Researchers at the University of Huddersfield have found a protein that could be taken as a supplement to combat Covid-19.

Lactoferrin found in breastmilk, for example in cow milk and human milk, is believed to have anti-viral properties for Covid and other respiratory tract infections.

A study carried out by the university’s Department of Pharmacy found that Lactoferrin shows “promising efficacy” in reducing the risk of respiratory tract infections.

Dr Hamid Merchant, who led the study, said: “This is a very promising molecule which can be adopted as an adjunct therapy for Covid-19 and could be part of a daily routine for people to take along with vitamin C and D and zinc supplements to keep our immune system healthy.

“Particularly now winter is almost upon us we need this extra protection a lot more now than during the summer.”

More trials will now take place and Dr Merchant also warned that low cost lactoferrin supplements being sold online was often not of the desired quality. As a nutritional supplement, the production of lactoferrin isn’t legally enforced to follow the same strict regulatory process as for medicines.

Moreover, supplements available in the form of orodispersible tablets (dissolved slowly in the mouth) are superior to commonly available lactoferrin products that are meant to be swallowed with water.