Bovine lactoferrin, extracted from milk or whey, is used in a range of products to enhance immunity and support digestive health, iron absorption, and homeostasis. This study examined the absorption and effect of Progel (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) microencapsulated bovine lactoferrin (InferrinTM
, Bega Bionutrients, Victoria, Australia) on immune markers and the microbiome. A double-blind randomised, cross-over trial was conducted with 12 healthy males randomised to one of two doses, equivalent to 200 mg or 600 mg lactoferrin, for two four-week supplementation arms, with a two-week washout period. Subjects received either standard bovine lactoferrin or InferrinTM
for each arm. Baseline and post each trial arm, CD69+ activation on CD4+ and CD8+ cells was analysed, bovine and human lactoferrin contents of faecal and serum samples were reported, and the gut microbiome was analysed using 16S sequencing and metagenomic sequencing. The mean level of CD69+ activation on the CD4+ cells was lower after supplementation regardless of the form or dose of lactoferrin. This was statistically significant for the 200 mg dose. A higher level of bovine lactoferrin was found post-supplementation in those taking InferrinTM
, although this was not statistically significant. Changes in phylum-level microbial community profiling were detected post-supplementation in the second trial arm, particularly in those receiving InferrinTM
. Metagenomic sequencing showed changes in the volumes of the top 100 species of bacteria present before and after all treatment arms. Results suggest that lactoferrin supplementation may have beneficial effects on the microbiome and immune system, and that the use of InferrinTM
improves absorption. Larger detailed studies are needed to ascertain the potential positive effects of bovine lactoferrin supplementation.
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