Lactoferrin Activates Hyaluronic Acid Synthesis

Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Lactoferrin Activates Hyaluronic Acid Synthesis
Lactoferrin is a natural component of human and bovine milk. You naturally make it throughout life and it is found in your tears and saliva. It is best known for its role as a potent immune boosting and anti-inflammatory nutrient. It has now been discovered that lactoferrin participates in the regulation of the repair/growth process due to its ability to stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid. This is an important finding with diverse applications for various issues including joint health, disc health, general rejuvenation.

The researchers found that lactoferrin signals human skin fibroblasts (carpenter cells for building skin) to make more hyaluronic acid, resulting in increased collagen synthesis. Hyaluronic acid is the foundation molecule for all tissues in the human body. It is also highly concentrated in joints as a lubricant. This current study was demonstrating that lactoferrin can enhance wound healing. While that is true, the mechanism of its action is fundamental to general tissue regeneration and anti-aging.

You can also take hyaluronic acid as a supplement. I prefer the low-molecular weight form from rooster comb, which has yielded excellent results for many people. Lactoferrin supplementation is yet another way to help address this issue, helping your own cells make more hyaluronic acid. Because lactoferrin is also a potent immune system regulator it offers additional benefits in individuals with a lacking immune response and in individuals with autoimmune response (such as rheumatoid arthritis). In other words lactoferrin can help make new tissues while calming down immune-related tissue destruction.

Bovine lactoferrin is highly concentrated in colostrum, is found in whey protein, and can be purified for use in dietary supplements. I usually think of lactoferrin specifically for immune support, especially vital to an infant with an inexperienced immune system. Of course, the other thing infants need to do is grow very rapidly. It is not surprising to find that lactoferrin is a key signaling molecule that also assists new tissue formation. Our bodies seldom use any nutrient for just one thing. It is clear that lactoferrin is a multi-dimensional nutrient powerhouse, also helping bones and weight management.

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