Lactoferrin is a protein that can be found in both mother's milk and mare's milk. It is an important element for the development of infants. It operates as a natural antibiotic that represses the growth of bacteria by binding itself to iron. Lactoferrin also positively influences autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis, acne and eczema.
The protein has a whole range of biological effects and strengthens the immune system. Both in vitro and animal studies have confirmed this. More recent studies point out that lactoferrin protects against rotaviruses, shigellosis, salmonella infections and Escherichia coli which are all bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal infections and diarrhea. In children younger than 5 years of age, the use of dairy products with lactoferrin seems to decrease the duration and frequency of vomiting and diarrhea in gastroenteritis caused by the rotavirus.
It has been clinically proven that lactoferrin has a positive influence on dermal infections and other inflammatory diseases. A study was performed on the effects of lactoferrin on acne vulgaris. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of fermented milk enriched with lactoferrin on patients with acne, an inflammatory skin condition.
Patients aged 18 to 30 were randomly selected to drink fermented milk with 200mg of lactoferrin per day in a double-blind, placebo controlled study that lasted for 12 weeks. The health of the skin was judged on hydration, tallow, pH and lipids on the surface of the skin, both at the start and at the end of the experiment.
After 12 weeks, a significant improvement was noticed in the group that was administered lactoferrin. The tallow content in the lactoferrin group decreased by 3.1% compared to the placebo group. The total lipid count on the surface of the skin had decreased in both groups, but the most important lipids (amounts of triglyceride and free fatty acids) decreased the most in the lactoferrin group. No changes in hydration of the skin or in pH levels were noted in either group.
Lactoferrin found in Equilac mare's milk is a 100% natural product, contrary to the synthetic lactoferrin variants often found in food supplements.