Human breast milk is the gold standard, providing a myriad of health benefits. Lactoferrin, which is found in high concentration in mammalian milk, is a multifunctional glycoprotein that has antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties. Paolo Manzoni, MD, PhD, explains its critical role in protecting neonates against infection.
Historically, lactoferrin has been low in infant formula due to lower levels in bovine milk; however, advanced technology concentrated bovine lactoferrin in formula. Data show how much lactoferrin is needed, and when it is appropriate to supplement. Lactoferrin supplementation—human or bovine—appears to have measurable clinical benefits. Although inconsistencies exist among major RCTs in terms of lactoferrin efficacy, in study results, Dr. Manzoni identifies various heterogeneity as a cause.