subject: omega-3

Human Milk Lowers Risk of Retinopathy Among Preterm Infants

Human Milk Lowers Risk of Retinopathy Among Preterm Infants

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a common affliction of very young preterm infants that can lead to blindness. It occurs when the blood supply to the retina develops abnormally. In some cases, this problem is so severe it can cause the retina to detach from the back inner wall of the eye. Decades ago, medical researchers demonstrated a difficulty in the care of the tiniest preterm infants: supplying these infants with lots of oxygen improved their chances of survival, while at the same time increasing their risk of ROP. A recent meta-analysis, however, offers more straightforward advice to neonatal intensive care units: Providing human milk to a very young preterm infant—whatever amount is available—significantly reduces the risk of the disease. Read More...

Getting More Omega-3 Fatty Acids from Milk

Getting More Omega-3 Fatty Acids from Milk

In the early 20th century, vitamin D was added to commercial cow’s milk in response to the rise in malnourished children and adults with insufficient amounts of this essential nutrient in their diets. Today, many Americans and other populations consuming a primarily Western diet face another nutritional challenge. Despite having plentiful amounts of fat, the Western diet is lacking in a specific group of fatty acids called omega-3s, touted for their benefits to heart and brain health. In an effort to increase omega-3 intake, food manufacturers have started fortifying commonly consumed foods, including breads, cereals and eggs, with these essential fatty acids. Cow’s milk also is getting in on the act, in more ways than one. Do more omega-3s for cows mean more omega-3s for milk consumers? 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...

The new frontier of milk quality & nutrition

The new frontier of milk quality & nutrition

Lights, camera, action! If you wandered onto a set filled with cameras, mass spectrometers, and detectors that enable scientists to see fragments otherwise invisible, you may believe this is an episode of Crime Scene Investigation! In reality, this is the scene of the new frontier of milk analysis. Read More...

Which fats should be in infant formula?

Which fats should be in infant formula?

Human milk fat is made up of over 150 different types of fatty acids. While the mammary gland is able to synthesize many of these fatty acids, others must be supplied by fats in the mother’s diet. As human mothers are not consuming identical diets, it is not surprising that human milk fatty acid profiles vary widely among populations. Read More...