This is an study pointing how Iron affects the growth of Lactic Acid bacteria in the gut. Here is where Apo-Lactoferrin may play an important role.
Could a Probiotic Be Used to Treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
ScienceDaily (Oct. 19, 2011) — Scientists have been unclear for some time about how most probiotics work. A new study has found a scientific 'design' for a probiotic that could be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn's disease.
The research by academics at the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences and School of Clinical Medicine is published online in the journal PLoS ONE.
Most probiotics on the market, such as Lactobacillus andBifidobacterium, are lactic acid bacteria. Although probiotics have been shown to successfully maintain remission in IBD, evidence of their effectiveness in active disease is rare. The researchers have found that this is because an increase in iron levels, which happens during active IBD, inhibits the growth of probiotic bacteria, including Lactobacillus.
Iron levels increase in the intestine during inflammation, bleeding, during stress and when people are taking iron supplements. Iron is critically important to the growth of most species of bacteria, including pathogens, and its availability is what restricts their growth. It is well known that pathogens increase growth rate by up to 8,000 times when exposed to increased levels of iron. Lactic acid bacteria are unusual as they have evolved not to require iron, and so do not increase growth rate when exposed to it.