Lactoferrin May Help Alleviate Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Lactoferrin pic

Possessing more than two decades of professional experience, Dr. Matthew Taub is a board-certified oncologist who also trained in hematology. Dr. Matthew Taub treats patients through Everglades Oncology and Hematology in Miramar, Florida. Relying on evidence-based practices in oncology, he continually seeks out new information that can improve the patient experience, especially in relation to chemotherapy.

Researchers have recently found that a daily lactoferrin supplement may help mitigate some of the taste and smell abnormalities observed in patients who undergo chemotherapy. About 60 to 70 percent of patients experience these issues in relation to this treatment, but researchers have still not identified the underlying cause. Alleviating these symptoms could help generate more optimism among patients battling cancer.

The initial study, conducted at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech), involved only 19 patients and 12 healthy controls. The researchers associated taste and smell abnormalities with high levels of salivary iron and the loss of certain salivary immune proteins. Lactoferrin supplementation was found to reduce salivary iron significantly while increasing immune proteins like annexin A1 and proteinase inhibitor. In addition, there was a significant reduction in the taste and smell abnormality score among patients undergoing chemotherapy, with a P-value of less than 0.001.


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