When a baby is born, they require breastmilk as their source of nutrients. Breastfeeding is an essential nutrition source and plays a role in boosting the baby’s immunity. Besides, breast milk supports the development of the baby, both physically and emotionally.
Breastfeeding is an essential aspect for infants and babies. While it may have a plethora of environmental and economic advantages, a small percentage of babies worldwide receive these advantages. It is recommended that an infant exclusively receives breast milk for the first six months of their life. However, most babies don’t get the chance to breastfeed for various reasons. In this case, parents and caregivers turn to infant formula to substitute breastmilk.
What is the Lactoferrin formula?
Baby formula is essential as it, just like breastmilk, provides healthy nutrients for the babies. That is why many companies producing infant formula are eager to provide a formula that mimics breast milk. However, this may seem unfeasible since breast milk contains numerous components varying from one mother to the other. Getting all the contents of breast milk may just be impossible. So, to ensure formula producers provide infant formula that mimics breast milk, they use an element with the highest amount of protein. This element produces what we call lactoferrin.
Lactoferrin is an essential protein obtained from breast milk to help support the general digestive health of an infant. The highest levels of lactoferrin are present in the colostrum, the earliest breast milk responsible for providing immune support for infants during their first weeks of life. So, lactoferrin formula is a name given to the formula containing the element that helps boost the immune system and cognitive development of your little one. A formula containing lactoferrin is considered to be the closest to breast milk.
How is lactoferrin obtained?
As mentioned, it is an essential iron transport protein available in human milk. It is usually in large amounts during the first stages of breast milk. Generally, lactoferrin has a 1.4mg/ml average concentration. Infant milk modified for commercial purposes is made from cow milk containing lower amounts of bovine lactoferrin. That is why it is not easy to add more amounts of lactoferrin into the formulas to make them lactoferrin formula.
Several companies, however, are devising special plans and research that aim to develop a suitable lactoferrin-making process. The process helps in making lactoferrin formula close to the lactoferrin present in breast milk. Making lactoferrin entails many processes. However, the main one entails fermentation. This process ensures to produce a more suitable version of lactoferrin to include in the formulas.
The role of lactoferrin in the body
- Lactoferrin aids in regulating iron absorption in the body from the intestines of a baby.
- It also provides reliable protection against bacterial, viral, and fungal infections in babies. It means that while it protects the baby, it aids in boosting their immunity.
- It contains anti-inflammatory properties and is also an antioxidant.
- Lactoferrin formula is essential in improving cognitive development in an infant. It is usually more important from 2 to 6 months when they show improvement.
- Some women also use lactoferrin when their iron levels drop during pregnancy. They also use the element to prevent sepsis in premature babies.
- It protects babies from diarrhea.
- Lactoferrin formula or supplements minimize NEC in premature babies.
- It helps delay preterm birth.
Lactoferrin is particularly very essential to infants. That is why the children should not lack the nutrients and protection from the protein element in breast milk. Fortunately, many companies are coming up with a breast milk-like formula to provide this essential nutrient to infants who don’t get to breastfeed.