SPLASH! milk science update: AUGUST 2013 Issue

This month’s issue brings stories of how scientists use teeth to learn about weaning, the power of milk to rehydrate after exercise, the many antibacterial protein fragments in milk, and how mother’s milk composition changes with the newborn’s weight and gestation time.

We hope you enjoy these fascinating, true tales of milk!

Weaning in TEETH!

Weaning in TEETH!

Weaning in primates is a fascinating process in which ingestion of mother’s milk, as a proportion of daily dietary intake, incrementally declines as the infant ages. From moment to moment, this exquisite negotiation of nipple access between mother and infant can vary in relation to food availability, maternal style, and the compelling power of the infant demand (a.k.a. weaning tantrum). And lots of other factors can influence the weaning process, too. Read More...

Milk Beats Gatorade at Rehydration

Milk Beats Gatorade at Rehydration

Working out means losing liquid, for some of us more than others. The lost liquid needs to be replaced, particularly if you intend to exercise more on the same day. A whole industry has been built around creating sports drinks to rehydrate athletes—and those of us who can only dream of becoming athletes—quickly and effectively. But for all these branded drinks’ isotonic technicalities, hyperactive coloring, and celebrity sponsorship deals, they tend to come second on rehydration tests behind humble, old milk! Read More...

Milk Peptides Fight Bacteria

Milk Peptides Fight Bacteria

Milk is a wonderfully complex fluid that is not only nutritious but is also physiologically proactive. Recently, David Dallas and his colleagues from University of California at Davis used a cutting-edge approach to probe the depths of milk composition. The initial results revealed that human breast milk contains proteins which are digested into peptides, some with antibacterial properties. Read More...

Mother’s Milk Compensates for Smaller Neonates

Mother's Milk Compensates for Smaller Neonates

The placenta and the mammary gland may be separate organs, but they are better viewed as part of a coordinated team, charged with transferring nutrients, immune factors, and other bioactive components to the developing offspring. The placenta manages the first 40 weeks, but if the baby is born prematurely (<37 weeks gestation), the mammary gland works overtime to produce milk with higher concentrations of components that should have come from the placenta. Read More...