SPLASH!® milk science update: January 2022 Issue

This month’s issue features vaccinated mothers transfer active antibodies in milk to infants, dairy foods prevent falls and fractures, and milk as a component of a low-cost nutritional diet.

COVID-19 Vaccinated Mothers Transfer Active Antibodies in Milk to Infants

COVID-19 Vaccinated Mothers Transfer Active Antibodies in Milk to Infants

Many U.S. parents breathed a sigh of relief in the fall of 2021 when the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine received emergency use authorization for anyone five years and older. Although the youngest children are still ineligible for vaccination, infants—who are particularly vulnerable because of their immature immune systems—have access to another source of immune protection: human milk. Read More...

Nutritional Intervention with Dairy Foods Prevents Falls and Fractures in Older Adults

Nutritional Intervention with Dairy Foods Prevents Falls and Fractures in Older Adults

Older adults are often malnourished, which can contribute to their increased risk of falls and fractures. A new study of more than 7000 residents of 60 aged-care facilities in Australia found that a nutritional intervention that increased the amount of dairy foods reduced the risk of falls and fractures. Participants in the intervention group receiving more dairy consumed, on average, higher protein and calcium than the control group on their usual diets. The findings suggest that nutritional interventions with dairy foods could serve as a public health measure for fracture prevention in aged care settings and potentially even in the broader community.   We change in many ways as we grow old. In addition to external signs of aging such as white hair and wrinkles, our body also experiences less obvious changes, such as loss of muscle and bone mass. These changes to muscle and bone are exacerbated by the fact that older individuals who need institutionalized care are often malnourished and lack adequate protein and calcium. This can in turn contribute to their increased risk of falls and fractures [1-4]. “My work was in aged care because their falls and fracture risk are the highest and their intake is the worst,” says Dr. Sandra Iuliano of the University of Melbourne. “We wondered, can we have good clinical outcomes by just improving the food that they’re eating?” she says. When designing a nutritional intervention, Iuliano focused on dairy foods as they are a good low-cost source of protein and calcium and can be easily consumed by the elderly. “The reason we chose the dairy food group is because it’s high in calcium and high in protein, and we were looking at falls and fracture reduction, so it was a natural kind of choice for us,” she says. Previous research showed […] Read More...

Exploring Cells in Human Milk with Single-Cell Sequencing

Exploring Cells in Human Milk with Single-Cell Sequencing

Milk is a complex mixture of nutrients, peptides, and immunological factors, yet very little is known about the cells within human milk that make it the ultimate nutritional source for developing infants. Now, scientists have developed a method for using RNA-sequencing to study these little-understood human milk cells. This new technique using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) sets the stage for future experiments that will gain an unprecedented understanding of human milk-derived cells and the intricacies of human lactation. Read More...

Milk and Other Animal-sourced Foods May Be Key Components of a Low-cost Nutritious Diet

Milk and Other Animal-sourced Foods May Be Key Components of a Low-cost Nutritious Diet

From steak and salad to milk and cereal, people enjoy a wide variety of foods from both plant and animal sources. As researchers have studied the environmental sustainability of various diets, there has been much debate about the respective roles of plant- and animal-sourced foods in such diets. Read More...

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