Lactoferrin Can Help Shrink a Fat Stomach
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
A double-blind, placebo controlled study showed that individuals with abdominal obesity who took 300 mg of lactoferrin per day1 for eight weeks had a significant reduction in abdominal fat, body weight, BMI, and hip circumference. Those who took lactoferrin lost 1.79 inches from their waistlines, compared to subjects in the control group who lost 0.35 inches. .
Lactoferrin naturally occurs in breast milk and may be one reason why infants who are not breastfed are more likely to gain weight.
In obese adults2 lactoferrin levels are low, and then decrease even further when a high fat meal is consumed. This research also showed that when lactoferrin is low, free radical damage and inflammation are higher (C-reactive protein or CRP). A year earlier this same research team showed that lactoferrin is low in individuals with insulin resistance.3 When immune cells that naturally produce lactoferrin as part of the immune response were challenged, they were unable to produce the normal amount of lactoferrin. Again, this second study showed that low lactoferrin was associated with chronic low-grade inflammation.
While lactoferrin is naturally made in the human body it appears that being overweight may suppress its production and further contribute to metabolic malfunction. Supplemental lactoferrin at the dose of 300 mg per day may help correct this problem. This may also be one reason why overweight individuals tend to have compromised ability to fight the flu or other infections, since lactoferrin is a key part of the natural immune defense.
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