 Nov;84 Suppl 1:S103–10.
23. Tsuda, H. et al. Cancer prevention by bovine lactoferrin and underlying mechanisms--a review of experimental and clinical studies. Biochem Cell Biol. 2002;80(1):131–6.
24. Hayes, TG. et al. Phase I trial of oral talactoferrin alfa in refractory solid tumors. Invest New Drugs. 2006 May;24(3):233–40.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.