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  • 1 Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
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Abstract

Background

Chronic inflammation (CI) is a common trait of aging associated with adverse outcomes including mortality. We hypothesized that recombinant human Lactoferrin (rhLf) would reduce chronic inflammation of aging.

Methods

Thirty-six community dwelling older adults were randomly assigned to rhLf or placebo treatment in 1:1 ratio for 3 months. IL-6, sTNFR1, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP), and Complete Blood Count (CBC) were measured at baseline, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months. Physical and cognitive measures were completed at same timepoints, including 4-m walking speed (m/s), grip strength (kg), 6-min walking distance (m), home activity measured by accelerometer, trail making test – Part A (s) and – Part B (s), and Digit symbol substitution test (number correctly coded). Primary outcomes were differences in IL-6 and sTNFR1 concentrations evaluated by generalized linear model with log-link and gamma family distribution, controlling for baseline cytokine concentrations.

Results

rhLF was well-tolerated. There were a significant number of abdominal complaints and increased drop-out rate in placebo group. Participants in rhLf arm had non-significant lower mean percent increase in IL6 at 3 months (rhLf mean IL-6 6% lower than control, P = 0.843), and sTNFaR1 (rhLf mean 2% lower than control, P = 0.36). No significant changes were observed for the cognitive or physical measures.

Conclusion

Treatment with rhLf did not significantly alter serum IL6 or sTNFR1 concentrations of older adults. This study may have been underpowered to detect difference, but provided evidence that a larger sample-size could more definitively determine the effect of rhLF on age-associated CI.

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