Milky Goodness May Take Down HIV

Now this is an interesting report, especially for these morning hours: HIV researchers at Amersterdam’s Academic Medical Center have found evidence suggesting that lactoferrin, a protein found in cow milk, may hinder HIV’s parasitic abilities.

As we’re sure many of you know, HIV acts by attaching itself to human dendritic cells, disguising itself and wreaking havoc on the immune system before it’s even detectable. Lactoferrin, it seems, also attaches to dendritic receptors, thus blocking HIV’s nefarious grip.

365 Gay elaborates:

The defense systems, called dendritic cells normally block any germs or virus and send them to the lymph glands. But when HIV is sent to the lymph glands it begins to break down the immune system.

Groot and the other researchers have found that lactoferrin is able to attach itself to the receptors on the dendritic cells as does the HIV-virus. It then renders the virus powerless.

Goot also told the network that Lactoferrin also is a very strong HIV-growth inhibitor, so even if the virus somehow escapes, it will have a hard time duplicating itself.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that your daily glass of the white stuff (milk, you pervs) will protect you from HIV. The scientists are quick to point out that stomach acid will render the lactroferrin…well, dead.

If, however, pharmaceutical companies can harness the bovine protein’s potential, they may be able to make cheaper, more effective and widely available drugs.

And, you know, the pharmies are all about making things cheap and widely available.

(Also, can we just say how wonderful would be if milk held the key to stopping HIV? Aside from all the lives that would be saved, there’s a message in there somewhere, it’s just too early for us to work it out…)