All life, whether plant or animal, is composed of the same fundamental materials. For survival, we must continuously consume other life, which we refer to as food. From whole food, via the process of digestion, we obtain basic "building blocks" (ex. simple sugars, fatty acids, amino acids, and nucleic acids) and "energy" (adenosine triphospate / ATP). For optimum health, we must consume a wide variety of good quality foods in sufficient amounts.
We utilize these basic building blocks and energy to manufacture our body's own signature bio-molecules. As mentioned, all life is composed of the same fundamental materials. However, by eating chicken we don't become chicken; interestingly, by eating chicken that chicken does become us. These signature bio-molecules we self produce are species-specific, multi-functional and encoded into our DNA; these special bio-molecules are known as "Bio-Replenishments".
Bio-Replenishments are not simple vitamins, minerals or plant-extracts; they are complex bioactive proteins. We naturally make Bio-Replenishments inside our body. Everyday, we produce and expend them to support all body systems and vital functions. Examples of Bio-Replenishments include insulin (which regulates glucose metabolism) and lactoferrin (which is involved in host defense, boosting fertility, maintenance of the intestinal epithelia, and much more). Bio-Replenishments are essential for life.
Bio-Replenishments levels must be maintained in optimal range to support life. However, various factors can cause our Bio-Replenishment levels to drop, including poor diet (results in inadequate building blocks and energy to manufacture more), stressful lifestyle (which accelerates its consumption), and aging (we naturally produce less of it over time). Chronic deficiency can lead to disorders, disease or worse death. If Bio-Repenishment levels are low, it should be boosted by eating nutritious food and/or taking select food supplements.
Certain foods contain higher concentration of Bio-Replenishments than others. Rich sources include Nature's "super foods" - specifcally seeds, eggs and milk. These three foods are unique by design. For example, only an egg and seed have the distinct mix of elements to create life. And all mammals, whether a tiger, whale or human, consume the same while liquid - milk - to support their growth and development. Therefore, bioQuad's research focuses on understanding these three super foods.
Bio-Replenishments must be extracted from food via a precise and protective process. Only bioQuad's proprietary extraction method preserves and activates their innate biological activity. Once islolated, Bio-Replenishments must be carefully complexed with the correct co-factors in the right ratios to maximize the final product health benefits. Only bioQuad's exclusive product line is based on this ground-breaking science; it's backed by scientific research, published clinical studies, and protected by multiple patents. Not all food supplements are created equal - check out The bioQuad Difference.
The 'Lactoferrin' Molecule
The word ‘lactoferrin’ (‘lacto’ – means milk; ‘ferrin’ – means iron) denotes an iron-binding compound present in milk. However, lactoferrin is known to bind several other metals including copper, zinc, manganese, and vanadium. Lactoferrin is a 75 to 80-kDa metal-binding glycoprotein that is normally synthesized inside all mammals, including humans. It is a single-gene product (“bio-replenishment”) that is essential for life. Lactoferrin is present in sperm, amniotic/ seminal/ cerebrospinal/ gastric fluids, saliva, tears, vaginal secretions and other body fluids that bathe mucosal surfaces; as well as in the white blood cells (neutrophils) and is localized in several tissues.
Each lactoferrin protein molecule has a capacity to avidly bind two atoms of iron (and other metals) in a reversible manner. Based on its iron-binding status, lactoferrin molecule could exist in either ‘apo’ (iron-free) or ‘holo’ (iron-saturated) forms. lactoferrin molecule could also exist (in a very low proportion), as a partially iron-saturated form, i.e. a single atom of iron bound to each molecule. All the three lactoferrin forms are inter-convertible.
The primary function of lactoferrin is to help provide total body protection (innate host defense) and to maintain healthy physiology (regularity). Lactoferrin is considered a multi-functional protein with a role in several important physiological pathways.
Lactoferrin is naturally produced and utilized in the body to support various vital functions. It is present in various exocrine secretions such as saliva, tears, milk, etc. Normal daily turnover of lactoferrin in a healthy individual is 60mg per day. Lactoferrin is naturally expended via sebum and exudates in skin during inflammation; via seminal fluids in bone joints during exercise; via sperm and vaginal secretions during sex. Following the digestive process, any unabsorbed lactoferrin is excreted in the feces, whereas absorbed lactoferrin passes through the urine.
Lactoferrin has been shown to interact with specific receptors on immune cells, such as neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes and macrophages. Lactoferrin also participates in the regulation of several biochemical mediators involved in the immune response. Lactoferrin is an important component of the immune cascade. The iron-chelating capacity of lactoferrin in the metal-binding pockets, in coordination with bicarbonate anion, has been suggested in the nutritional deprivation and a consequent inhibition of microbial growth.
Lactoferrin is a bi-lobed protein, and each lobe has the ability to bind and transport iron. However, lactoferrin can also bind to other metals including copper, zinc, manganese, and vanadium. In the body, lactoferrin simultaneously exists in three physical states based on its iron (or other metal)-binding status - namely - ‘apo’ (iron-free), ‘holo’ (iron-saturated) or partially iron-saturated forms. All three forms are inter-convertible and associated with specific physiological functions based on the REDOX conditions in its biological environment.
Gastro-Intestinal (GI) Support
Approximately 70% of the immune system is located in the lining of the digestive tract, which is comprised of cells, proteins, tissues and organs. The lining of the gut serves multiple functions including - participating in the digestive process, absorbing essential nutrients from foods, blocking toxins by serving as a protective barrier, etc. Lactoferrin has been shown to help rejuvenate intestinal epithelial mucosa - which promotes healthy digestion, optimizes nutrient absorption and reinforces immune protection.
Most prebiotic compounds are insoluble sugars or fibers (e.g. inulin, fructooligosaccharides, etc.) that stimulate the growth of bacteria; they are non-selective and feed both harmful bacteria and beneficial bacteria (i.e. probiotics such as such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria). Most pathogenic bacteria depend on iron for their energy metabolism whereas probiotics do not. Lactoferrin binds to iron and can selectively promote stimulation of probiotic flora only, which is a selective and unique prebiotic activity.
Antioxidants are substances that protect cells from excessive free radical damage. Free radicals are reactive molecules that the body produces in response to environmental stressors (e.g. stress, toxins, etc.) as well as during the host defense (e.g. within immune cells). The most commonly known antioxidants are plant sourced; their antioxidant activity is instantaneous and short-lived (lasts minutes). In contrast, lactoferrin is an endogenously produced protein that has demonstrated prolonged antioxidant activity (lasts hours).
Commercial Applications of Lactoferrin
Due its numerous health benefits, lactoferrin is widely used as an active ingredient in infant formulae (especially South-East Asian countries), food safety, diagnostics, cosmetics, and nutritional supplements for human and veterinary markets.
Lactoferrin is considered safe and is an accepted health ingredient by various government/ regulatory agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (JMHLW) and many more.
Demand for Lactoferrin
With external stresses and natural aging, levels of bioactive compounds (like lactoferrin) and essential nutrients decline and it becomes important to replenish the body’s reserves. This helps to keep the body healthy and energized. Simply gathering “helpful” ingredients and throwing them into a capsule is not enough - most bioactive compounds have multi-functional properties and must be extracted, isolated and activated in order to optimally perform their desired function.
As demand for lactoferrin increases, need for efficient and effective lactoferrin procurement becomes a key. Lactoferrin is largely harvested from cow milk; however, different protein isolation techniques, as well as quality of the raw material result in variance in lactoferrin biological activity. Nonetheless, global production of lactoferrin is currently estimated at 1,000 metric tons/year, and this figure is continuously growing. Recent advances in lactoferrin research elucidate structure-function relationships, anti-microbial/ anti-inflammatory/ anti-oxidant/ immuno-modulatory properties and cost-effective systems for large-scale protein isolation; which has opened up unlimited opportunities for this bio-replenishment to be used in health industry.
Future of Lactoferrin
Dr. Naidu and his team have pioneered the field of lactoferrin research over the past 30+ years. He leads an international team of scientists and medical specialists in identifying, developing, and providing public access to the unique health benefits of lactoferrin and other bioactive molecules.
His groundbreaking discoveries have laid foundation for the development of novel lactoferrin-based nutraceuticals, therapeutics and healthcare technologies that have positively impacted healthcare globally. The purification and isolation process used for the milk lactoferrin in Lactoferrin Gold 1.8® is so innovative that it has earned the protection of two U.S. patents.