Leveraging lactoferrin

Can a glycoprotein found in milk support immunity?

Consumers today are increasingly aware that the best medicine is preventative and are therefore taking a more active role in both preserving and improving their immune health. As such, they are also increasingly careful when choosing what goes into their bodies. A world of knowledge is just a click away, and they are easily able to find out everything about the ingredients in the products they consume, including functional food and drinks and supplements.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 47% of consumers said they regularly researched ingredients to help decide their best options. As the pandemic struck, this preference took on new urgency and the focus turned to immune health support. In fact, the number of consumers that actively wanted to improve their immunity rose from 53% in 2019 to 70% in 2020. Contemporary consumers want immune health solutions that contain scientifically proven ingredients, backed by clinical evidence.

Supporting immunity

Encompassing a complex set of defence mechanisms, the human immune system is honed to protect itself from both external and internal threats. Crucially, it must perform strongly enough to avoid infection, constantly alert and continually evolving to track down, identify and destroy new and recurring pathogens – while also distinguishing pathogens from harmless or beneficial substances.

However, the strength and variety of an immune response is completely unique to each person, depending not only on genetic factors, but also on environment, age, body composition and other factors. This is why more consumers are relying on functional foods, drinks and supplements to obtain some of the nutritional benefits their diets may lack and to help support their immune systems.

This article is available in full in the April-May 2021 issue of Nutraceuticals Now

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