species: human

Dietary Access to B Vitamins during Pregnancy and Lactation Influences Infant Development

Dietary Access to B Vitamins during Pregnancy and Lactation Influences Infant Development

Red meat, fish, beans, and cow milk are all good dietary sources of B vitamins. But what about human milk? The answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no. Unlike cow mothers who have bacteria in their rumen that synthesize vitamin B12 during food digestion, human mothers rely on their diet to supply milk with B vitamins (except folate, B9). Because populations in many parts of the world suffer from vitamin B deficiency due to poor quality diets or dietary preferences that exclude animal products (e.g., vegetarian and vegan diets), human milk B vitamin composition varies widely across mothers. Read More...

Bitter Tastes from the Mother’s Diet Comes through in Her Milk—and That’s a Good Thing

Bitter Tastes from the Mother’s Diet Comes through in Her Milk—and That’s a Good Thing

As the popular adage goes, you are what you eat, and a new study published in the Journal of Dairy Science (in a loose sense) seems to support that. A research team from the Netherlands has characterized the tastes and smells of human milk and discovered a correlation between the mother’s diet and the taste of her milk. In particular, the scientists were interested in teasing apart the sensory differences in fore and hind milk and focused on whether bitter tastes would show up through the mother’s milk. Read More...

From Myth to Reality: Yogurt and Dairy Foods Show Benefits to Cardiovascular Health and Type 2 Diabetes

From Myth to Reality: Yogurt and Dairy Foods Show Benefits to Cardiovascular Health and Type 2 Diabetes

Genghis Khan supposedly believed eating yogurt instilled bravery in his warriors, and in the Bible, Abraham’s longevity was attributed to his yogurt consumption. Although there isn’t scientific evidence that yogurt encourages people to storm through Mongolia or helps them live to be 175 years old, yogurt does have numerous demonstrated health benefits that could influence both vitality and life span—it has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve gut and cardiovascular health, and dairy foods, including yogurt, are associated with improvements in insulin sensitivity and a lowered risk for type 2 diabetes. Read More...

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

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. Read More...

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

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. Read More...

The Promise and Challenges of Producing Human Milk in the Lab

The Promise and Challenges of Producing Human Milk in the Lab

Breastfeeding is known to be both nutritious and beneficial to the health of infants, including improving their immunity and helping to protect them from infections. However, not everyone is able to breastfeed, and many mothers have to rely on donor milk or formula instead. Read More...

Reflections on the IMGC Virtual Symposium 2020 and a Look to the Future

This year’s IMGC Symposium was held virtually from October 13-16. Like many academic and professional conferences in this year of global pandemic, “IMGC Virtual Symposium 2020” sought to bring its content to as many people as possible via Zoom and digital platforms. Yet unlike many conferences, it created a true virtual space for networking and collaboration via a robust and dynamic virtual portal. Read More...

Breastfeeding May Lower Risk of Early Menopause

Breastfeeding May Lower Risk of Early Menopause

Recommendations from both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of life were developed to optimize infant health. But new research suggests the mother’s health may benefit from following these breastfeeding guidelines as well. Read More...

A Gene that Helps Humans Consume Fermented Dairy

A Gene that Helps Humans Consume Fermented Dairy

Humans have many unique attributes, as does the family of species within which humans evolved—the hominids. About 15 years ago, geneticists added to the list of hominid-unique attributes by noting that species within this family have a gene called HCA3 that other mammals lack. Now a group of researchers from Leipzig, Germany has figured out what this gene does and why it was preserved by natural selection. Their evidence suggests that HCA3 blessed the hominids with the ability to eat many bacteria-riddled foods without getting sick. These include some foods that played important roles in the story of human evolution, such as fermented milk products. Read More...

Malaria Antigens Occur in the Breast Milk of Asymptomatic, Infected Mothers

Malaria Antigens Occur in the Breast Milk of Asymptomatic, Infected Mothers

Malaria still accounts for approximately 435,000 deaths each year, and the substantial majority of these deaths—some 61%—are children under five years of age. Governments of affected countries, international aid organizations and foreign donors put in place various safeguards to reduce the disease rate, including mosquito nets and preventative malaria medicine for children. Yet the World Health Organization bemoans a lack of funding in this space. In 2017, for example, 15.7 million children in the Sahel region in Africa received seasonal malaria prophylaxis, but the paucity of program funding meant that 13.6 million children who could have benefited missed out. Read More...

Meet our Elite and Premier Sponsors