Study finds milk-derived ingredient effective against influenza virus

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Testing found the antiviral activity of IDP was 120% more effective against Influenza A than lactoferrin. Pic: Getty Images/inkoly
Testing found the antiviral activity of IDP was 120% more effective against Influenza A than lactoferrin. Pic: Getty Images/inkoly

Related tags: Influenza, Virus, lactoferrin, Milk, microbiome

Research commissioned by New Zealand company Quantec, and completed by an independent US laboratory, has found its patented milk-derived ingredient IDP (Immune Defense Proteins) is effective against influenza virus species.

At a time when there is an intense global focus on viruses, Quantec commissioned the independent in vitro study to see if IDP had antiviral activity, and if so whether its formulation, which contains over 50 bioactive proteins, provides greater antiviral activity than a singular protein.

The antiviral activity of IDP was tested against two viral species, influenza A H1N1/Puerto Rico/8/34 and herpes simplex HSV-1 MacIntyre, and compared against purified (95%) lactoferrin. Lactoferrin has been shown in studies to have antiviral activity.

Influenza A is a virus commonly implicated with flu, and herpes simplex is implicated in the causation of cold sores.

The testing found that the antiviral activity of IDP was 120% more effective against Influenza A than lactoferrin, and similar in terms of its efficacy against the herpes simplex virus.

In the testing, IDP achieved IC50 based on 9.7mg/ml compared to Lactoferrin’s 21.8mg/ml, making IDP twice as powerful.

Founder of Quantec, Dr Rod Claycomb, said the results suggest IDP could play an important role in protecting cells from influenza or herpes infections.

“These are exciting results for IDP and they support our ongoing development of new products, based on the benefits provided by the powerful synergy in the IDP complex.

“Nature created the bioactive proteins in milk to work together with the body’s microbiome to support the immune system. We continue to extend our knowledge of the benefits of the IDP protein complex and its application to support immune health.”

Established in 2009, Quantec has developed, manufactured and commercialized IDP, which contains more than 50 bioactive proteins found naturally in milk to protect the cow from infection and inflammation.

Quantec patented the discovery that the IDP suite of proteins has significantly higher bioactivity than singular milk proteins, such as lactoferrin. The compound has already been proven to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-microbial properties.

Quantec chief executive Raewyn McPhillips said these properties make IDP particularly effective as an active ingredient for functional skincare and dietary supplements, due to its ability to work topically on the skin, oral and gut surfaces.

“At Quantec we produce and market supplement ranges that feature IDP such as Milkamune, suitable for adults and children, and the skincare range Epiology which uses IDP to prevent the spread of acne-causing bacteria.  IDP is also used as a key ingredient for food and beverage products in the form of powder sachets, protein beverages and chewable tablets that are currently sold in China and other Asian markets.

“A key part of our approach to grow Quantec is to work with strategic partners in key markets; our 20-year agreement with China-based Holon, a significant player in the Chinese supplement market with their brand Laitap, is an example of this.”


Following this research project, Quantec said it will progress further studies aimed at translating these in vitro results into clinical results.

Related topics: R&D, Ingredients, Functional Dairy


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