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- About lactoferrin
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About Morinaga's Infant Formulas
Lactoferrin is a functional material that has been blended into various foods in recent years. Let's examine the characteristics and origin of lactoferrin.
Lactoferrin is a type of protein contained in milk and it is important for immune functions.
Lactoferrin is a protein contained in the milk of most mammals – it is found in human breast milk and is especially rich in colostrum, which is excreted for several days after child delivery.
Lactoferrin is considered an essential ingredient to maintain babies' health. Recognizing the importance of lactoferrin through infant formula studies, we began to research it ourselves.
Lactoferrin is present in external secretions from the body, such as saliva, tears and nasal secretion, mucous fluid and neutrophil, which is a type of white blood cell, in addition to breast milk. It is considered a defense factor that prevents attacks from bacteria and viruses that enter from the outside. Also attracting attention as a protein that plays various other health-related roles, lactoferrin is actively being researched both in Japan and abroad.
Origin of the name of lactoferrin
The name lactoferrin was created combining "lacto," which means milk, and ferrin, which means iron-binding protein. Lactoferrin, which has a very strong power to bind iron, is known to restrict the growth of microorganisms due to this property.
How much lactoferrin is contained in milk?
Human colostrum (breast milk produced until around the fifth day after child delivery) contains about 600mg of lactoferrin per 100ml. Normal milk (breast milk three weeks following child birth and thereafter) contains about 200mg of lactoferrin.
Also, lactoferrin is present in cow's milk before it is sterilized (hereinafter referred to as raw milk). Raw milk is for baby cows, so it contains lactoferrin. However, the concentration of lactoferrin in raw milk is about one tenth compared with human breast milk, indicating a very high level of lactoferrin in human breast milk.