The Tag Team
Monolaurin and Lactoferrin are a tremendous tag-team combination that has been designed into mother’s milk. Monolaurin attacks yeast infections from one direction, Lactoferrin comes from another direction. We talk of how monolaurin’s does it’s part and the clinical confirmation in other articles. Here we focus a little more on lactoferrin.
Lactoferrin is a protein substance that comes from the colostrum in mother’s milk. It is also a cytokine – which are chemical messengers responsible for human immune responses. They help protect us from tumors, cancers, and other infections and foreign pathogens. Low levels lead to immune system suppression and high levels can lead to an over active immune system.
Lactoferrin, also known as lactotransferrin when digested, is a protein with multifunctions. It is a protector in different body fluids such as saliva, nasal secretions, tears and milk. However, the highest concentration of Lactoferrin is in colostrum, the ‘first milk’ that the nursing baby gets from its mother. Regular human milk and cow’s milk are also sources but at lower concentrations (when separated out and concentrated, it is just as effective).
The main role of Lactoferrin is to bind and transport iron ions. However, it is also a part of the immune system and has both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activity. It is here where lactoferrin becomes important as it acts against Candida overgrowth. It defends at mucoses, where candida likes to spread – as well as internally and viginal applications.
It is this ability to bind iron that is part of what makes lactoferrin so important. Iron is used by many foreign pathogens, cancers, and fungi for:
- Growth and reproduction. Candida also uses the iron molecule as…
- A means of travel throughout the body.
By inhibiting them from getting iron, it causes big-time problems for the yeast. This iron binding effect starves the bad bacteria or tumor so it eventually dies without harming good bacteria that doesn’t use iron for survival.
Candida Albicans is the main species of Candida that causes yeast infections. Lactoferrin contains certain molecules that are toxic to bad bacteria, yeast, and molds of all types. Candida albicans was found to be inhibited because of lactoferrins unique ability to stimulate phagocytes that eat candida yeast and other foreign organisms.
Not only does it stimulate phagocyte activity but also neutrophils. These are the primary t-cell responsible for the defense of the body from candida and other fungi. Macrophage function is also boosted along with lymphocytes. (Lymphocytes are another type of immune cell that secrete antibodies and directly attack foreign pathogens.) One type of lymphocyte is known as aNatural Killer cell (NK cell). These NK cells can kill candida yeast in 6/100ths of a second. When an NK cell aquires a target and attacks it, the target always dies without fail.
Lactoferrin Helps Standard Treatments
Many people use lactoferrin, with monolaurin, by themselves. However, as good as they are, some standard treatments may have good things to offer also. At least we recommend it might be good to include them. Many studies have found that adding lactoferrin to standard drugs produce better results than the drugs themselves. (Many studies don’t say what lactoferrin will do by itself – and we have found none that combine monolaurin with lactoferrin. It makes it suspicious that funding was connected, in some way, with the drug industry or support of the institutions.)
However, many studies do say that the combination of other beneficial products for candida yeast should also be taken with lactoferrin. Two of those that would be most effective and not allow the candida yeast to build any resistance are Candex and CP-1. They say the combination of these three things would make for a very potent and safe treatment for almost any yeast infection.
Fluconazole has been one of the standard anti-fungal treatments for Candida but there were problems emerging as the candida developed a resistance to the drug. It was found that since Lactoferrin acts against Candida in the body, by combining it with Fluconazole doctors are able to treat even those strains that had developed a resistance to just the Fluconazole on its own. This is also a very effective treatment method for other types of Candida such as Candida tropicalis, candida parapsilosis, candida Krusei and Candida Glabrata. Again, we wonder why use fluconazole at all if candida is developing a resistance to it?
How Lactoferrin Acts Against Candida
In studies it was found that lactoferricin acts against candida more so than lactoferrin and that synthetic lactoferricin acts against candida more strongly than native lactoferricin. (This is not essential since they don’t mention that your digestive system converts lactoferrin into lactoferricin.)
Candida when harmless stays in single cells, but when it becomes pathogenic it gangs together in bio-films and has strands that seek out new places to infect. Lactoferrin inhibits this change and where drugs being used are struggling to so, help them.Mice who were administered lactoferrin through drinking water had a reduced number of candida albicans, and HIV patients resistant to other treatments greatly benefit from the way lactoferrin acts against candida, in a treatment mixture of lactoferrin, intoakonazol and lysozyme.
Though there is a lot known about lactoferrin and its anti-bacterialproperties, not so much is known about its anti-fungal capabilities and exactly lactoferrin acts against candida. All that is known is that it destroys the cell wall of the fungus and binds to the plasma membrane. It is thought that it starves the candida cells of iron and fluids outside the cell are able to get in which cause damage or kill it. Lactoferrin acts against candida too by helping other process of the immune system such as the neutrophils and macrophages.
Even for Babies
It has been found that lactoferrin can also be used to help newborn babies. When using anti-fungal drugs for candida albicans in newborns, using them with lactoferrin the effectiveness of treatment went up an amazing 50% to 90%. This means less drugs are needed to treat successfully which is better for the newborn as the toxicity of the drugs can of themselves cause health problems.
Reference and Abstract: (Excerpts for those interested in the clinical combination of lactoferrin with some drugs.)
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1999 Nov;43(11):2635-41. Synergistic fungistatic effects of lactoferrin in combination with antifungal drugs against clinical Candida isolates. Kuipers ME, de Vries HG, Eikelboom MC, Meijer DK, Swart PJ.Section of Pharmacokinetics and Drug Delivery, Groningen University Institute for Drug Studies, University Centre for Pharmacy, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands.
Because of the rising incidence of failures in the treatment of severely immune-suppressed patients (such as HIV), there is need for the development of new, more effective agents and/or compounds that support the activity of the common antifungal agents.
Since lactoferrin is one of the nonspecific host defense factors present in saliva that exhibit antifungal activity, we studied the antifungal effects of human, bovine, and iron-depleted lactoferrin in combination with fluconazole, amphotericin B, and 5-fluorocytosine in vitro against clinical isolates of Candida species.
Distinct antifungal activities of lactoferrin were observed against clinical isolates of Candida. Interestingly, in the combination experiments we observed pronounced cooperative activity against the growth of Candida by using lactoferrin and the three antifungals tested. Only in a limited concentration range was minor antagonism detected. The use of lactoferrin and fluconazole appeared to be the most successful combination. Significant reductions in the minimal effective concentrations of fluconazole were found when it was combined with a relatively low lactoferrin concentration (1 mg/ml). Such combinations still resulted in complete growth inhibition, while synergy of up to 50% against several Candida species was observed.
It is concluded that the combined use of lactoferrin and antifungals against severe infections with Candida is an attractive therapeutic option. Since fluconazole-resistant Candida species have frequently been reported, especially in HIV-infected patients, the addition of lactoferrin to the existing fluconazole therapy could postpone the occurrence of species resistance against fluconazole. Clinical studies to further elucidate the potential utility of this combination therapy have been initiated.