SPLASH!® milk science update: October 2017 Issue

This month’s issue features a report on the 14th annual IMGC Symposium, how cow’s milk may improve cognition, the effects of Holder pasteurization on the milk digestion, and how an infant’s diet influences the development of their immune system.

Milk Genomics and Human Health: A Report from the 14th Symposium

Milk Genomics and Human Health: A Report from the 14th Symposium

The 14th International Symposium on Milk Genomics and Human Health was held in the warm and welcoming surrounds of Quebec City, Canada. This was the first time the consortium has been held in Canada, and it was a great opportunity to experience the hospitality and learn from the wonderful dairy science culture of the Canadians and the international program that the committee had assembled. Read More...

Cow’s Milk May Improve Cognition in People with Higher Fasting Glucose

Cow’s Milk May Improve Cognition in People with Higher Fasting Glucose

What we eat is known to influence our cognitive skills, and consuming dairy, in particular, has been associated with improved cognition. “There have been epidemiological studies or observational studies looking over the long term showing that people who ingest a higher amount of dairy products have better cognition in the long run,” says Professor Mary Beth Spitznagel of Kent State University. Read More...

Holder Pasteurization May Alter the Digestion of Human Milk

Holder Pasteurization May Alter the Digestion of Human Milk

There is a laboratory in Rennes, the capital of Brittany, France that seeks to mimic the interior of the human gut. It has a machine with a compartment that pretends to be a stomach, full of acid and enzymes. Another compartment replicates the conditions of the small intestine. A computer modulates how food, in its various stages of digestion, flows through this system, by altering the activity of peristaltic pumps. In the past couple of years, scientists operating this system have put it to work digesting human milk. And because every aspect of digestion can be finely tuned, they can speed up gastric emptying, lower certain enzymatic activities, and raise gastric pH—as per a preterm (relative to a term-born) infant’s system. The main question these scientists seek to answer is how pasteurizing milk by heating to 62.5 °C for 30 minutes alters how well it is digested. Read More...

Infant Diet Influences Gut Microbiome and Immune System Development

Infant Diet Influences Gut Microbiome and Immune System Development

The relationship between bacteria and the immune system is usually viewed as antagonistic, but bacteria and immune cells are not always on opposite teams. In fact, the bacteria that colonize the gastrointestinal tract during infancy actually shape the development of the immune system. Research in humans and nonhuman animals indicates that the types and quantities of immune cells that the infant produces are influenced by the strains of bacteria that take up residence in the infant’s gut. The infant’s diet is an important source of gut bacteria—does this mean that differences in early diet (i.e., mother’s milk vs. formula) could result in differences in immune function? Read More...