Nutraceutical and Health-Promoting Potential of Lactoferrin, an Iron-Binding Protein in Human and Animal: Current Knowledge

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2024 Jan;202(1):56-72. doi: 10.1007/s12011-023-03658-4. Epub 2023 Apr 14.


Lactoferrin is a natural cationic iron-binding glycoprotein of the transferrin family found in bovine milk and other exocrine secretions, including lacrimal fluid, saliva, and bile. Lactoferrin has been investigated for its numerous powerful influences, including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-osteoporotic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective, and other beneficial health effects. Lactoferrin demonstrated several nutraceutical and pharmaceutical potentials and have a significant impact on improving the health of humans and animals. Lactoferrin plays a critical role in keeping the normal physiological homeostasis associated with the development of pathological disorders. The current review highlights the medicinal value, nutraceutical role, therapeutic application, and outstanding favorable health sides of lactoferrin, which would benefit from more exploration of this glycoprotein for the design of effective medicines, drugs, and pharmaceuticals for safeguarding different health issues in animals and humans.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Anti-microbial; Anticancer; Immune response; Lactoferrin; Nutraceuticals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Glycoproteins
  • Humans
  • Iron-Binding Proteins*
  • Lactoferrin* / pharmacology
  • Transferrin


  • Lactoferrin
  • Iron-Binding Proteins
  • Transferrin
  • Glycoproteins
  • Antioxidants