SPLASH! milk science update: DECEMBER 2012 Issue

This month, many of our articles make links between human health and milk. We explore a glycan found in human milk that may help curb metabolic disease, how milk helps oral health, and how milk lymphocytes help protect infants from HIV. Additionally, did you know mammals aren’t the only ones that produce milk for their young? Read on to learn about these fascinating milk findings.

Enjoy!

Milk glycan cures metabolic disease (in mice)

Milk glycan cures metabolic disease (in mice)

What do human milk and parasitic worms have in common? It sounds like an opening to a joke, but the answer reported in Nature Medicine is seriously cool. Both human milk and parasitic worms contain an unusual glycan that improves insulin resistance and reverses fatty liver disease in a mouse model. Read More...

Milk promotes oral health

Milk promotes oral health

In almost every European language, milk has lent its name to the first teeth that people develop. But the association between milk and teeth is much more than linguistic, as a series of papers published this year demonstrates. Researchers from Denmark and Australia have reported that cow's milk helps to reduce the impact of bacterial species known to contribute to the development of cavities and gum disease. Another group in Sweden has found breast milk to have similar properties. Read More...

Milk lymphocytes battle HIV

Milk lymphocytes battle HIV

Contagious viral diseases have been the scourge of mammals ever since mammals first emerged some two hundred million years ago. There has been an arms race ever since, with viruses evolving new mechanisms to invade mammals, and in response, mammals evolve new counteractive defense strategies. The success of these evolutionary countermeasures is evidenced by our current existence, but the conflict continues. Read More...

Milk: Not just for moms, not just for mammals

Milk: Not just for moms, not just for mammals

Last month was Movember, during which men grow facial hair to raise awareness of men's health. I started thinking about milk moustaches and realized you can't have a milk moustache if you don't have lips. I guess we won't be seeing pigeons in any upcoming dairy ad campaigns- even though they make "milk," and it functions like the milk of mammals. "Pigeon milk" was first systematically described in the 1930s and continues to intrigue dairy scientists through today. Read More...