PHARMACISTS in Italy have reported a surge in a baby milk supplement being snapped up by people looking to protect themselves against Covid.
A video claiming that Lactoferrin, a product usually marketed as an immune system booster for babies, went viral and sparked people within Italy to flock to their nearest pharmacy in order to buy the ‘miracle’ product.
However, despite a small clinical trial commencing in Rome, there has been no confirmation about whether or not the drug is actually effective against coronavirus.
“We don’t know anything about this product – we’re blind too,” a pharmacist told AFP on condition of anonymity, confirming that demand was spiking. “When people are scared, they will believe anything.”
Lactoferrin is an important immune-supporting glycoprotein that is found in breast milk. One of the biological activities of lactoferrin comes from its powerful ability to bind iron which promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Although the substance is sold most often as a supplement for babies, it is also branded by one firm as “CovAlt” and sold in a product range that includes hand gels and other items associated with the virus.
Sales for their version of the baby milk supplement are being snapped up in Italy, however, those looking to try and protect themselves against Covid have to be careful when purchasing, and using, large quantities of untested products.
Lactoferrin as potential preventative and adjunct treatment for COVID-19
Authors review the underlying biological mechanisms of Lf as an antiviral and immune regulator, and propose its unique potential as a preventative and adjunct treatment for #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/XFOBddPLqZ
— Medical Science and Technology #StayAlert (@MedicalScitech) October 31, 2020
The demand for Lactoferrin has meant a large pharmacy in central Rome is now shifting up to 100 boxes of the supplement each week compared with just two or three in a month in normal times.
“I don’t ask whether people are buying this for COVID – it’s getting to flu season so maybe some people are buying it for that,” said a worker at the Igea San Gallicano pharmacy in Rome.
“But if someone comes and buys in bulk, you just know they’re buying it because of COVID.”
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