Whey for Osteopenia or Osteoporosis - does it make sense? One of the newer areas of research is the effect of lactoferrin on bone growth. This research has been led by scientists in New Zealand and it shows real promise for those interested in promoting bone growth.
(Lactoferrin is a protein found in milk - both in cows milk and human milk. Colostrum, the first milk produced after a baby is born, contains high levels of lactoferrin.)
As a result of university studies, some people are considering using lactoferrin in their general bone growth plan. Othersask, " Why not just drink milk?"
This is a good question. As noted above lactoferrin is a protein.
Milk has two main sources of protein: cassein and whey. It is the
latter that contains lactoferrin. So you can get a more concentrated
form of lactoferrin by consuming this than if you drink whole milk. Also, milk has an acidic ph (not good for bones) while lactoferrin does not.
What should I look for in a commercial product? Current technological processing includes ultrafiltration, microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ion-exchange. These have resulted in a number of different commercial products:
1.Protein concentrates (ranging from 80-95 percent protein)
Note that each commercial product differs in the amount of protein, carbohydrates, immunoglobulins, lactose, minerals, and fat it contains. Also there may be different concentration of lactoferrin. So, take time to read labels on all the products offered.
Remember you are looking for a particular substance: lactoferin, which can help you increase your bone density.
Most of the time you will find these products in the body building section of your health food stores - since body builders are particularly interested in forms of concentrated protein.
It is unlikely that you will find them in the same section as calcium or other bone building substances! In fact, some of the staff in your local health food store may not know the research concerning lactoferrin and bone growth. So reading this article may put you 'ahead of the game' for natural ways to increase your bone density.
Are there negatives about using this product? If you are buying a commercially prepared product and planning to use it for health purposes, you want to be sure that it comes from cows that meet the highest health standards.
Many persons look for products derived from cows raised with no antibiotics and pastured (fed) organic grass.
With the emergence of mad cow disease, many also check the country of origin to make sure the product they are buying does not come from cows raised in countries where there is a history of the disease.