subject: bioactive peptides

Milk Makes the Most Out of By-Products

Milk Makes the Most Out of By-Products

How do infants get their nutritional and developmental needs without having fully developed intestinal systems? Newborn babies are still developing in many ways, and although maturation of their gut is a high priority, it takes a while for their digestive system to work as it does in an adult. Meanwhile they need to be supplied with nutrients, growth factors, and both the beneficial gut microbes and the ingredients they need to thrive (so that they remain with that person over a lifetime!), all while breastfeeding. To achieve this, breast milk has a complex mixture of components that support all of these requirements. Read More...

Milk Peptides Fight Bacteria

Milk Peptides Fight Bacteria

Milk is a wonderfully complex fluid that is not only nutritious but is also physiologically proactive. Recently, David Dallas and his colleagues from University of California at Davis used a cutting-edge approach to probe the depths of milk composition. The initial results revealed that human breast milk contains proteins which are digested into peptides, some with antibacterial properties. Read More...

Human Milk Sharing: Evolutionary Insights and Modern Risks

Human Milk Sharing: Evolutionary Insights and Modern Risks

Allomaternal nursing, the practice of infants suckling from a female not their mother, takes many forms. This behavior is not unique to humans and is widespread among mammalian species. Allomaternal nursing is thought to increase the fitness of females and infants, which would be favored by natural selection, but little research effort is directed to the topic. More recently, modern technologies of plastic containers, cold storage, and rapid shipping have created opportunities for milk sharing and milk selling widely among women. Some researchers and clinicians consider this unregulated trade of human milk a cause for concern--especially the risk of disease and toxin transmission to developing babies. Before that, though, let’s consider allomaternal nursing through historical, cultural, and evolutionary perspectives. Read More...

Mining Animal Biodiversity to Improve Dairy Outcomes

Mining Animal Biodiversity to Improve Dairy Outcomes

Dairy farmers everywhere would rejoice if scientists discovered a way to breed cows that continually produce milk. The answer to this biological riddle may lie in the study of other milk-producing animals. Weird animals produce milk with various lactation strategies. Some produce all of their milk in just a couple days while others produce milk over five years. Some produce copious amounts of milk for a couple days and then not again for several weeks. By comparing the lactation strategies of different animals, researchers can identify exciting new methods of milk production. Read More...

Talking the TORC

Talking the TORC

Milk has evolved to sustain life through supporting the growth and healthy development of infants. A recent article in the prestigious journal Science reported a breakthrough in our understanding of what lies behind the cellular mechanism of the growth “switch”. Read More...

Growing Evidence for Thinner Dairy Consumers

Growing Evidence for Thinner Dairy Consumers

Does dairy make you fat? Being rich in lipids, it should, right? But some evidence suggests that the calories in dairy are somehow easier to burn up than they should be. While the effect is subtle (and certainly not apparent in every set of data), it is sufficient for physiologists to wonder about potential biochemical explanations. Read More...

Fermentation of the Future

Fermentation of the Future

Using populations of bacteria or yeasts to change dairy product composition doesn’t sound like a wholesome idea, but that is what lies behind the production of cheese, mango lassi and, despite its name, crème fraîche. Some fermented dairy products such as these have been shown to be healthy in ways beyond providing nutrition. Consequentially, food scientists are asking whether the processes that conjure up greater amounts of certain health-promoting ingredients in fermented dairy could be applied more widely and effectively. Read More...

A Hearty Helping of Dairy

A Hearty Helping of Dairy

Most people know they hike the odds of developing cardiovascular disease by incessantly puffing on cigarettes and by eschewing the gym in favor of the TV. Stuffing saturated fats down one’s gullet is another well-known risk factor, leading to an increase in low-density lipoprotein in the blood and thus to clogged arteries. On that basis, dairy products seem unlikely protectors of a healthy heart. But various studies suggest they might be just that, particularly—and bizarrely given its high fat content—cheese. Read More...

Proteases vs. antiproteases: The battle over milk digestion

Proteases vs. antiproteases: The battle over milk digestion

Surprisingly, milk protein digestion begins in the mammary gland, long before the milk is consumed. There, a battle rages between enzymes called proteases, which break down proteins, and antiproteases that act as shields by protecting other proteins from being completely digested. The result of this competition is a delicate balance of intact protein and partially digested protein segments. Read More...

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