SPLASH!® milk science update: December 2019 Issue

This month’s issue features the IMGC Symposium, dairy and diabetes, and human milk fatty acids.

Highlights from the 2019 IMGC Symposium

Highlights from the 2019 IMGC Symposium

The 2019 International Symposium on Milk Genomics and Human Health, the sixteenth in this series, was held in Aarhus, Denmark, home to Aarhus University and Arla Foods. The local organizing committee designed a diverse and engaging program and provided a warm welcome during a cool Danish November. There was a total of 28 speakers over three days of thought-provoking science, and as always with these meetings, there was a great blend of dairy food science, nutrition, animal science and, this year, the hot topic of sustainability. Read More...

Stem Cells from Teeth Make Mammary Tissue

Stem Cells from Teeth Make Mammary Tissue

Sometimes science stuns. It unnervingly reminds us of how little we know but also how much it could change the future, and for the better. A recent publication described how investigators isolated stem cells from adult mouse teeth and then transplanted these cells into mouse mammary fat tissue devoid of the highly specialized mammary epithelial cells that produce milk during late pregnancy and after birth. The stunning result was that mammary tissue was regenerated from the dental stem cells. Amazingly, the new mammary tissue contained cells that produced milk proteins during pregnancy and formed structures somewhat like mammary tissue ducts. The certainty of established scientific ideas about cell fate is now much more fluid. Read More...

Three Investigations Find Consuming Dairy Staves off Death or Cuts Diabetes Risk

Three Investigations Find Consuming Dairy Staves off Death or Cuts Diabetes Risk

Diabetes is a major cause and death and morbidity around the world. The International Diabetes Federation estimates that about 9% of the global adult population has the type 2 form of the disease. Understanding dietary contributions to risk is therefore hugely important to global public health. Although genetic risk factors for type 2 diabetes do exist, the sheer rapidity of the rise in disease incidence over recent decades suggests that genetics is a minor part of the story. In a recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, three papers contribute further knowledge to the field. They all describe prospective studies that followed one or several large cohorts of adults and noted how much dairy they consumed. Overall, these studies confirm that consuming dairy does not raise diabetes risk, nor the risk of other cardiovascular diseases, and if anything, that it may be protective. Read More...

Genes, Diet, Environment: A Host of Factors Influence Human Milk Fatty Acids

Genes, Diet, Environment: A Host of Factors Influence Human Milk Fatty Acids

Fatty acids are the most variable macronutrient in human milk. So variable, in fact, that researchers believe each mother produces her own unique milk fatty acid signature. Unfortunately, not all fatty acid signatures are optimal for infant growth and development. Decades of research have demonstrated that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA), is necessary to optimize the growth and development of infant neural functions. DHA also happens to be one of the most variable fatty acids in human milk, which means many mothers produce milk with concentrations that might not meet infant developmental requirements. Read More...

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