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Concept: Dairy


A quarter of all anthropogenic methane emissions in the United States are from enteric fermentation, primarily from ruminant livestock. This study was undertaken to test the effect of a methane inhibitor, 3-nitrooxypropanol (3NOP), on enteric methane emission in lactating Holstein cows. An experiment was conducted using 48 cows in a randomized block design with a 2-wk covariate period and a 12-wk data collection period. Feed intake, milk production, and fiber digestibility were not affected by the inhibitor. Milk protein and lactose yields were increased by 3NOP. Rumen methane emission was linearly decreased by 3NOP, averaging about 30% lower than the control. Methane emission per unit of feed dry matter intake or per unit of energy-corrected milk were also about 30% less for the 3NOP-treated cows. On average, the body weight gain of 3NOP-treated cows was 80% greater than control cows during the 12-wk experiment. The experiment demonstrated that the methane inhibitor 3NOP, applied at 40 to 80 mg/kg feed dry matter, decreased methane emissions from high-producing dairy cows by 30% and increased body weight gain without negatively affecting feed intake or milk production and composition. The inhibitory effect persisted over 12 wk of treatment, thus offering an effective methane mitigation practice for the livestock industries.

Concepts: United States, Milk, Affect, Cattle, Dairy farming, Dairy cattle, Dairy, Methane


The European high Alps are internationally renowned for their dairy produce, which are of huge cultural and economic significance to the region. Although the recent history of alpine dairying has been well studied, virtually nothing is known regarding the origins of this practice. This is due to poor preservation of high altitude archaeological sites and the ephemeral nature of transhumance economic practices. Archaeologists have suggested that stone structures that appear around 3,000 years ago are associated with more intense seasonal occupation of the high Alps and perhaps the establishment of new economic strategies. Here, we report on organic residue analysis of small fragments of pottery sherds that are occasionally preserved both at these sites and earlier prehistoric rock-shelters. Based mainly on isotopic criteria, dairy lipids could only be identified on ceramics from the stone structures, which date to the Iron Age (ca. 3,000-2,500 BP), providing the earliest evidence of this practice in the high Alps. Dairy production in such a marginal environment implies a high degree of risk even by today’s standards. We postulate that this practice was driven by population increase and climate deterioration that put pressure on lowland agropastoral systems and the establishment of more extensive trade networks, leading to greater demand for highly nutritious and transportable dairy products.

Concepts: Iron, Milk, Dairy, Organic chemistry, Pottery, Archaeology, Prehistory, Alps


To comprehensively review the data on the relationship between the consumption of dairy fat and high-fat dairy foods, obesity, and cardiometabolic disease.

Concepts: Metabolism, Nutrition, Butter, Dairy, Malnutrition, Pasteurization, Dairy product


With a growing number of prospective cohort studies, an updated dose-response meta-analysis of milk and dairy products with all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease (CHD) or cardiovascular disease (CVD) have been conducted. PubMed, Embase and Scopus were searched for articles published up to September 2016. Random-effect meta-analyses with summarised dose-response data were performed for total (high-fat/low-fat) dairy, milk, fermented dairy, cheese and yogurt. Non-linear associations were investigated using the spine models and heterogeneity by subgroup analyses. A total of 29 cohort studies were available for meta-analysis, with 938,465 participants and 93,158 mortality, 28,419 CHD and 25,416 CVD cases. No associations were found for total (high-fat/low-fat) dairy, and milk with the health outcomes of mortality, CHD or CVD. Inverse associations were found between total fermented dairy (included sour milk products, cheese or yogurt; per 20 g/day) with mortality (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.97-0.99; I(2) = 94.4%) and CVD risk (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.97-0.99; I(2) = 87.5%). Further analyses of individual fermented dairy of cheese and yogurt showed cheese to have a 2% lower risk of CVD (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.95-1.00; I(2) = 82.6%) per 10 g/day, but not yogurt. All of these marginally inverse associations of totally fermented dairy and cheese were attenuated in sensitivity analyses by removing one large Swedish study. This meta-analysis combining data from 29 prospective cohort studies demonstrated neutral associations between dairy products and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. For future studies it is important to investigate in more detail how dairy products can be replaced by other foods.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Milk, Butter, Dairy, Pasteurization, Dairy product, Dairy products, Curd


Dairy product and calcium intakes have been associated with increased prostate cancer risk, but whether specific dairy products or calcium sources are associated with risk is unclear.

Concepts: Vitamin D, Epidemiology, Cancer, Metastasis, Prostate cancer, Milk, Dairy, Dairy product


There is scepticism about health effects of dairy products in the public, which is reflected in an increasing intake of plant-based drinks, for example, from soy, rice, almond, or oat.

Concepts: Scientific method, Health, Human, Nutrition, Milk, Dairy, Pasteurization, Dairy product


Controversy persists on the association between dairy products, especially milk, and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Genetic proxies may improve dairy intake estimations, and clarify diet-disease relationships through Mendelian randomization. We meta-analytically (n ≤ 20,089) evaluated associations between a lactase persistence (LP) SNP, the minichromosome maintenance complex component 6 (MCM6)-rs3754686C>T (nonpersistence>persistence), dairy intake, and CVD biomarkers in American (Hispanics, African-American and Whites) and Mediterranean populations. Moreover, we analyzed longitudinal associations with milk, CVD and mortality in PREDIMED), a randomized Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) intervention trial (n = 7185). The MCM6-rs3754686/MCM6-rs309180 (as proxy), LP-allele (T) was strongly associated with higher milk intake, but inconsistently associated with glucose and lipids, and not associated with CVD or total mortality in the whole population. Heterogeneity analyses suggested some sex-specific associations. The T-allele was associated with higher CVD and mortality risk in women but not in men (P-sex interaction:0.005 and 0.032, respectively), mainly in the MedDiet group. However, milk intake was not associated with CVD biomarkers, CVD or mortality either generally or in sub-groups. Although MCM6-rs3754686 is a good milk intake proxy in these populations, attributing its associations with CVD and mortality in Mediterranean women to milk is unwarranted, as other factors limiting the assumption of causality in Mendelian randomization may exist.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Demography, Population, Milk, Dairy, Randomness, Dairy product, Lactose intolerance


The introduction of dairying was a critical step in early agriculture, with milk products being rapidly adopted as a major component of the diets of prehistoric farmers and pottery-using late hunter-gatherers. The processing of milk, particularly the production of cheese, would have been a critical development because it not only allowed the preservation of milk products in a non-perishable and transportable form, but also it made milk a more digestible commodity for early prehistoric farmers. The finding of abundant milk residues in pottery vessels from seventh millennium sites from north-western Anatolia provided the earliest evidence of milk processing, although the exact practice could not be explicitly defined. Notably, the discovery of potsherds pierced with small holes appear at early Neolithic sites in temperate Europe in the sixth millennium bc and have been interpreted typologically as ‘cheese-strainers’, although a direct association with milk processing has not yet been demonstrated. Organic residues preserved in pottery vessels have provided direct evidence for early milk use in the Neolithic period in the Near East and south-eastern Europe, north Africa, Denmark and the British Isles, based on the δ(13)C and Δ(13)C values of the major fatty acids in milk. Here we apply the same approach to investigate the function of sieves/strainer vessels, providing direct chemical evidence for their use in milk processing. The presence of abundant milk fat in these specialized vessels, comparable in form to modern cheese strainers, provides compelling evidence for the vessels having being used to separate fat-rich milk curds from the lactose-containing whey. This new evidence emphasizes the importance of pottery vessels in processing dairy products, particularly in the manufacture of reduced-lactose milk products among lactose-intolerant prehistoric farming communities.

Concepts: Milk, Butter, Europe, Cattle, Dairy, Neolithic, Cheese, Curd


Dairy foods are a complex source of essential nutrients. In this study, fluid dairy intake, specifically milk, and yogurt intakes were associated with hip but not spine bone mineral density (BMD), while cream may adversely influence BMD, suggesting that not all dairy products are equally beneficial for the skeleton. PURPOSE: This study seeks to examine associations of milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, most dairy (total dairy without cream), and fluid dairy (milk + yogurt) with BMD at femoral neck (FN), trochanter (TR), and spine, and with incident hip fracture over 12-year follow-up in the Framingham Offspring Study. METHODS: Three thousand two hundred twelve participants completed a food frequency questionnaire (1992-1995 or 1995-1998) and were followed for hip fracture until 2005. Two thousand five hundred and six participants had DXA BMD (1996-2001). Linear regression was used to estimate adjusted mean BMD while Cox-proportional hazards regression was used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HR) for hip fracture risk. Final models simultaneously included dairy foods adjusting for each other. RESULTS: Mean baseline age was 55 (±1.6) years, range 26-85. Most dairy intake was positively associated with hip and spine BMD. Intake of fluid dairy and milk was related with hip but not spine BMD. Yogurt intake was associated with TR-BMD alone. Cheese and cream intakes were not associated with BMD. In final models, yogurt intake remained positively associated with TR-BMD, while cream tended to be negatively associated with FN-BMD. Yogurt intake showed a weak protective trend for hip fracture [HR(95%CI), ≤4 serv/week, 0.46 (0.21-1.03) vs. >4 serv/week, 0.43 (0.06-3.27)]. No other dairy groups showed a significant association (HRs range, 0.53-1.47) with limited power (n, fractures = 43). CONCLUSION: Milk and yogurt intakes were associated with hip but not spine BMD, while cream may adversely influence BMD. Thus, not all dairy products are equally beneficial for the skeleton. Suggestive fracture results for milk and yogurt intakes need further confirmation.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Milk, Butter, Dairy, Pasteurization, Dairy product, Dairy products, Curd


This survey determined the levels of eight phthalates - i.e. dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP), benzylbutyl phthalate (BzBP), di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP) and di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP) - in several Belgian milk and dairy products. Samples were obtained from various farms, a dairy factory and from different shops in order to investigate phthalate contamination “from farm to fork”. At several stages in the milk chain, product contamination with phthalates - mostly DiBP, DnBP, BzBP and DEHP - was observed. At farm level, the mechanical milking process and the intake of phthalate containing feed by the cattle were found to be possible contamination sources. At industry and retail level, contact materials including packaging materials were additional contamination sources for phthalates in milk and dairy products.

Concepts: Milk, Cattle, Dairy, Phthalates, Phthalate, Diethyl phthalate, Plasticizers, Diisobutyl phthalate