SPLASH! milk science update: August 2015

This month’s issue features how mammary glands “remember,” how dairy helps dieters maintain muscle, carotenoids in breast milk, and a comparison of milk banks around the world.

The Amazing Mammary Memory

The Amazing Mammary Memory

Any dairy farmer or lactation consultant knows that first-time mothers don’t produce as much milk. The peak daily production for a first calf heifer may be around 70 lbs of milk while the same animal on its second lactation can produce 90 lbs of milk daily. Somehow the mammary gland seems to remember how to make milk and does a better job the second time. Why is that? Read More...

Dairy Helps Dieters Maintain Muscle While Losing Fat

Dairy Helps Dieters Maintain Muscle While Losing Fat

If you have ever been on a diet, chances are you own a scale. From contestants on popular weight loss reality shows to at-home dieters, the scale is used as an indispensible tool for measuring dieting success. Unfortunately, those changing numbers on the scale only tell part of the story. Successful weight loss is not just about losing body mass, but about losing fat mass while preserving lean muscle mass. So, what is the secret to success? Dieters eating more protein and fewer carbohydrates have been shown to maintain muscle while dropping fat (1), and a growing number of studies are finding that increased consumption of whey proteins from dairy promotes even greater fat loss and lean muscle preservation (2-5). If you also take into account calcium’s positive effects on fat metabolism, there is great potential for dairy to really tip the scales in a dieter’s favor. Read More...

Got Vegetables?

Got Vegetables?

One of the marvels of breast milk is that its composition stays roughly the same, even when working mothers have lopsided diets, or mothers in poor places cannot find enough to eat. That much is at least true for overall levels of the major components—the fats, proteins and sugars in milk. However, recent research has suggested that chemicals called carotenoids—natural pigments found in fruits and vegetables—appear in breast milk according to how much of them a mother eats. And when compared across countries, by some measures, American moms do a fairly poor job of providing their suckling infants with them. Read More...

Milk Banks Around the World

Milk Banks Around the World

As the benefits of breast milk have become better known and the world has become more connected, sharing or selling it has concomitantly become much more common. Milk banks are the most institutionalized method of milk sharing, and probably the safest, but different countries run them very differently. Read More...