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Bring Back the Fat in Milk: Kids’ Edition

By: Lauren Milligan Newmark, Ph.D.
Issue #110 | Date: 09 2022

A new study found consumption of higher fat milk during early childhood was associated with a lower chance of being overweight or obese during early adolescence.

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Baby Backwash Can Trigger Immune Response in Milk

By: Lauren Milligan Newmark, Ph.D.
Issue #110 | Date: 09 2022

When a human infant suckles, some of their saliva gets pulled back into the nipple and can travel into the milk ducts. Researchers believe this could inform the mammary gland about the infant’s health

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Metabolites from Yogurt Protect against Type 2 Diabetes in Mice

By: Marina Wang
Issue #108 | Date: 05 2022

It’s no secret that type 2 diabetes is a widespread public health concern, with around 463 million people around the world suffering from the disease. Researchers have known for some time that yogurt consumption has a protective effect against the ails of type 2 diabetes, but the physiological and molecular mechanism behind this effect has been largely unknown. In a new multi-tiered study, researchers discovered that gut microbiota, as well as metabolites produced by the lactic acid bacteria in yogurt, help with type 2 diabetes in mice.

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Small but Mighty: Short-chain Fatty Acids in Human Milk Could Provide Protection from Development of Allergies

By: Lauren Milligan Newmark, Ph.D.
Issue #108 | Date: 05 2022

Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) are small molecules with large impacts on human health. They are produced when gut bacteria in the large intestine break down indigestible dietary carbohydrates. But don’t be fooled by these humble beginnings. Once produced by beneficial gut microbes, SCFA can promote immunity by suppressing inflammatory responses in the gut, halting the growth of dangerous pathogens, and helping to maintain the integrity of the intestine’s epithelial barrier.

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Prehistoric Tartar Deposits Reveal the Earliest Dairy Consumers in Eurasia

By: Lauren Milligan Newmark, Ph.D.
Issue #107 | Date: 03 2022

Don’t tell your dentist, but tartar can sometimes be a good thing. Prehistoric tartar deposits have become instrumental in helping archaeologists understand when humans first started consuming dairy foods. This crusty mineral build-up (also called dental calculus) acts like a dietary time capsule.

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Peanut-popping Breastfeeding Moms Help Protect Their Toddlers from Peanut Allergy

By: Anna Petherick, Ph.D.
Issue #107 | Date: 03 2022

Peanut allergies are among the most common of food allergies, can be severe, and have become increasingly pervasive over time. Recently, evidence has mounted that the early introduction of peanuts into infant diets reduces the odds of affliction. A study that followed the trajectory of allergy development in a large group of Canadian children has found that moms consuming peanuts while breastfeeding further protect their child from developing an allergic response by their fifth birthday.

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Extracellular Vesicles from Cow Milk Help with Osteoarthritis

By: Marina Wang
Issue #107 | Date: 03 2022

Scientists are exploring an exciting new treatment for osteoarthritis, and the source of this new treatment stems from a surprising place: cow milk. Cow milk contains bountiful numbers of extracellular vesicles (EVs)—tiny cellular bubbles that transport lipids, proteins, and nucleotides between cells—and these vesicles are thought to contain components that influence cartilage formation and degradation. A new study exposed arthritic cartilage samples as well as chondrocytes, or cartilage cells, to EVs extracted from milk and found that growth factors and microRNAs carried within these vesicles reduced both cartilage degradation and inflammation.

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Scientists Comb Human Genome for Clues to Why Milk Sugars Vary among People

By: Cristy Gelling, Ph.D.
Issue #107 | Date: 03 2022

Human milk is loaded with complex sugars that babies can’t digest. Called human milk oligosaccharides (HMO), these indigestible sugars are one of the most abundant components of milk in humans. Rather than feeding the infant, up to 200 different types of HMO nourish helpful bacteria and protect against pathogens. But there is much that scientists still don’t understand about the oligosaccharides in human milk, says molecular geneticist Brenda Murdoch, an associate professor at the University of Idaho.

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