Lactoferrin useful for asymptomatic Cod positive patients or with mild symptoms. This was revealed by a clinical study ‘Lactoferrin as Antiviral Treatment in Covid-19 Management: Preliminary Evidence’ published in the scientific journal ‘Journal of Enviromental Research and Public Health’. The study that defines in a preliminary manner the usefulness of using lactoferrin supplements (tablets in liposomal formulation or in intranasal spray) in the prevention of Covid-19 and in the treatment of asymptomatic positive patients or with mild symptoms.
The research provides a possible answer to all those who find themselves positive for the new coronavirus but develop only mild symptoms from Covid -19 (colds, musculoskeletal pains, taste and smell or intestinal changes) or who even remain asymptomatic. In these cases, in fact, there is no evidence on the type of treatment to be followed, which is usually limited to the intake of generic antipyretics. Furthermore, patients often wonder how their immune defenses can be strengthened to prevent viral infection.
The study on lactoferrin, which saw the collaboration of the Tor Vergata University of Rome, the La Sapienza University of Rome and the Italian Society of Environmental Medicine (Sima), was conducted during the crucial phases of the pandemic, when it had not yet been ascertained the mechanism of action of the virus in the irrepressible triggering of the inflammatory storm. “The results just published are added to the scientific evidence that found space in various articles on the possible use of lactoferrin in Sars-Cov-2 positive subjects”, says professor Alessandro Miani, president of Sima.
Lactoferrin is a glycoprotein present in all body fluids and mucous membranes, released by our white blood cells (neutrophils) as a fundamental component of the so-called innate immunity. It directly inhibits viral infection binding to viral receptor sites and host cells preventing the virus from infecting them. It also binds to the now infamous Spike protein of the coronavirus. Furthermore, increases the systemic immune response to viral invasion and has indirect anti-inflammatory functions as it can also bind free iron which instead favors the replication of the virus.
“The idea of using lactoferrin in paucisymptomatic and asymptomatic Covid-19 patients was born in relation to the scientific evidence already published in 2011 on the protective effect of lactoferrin against SarsCov and on the global antiviral properties of the molecule studied and confirmed, both in vitro that in vivo, in the last decade ”, explains Professor Elena Campione of the University of Rome Tor Vergata. “The in vitro evidence on the neutralizing effect of lactoferrin on Sars-Cov-2, already suggested by various groups of researchers both in Italy and abroad, marked a decisive turning point, and have already been confirmed by computational simulations of docking and molecular dynamics “.
“In our clinical trial, asymptomatic and paucisymptomatic Covid-19 positive subjects were studied, treated with 1 gram per day of a liposomal formulation of lactoferrin orally and in intranasal spray formulation, compared to two other groups of subjects, one of which treated with standard therapy and the other group of asymptomatics in good conditions at home without treatment ”, continues Campione.
“The effects of lactoferrin treatment on Covid-19 symptoms were observed from the first days, with gradual disappearance of the alteration or loss of taste (respectively dysgeusia and ageusia) and loss of smell (anosmia). Bowel symptoms also improved along with muscle aches. There were no adverse events from treatment.
Furthermore, in subjects treated with lactoferrin, a period of 14 days was observed to obtain negativization of the molecular swab, compared to 27 days in the subjects treated with standard therapy and 32 in the untreated group. Finally, the blood chemistry tests of the subjects treated with lactoferrin supplementation revealed a decrease in the values of ferritin, interleukin 6 and the fibrinogen dimer. These studies can continue thanks to the intervention of the Terzo Pilastro Internazionale Foundation and in particular of Professor Emmanuele Francesco Maria Emanuele, who has constantly supported our research ”.
“These results, albeit preliminary, strengthen the rationale for the use of lactoferrin, both in prevention and in the treatment of Covid positive patients suffering from comorbidities, even if vaccinated, to control the effects of the virus both in the short and in the long term, still not fully clarified. In this regard, further studies are underway on the mechanism of action of lactoferrin, in preventing viral replication and invasion of the host cell and on the biochemical process that underlies the antiviral function ”, concludes Miani.