IssueM Articles

Sponsor Feature: ByHeart

Meet the (first!) online platform dedicated to feeding support. Cluster connects you with MDs, PhDs, doulas, specialists, and more, to give you the answers and advice you need to get baby fed.

Stinky Cheeses Have a Diverse Array of Peptides

The thought of maggots, fungus, and mites infesting your cheese might make you feel queasy, but researchers are looking into how these unconventional cheese-making methods might actually release peptides, or amino acid sequences, that could be beneficial for your health. In a new study, scientists at the University of California, Davis, profiled the array of peptides found in four particularly pungent cheeses and discovered a huge diversity of peptides—between 2900 and 4700 per cheese.

Milk-fed Bifidobacterium infantis EVC001 Promotes Proper Immune Development

No one likes having a sneezing fit due to seasonal allergies or struggling to breathe during an asthma attack. It turns out our propensity to such allergic and autoimmune reactions may come down to what’s in our gut—or rather, what was there when we were infants. A new study finds that whether a particular bacterium, Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis (B. infantis), is present in infant guts influences early immune development and could thus reduce the risk of allergic and autoimmune conditions later in life.

Milk Fat: Seven Mammals, Over 400 Lipid Classes

Low-fat, reduced-fat, whole-fat—we talk about milk fat as if it were a singular ingredient, when milk fat is actually made up of several thousand different fats. Mammalian milk fat is, in fact, the most complex lipid in nature. A new research field, called lipidomics, allows researchers to quantify this complexity, by identifying and measuring all the thousands of fats at once.

Real Milk, Plant-based Alternatives, and the Promotion of Healthy Teeth

Dentists have plenty to do these days. During the pandemic, for weeks and months at a time, countries have put in place policies that have postponed many a dental check-up. Probably millions. Meanwhile, forced to stay home, people’s diets have shifted. One analysis of the Brisighella Heart Study cohort found that participants ate more yogurt and drank more milk than usual during Italy’s February-April 2020 lockdown. They also guzzled more sugars and sweets. While no dentist expects the extra sugar and sweets to make their job any easier, the elevated yogurt and milk intake just might, depending, that is, on whether individuals consumed dairy milk products or plant-based alternatives.

Sponsor Feature: International Milk Genomics Consortium

Registration is open! Do not miss the exciting IMGC VIRTUAL Symposium 2021 on June 15-16, 2021, focused on the hot topic “Future Perspectives on Milk Bioactives and Proteins.” Meet and hear from world-experts in the field! Early-bird rates end May 31, 2021 and students may register for FREE!

Recent Studies Link Milk and Yogurt Consumption to Lower Bladder Cancer Rates

Bladder cancer is a difficult condition to treat. It can hit anyone at any age but is more likely to afflict men than women, and smokers more than non-smokers. It is certainly costly for individuals. For health-system managers, tasked with trying to save as many years of life as possible with finite resources, it has the notorious title of the most expensive malignancy to treat from diagnosis to death. Identifying preventative measures, especially cheap ones, can therefore bring benefits beyond reducing bladder cancer rates, as they may free up resources for treatments of other diseases. Over the years, whether dairy products are preventative for bladder cancer has been debated. However, recently, one study that pooled evidence from many other studies found that yogurt consumption is associated with lower bladder cancer risk. A second recent analysis, also combining data from many previous studies, concludes that consuming more milk is linked to lower bladder cancer rates.

Breastfeeding May Offer Long-term Advantages to Children’s Neurodevelopment Compared with Feeding Expressed Milk

Could how you eat something matter as much as what you eat? At least when it comes to human milk, the answer is still unclear. Human milk is known to provide several benefits to children. Studies have shown that exclusive breastfeeding and breastfeeding for a longer duration are associated with enhanced cognitive development of children, improved behavioral outcomes related to attention and hyperactivity, and benefits to food-related behaviors such as less food fussiness. But researchers still don’t know whether feeding at the breast might confer some advantages over feeding expressed milk.

New Dietary Guidelines for Americans Include Birth to 24 Months for the First Time

The U.S. government recently released its 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), designed to help policymakers and health professionals advise everyday Americans on how to consume a balanced and nutritious diet. New to this edition are recommendations for the tiniest Americans, from Birth to 24 months. This latest edition is also organized by age group for the first time, as well as includes recommendations for pregnant and lactating women. As ever, dairy remains a key food group to consume for all age groups, as it is a unique source of quality proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

Vaccinating While Lactating: COVID-19 Vaccines Are Safe and Provide Immune Benefits to Mother and Infant

Less than a year from the first recorded SARS-CoV-2 infection in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of three COVID-19 vaccines. Usually a decade long endeavor, the global pandemic that has claimed over three million lives necessitated a rapid and all-hands-on-deck approach to vaccine development and delivery. Even with the accelerated pace, the vaccine trials made sure to include a diverse group of adults across multiple races, ethnicities, and age groups to ensure vaccine safety and efficacy for all recipients. What this diverse group did not include, however, were breastfeeding mothers. Without any clinical data to guide their vaccination decision, what’s a mother to do?