Bacteriostatic Effects of Orally Administered Bovine Lactoferrin on Intestinal Bacteria in the Gut of Mice Fed Bovine Milk
The antimicrobial role of ingested lactoferrin in the gut of infant animals remains unclear. To investigate the in vivo effects of lactoferrin on intestinal bacteria, we used milk-fed mice. Feeding bovine milk to mice resulted in a great increase in the number of intestinal Enterobacteriaceae in the gut. When mice were fed milk with bovine lactoferrin (bLf) added, the proliferation of Enterobacteriaceae was suppressed significantly. When milk-fed mice were orally inoculated with Clostridium ramosum C1, this strain proliferated in the gut and became the dominant component of the fecal microflora. In this model, administered bLf suppressed the proliferation of this strain and decreased the number of C. ramosum and other bacteria in the feces. A similar effect of bLf was observed after oral inoculation with other species of Clostridium. Compared with other proteins, only bLf showed these specific activities. Pepsin-hydrolyzed bLf (bLfH) showed the same effect on intestinal bacteria as undigested bLf. These results suggest that lactoferrin contained in mammalian milk may protect infant animals from gastrointestinal infections even after it has been digested to some extent.
KeywordsIntestinal Bacterium Bovine Milk Whey Protein Isolate Clostridium Species Oral Inoculation
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