SPLASH! milk science update: April 2016

This month’s issue features combatting malnutrition with certain milk sugars, increasing breast milk production with herbs, suggestions from the recent edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and how trans fats from dairy may be healthier than other sources of trans fats.

Dairy Industry’s Opportunity to Combat Malnutrition with Milk Sugars

Dairy Industry’s Opportunity to Combat Malnutrition with Milk Sugars

Childhood malnutrition is a major global problem that can lead to severe growth stunting and causes more than 3 million deaths every year. Efforts to develop therapeutic foods to counteract the effects of malnutrition have had limited success. A new study finds that diets supplemented with specific milk sugars helped to promote growth and metabolic processes. Read More...

Herbs to Aid Breastfeeding

Herbs to Aid Breastfeeding

The benefits of breastfeeding are well known, yet however hard some women try, they struggle to produce sufficient milk. For millennia, herbal remedies have been thought to fix this problem. Even Hippocrates—from whose name comes the “Hippocratic Oath”—is said to have advised, “If the milk should dry up give her to drink the fruit and roots of fennel.” To this day, however, there is limited reliable data on whether herbal supplements actually work. Read More...

New Dietary Guidelines Emphasize Dairy for Better Health

New Dietary Guidelines Emphasize Dairy for Better Health

Americans just received their dietary report card, and are doing below average in almost every category. With one in two American adults suffering from a preventable chronic disease, we must find ways to improve our marks in nutrition. Every five years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provide help in a nutritional study guide, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). The recently announced 2015-2020 DGA tackles many of the same dietary issues highlighted in previous editions (e.g., too much saturated fat, too few vegetables, not enough calcium), but offers a new approach to reaching the recommended healthy diet. Rather than a complete dietary overhaul, Americans are instead encouraged to think about making small shifts in their current diet choices; high-calorie, low-nutritional-value foods and drinks should be substituted with those that are nutrient-dense. Leading DGA’s list of nutrient-dense choices are low- and fat-free dairy foods, including milk, yogurt, and cheese. And because dairy foods offer a set of nutrients (including calcium, protein, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc) not all together found in any other recommended nutrient-dense food, meeting the daily-recommended intake for dairy may be the only way to earn passing grades in all nutritional categories. Read More...

Dairy’s Trans Fats Associated with Health Benefits

Dairy's Trans Fats Associated with Health Benefits

In 2007, they were banned from all restaurants in New York City. In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claimed that they were no longer “generally recognized as safe” for use in human food. And in 2015, the FDA went one step further and gave the food industry three years to remove them from all human food products. What are these evil and soon to be illegal food items?—trans fatty acids (TFA). Read More...