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Bovine Lactoferrin Reduces Infection in Babies

07 October 2009

US - Supplements of the milk protein lactoferrin alone or in combination with a probiotic reduced the incidence of infection in pre-term babies, says a new study.

Very low birth-weight infants assigned to receive lactoferrin supplements, alone or with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), could reduce the incidence of late-onset sepsis by over 12 per cent, according to results of a randomised trial from Italy, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The report said that infections or late-onset sepsis were the most common cause of death in premature infants arising around the time of birth and affect ing20 per cent of low birth-weight babies.

The study found that the incidence of late-onset sepsis in the infants supplemented with lactoferrin from cow’s milk was 5.9 per cent, while the incidence in infants receiving lactoferrin plus LGG was 4.6 per cent.

“This study has demonstrated that supplemental bovine lactoferrin, either alone or in combination with LGG, reduces first episodes of late-onset sepsis in very-low birth weight infants," said research leader, Paolo Manzoni.

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