Dairy Research Bulletin – June 2020

Welcome to the June 2020 Dairy Research Bulletin. The Dairy Research Bulletin delivers a brief synopsis of the most current Human, Animal, and Environmental dairy research that is going on in the World, and also that which is of special interest to California dairy producers and consumers alike.

If you would like to peruse the most pertinent dairy research from months past, then visit the Dairy Research Bulletin Archive.

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Selected Articles on Social Responsibility, Environmental Management, and Sustainability

Development and Implementation of a National Center of Excellence in Dairy Production Medicine Education for Veterinary Students: Description of the Effort and Lessons Learned. Fetrow J, Royster E, Morin D, Molgaard L, Wingert D, Yost J, Overton M, Apley M, Godden S, Chebel R, Cramer G, Sorge U, Schefers J, Goldsmith T, Anderson D, Hanzlicek G, Angelique Dwyer K, Dwyer L. J Vet Med Educ. 2020 Jun;47(3):250-262.

  • The need for consortial programs to provide advanced education in food animal veterinary production medicine has been recognized and lauded for nearly three decades. This article describes one effort to create a dairy production medicine curriculum funded by a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Higher Education Challenge Grant.
  • This National Center of Excellence in Dairy Production Medicine Education for Veterinarians is housed at the Dairy Education Center of the University of Minnesota and the project was a collaboration of the University of Minnesota, the University of Illinois, the University of Georgia, and Kansas State University.
  • The 8-week dairy production medicine course is designed to equip senior veterinary students with the knowledge and skills needed to serve the dairy industry. Course developers identified 59 topics of importance for dairy production medicine veterinarians.
  • The article reviews the need for innovative ways to educate students who will optimally serve the dairy industry, provides a broad overview of the process of developing and delivering the eight-week dairy production medicine curriculum, and describes the challenges faced and lessons learned as a result of offering such a program.
  • As a consequence of completing this curriculum, students will:
    • Have a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of veterinarians in dairy food supply veterinary medicine
    • Be better prepared to serve the dairy industry
    • Be more confident in their ability to serve the dairy industry
    • Have a greater conviction to enter careers in dairy-related fields after graduation
    • Be successful in obtaining immediate post-graduate employment in dairy-related fields
    • Be considered by their employers to have above average preparedness and competencies
    • Express satisfaction with the training after 1 year of employment in dairy-related fields
    • Retain positions in dairy-related fields and a conviction to serve the dairy industry 1 year after graduation
    • Have a minimal exposure to dairy-related vocabulary in Spanish

Exploring the landscape of livestock ‘Facts’. Salmon GR, MacLeod M, Claxton JR, Pica Ciamarra U, Robinson T, Duncan A, Peters AR.Glob Food Sec. 2020 Jun;25:100329.

  • The role of livestock in supporting human well-being is contentious, with different perceptions leading to polarised opinions. There is increasing concern about the health and environmental impacts of a high rate of consumption of livestock products in high-income countries. These concerns are heightened by an increase in consumption in middle-income countries.
  • On the other hand, livestock support the livelihoods of many people, particularly in low income countries. The benefits of livestock for poor livestock keepers are multiple, including the important role livestock play in supporting crop production in mixed systems, in supplying nutrients and income, and in fulfilling cultural roles. In addition livestock can provide resilience against economic and climate shocks.
  • In view of these apparent positive and negative impacts, the role of livestock in human wellbeing is highly contested, with arguments ‘for’ or ‘against’ sometimes distorted by vested interests or misinterpretation of evidence.
  • The Livestock Fact Check project, undertaken by the Livestock Data for Decisions community of practice, has investigated several ideas concerning livestock commonly taken as ‘fact’. By exploring the provenance of these ‘facts’ we highlight their importance and the risks of both misinterpreting them or using them out of context.
  • Despite the diversity of the livestock sector resulting in equally diverse viewpoints, the project calls for participants in the livestock discourse to adopt a nuanced appreciation of global livestock systems. Judgement of livestock’s role in global sustainable diets should be based on clear and well-interpreted information.

Sustainability in the dairy industry: a systematic literature review. Feil AA, Schreiber D, Haetinger C, Haberkamp ÂM, Kist JI, Rempel C, Maehler AE, Gomes MC, da Silva GR. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2020 Jun 21.

  • The dairy industry can contribute to global food security in a sustainable way by efficiently converting milk into dairy ingredients and products, even though they are polluting on a large scale.
  • In this context, this study aimed to conduct a systematic literature review on sustainable indicators and dairy industries. The bases of journals consulted, using the keywords “sustainability indicator” and “dairy industry” which resulted in 130 valid scientific articles.
  • The main results show that the sustainability indicators in the dairy industry are emerging and lacking research; being found in seven papers, that highlight 12 indicators of the environmental, 11 of the social and eight economic dimensions, that may be considered fragile and initial.
  • The studied problems are related to wastewater treatment methods, electric power consumption, efficiency of the industrial plant, among others, and the benefits on the theme are related to solutions to the difficulties, such as electricity reduction, sustainable practices.
  • Among others, it is concluded that the dairy industries address the sustainability theme since 2011, with an ambiguous trend, being found evidence of the fragility of the sustainability indicators was found, mainly in the initial stage of their conception, when considering holistic approach (triple bottom line).

The impact of interventions in the global land and agri-food sectors on Nature’s Contributions to People and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. McElwee P, Calvin K, Campbell D, Cherubini F, Grassi G, Korotkov V, Le Hoang A, Lwasa S, Nkem J, Nkonya E, Saigusa N, Soussana JF, Taboada MA, Manning F, Nampanzira D, Smith P.Glob Chang Biol. 2020 Jun 12.

  • Interlocked challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation require transformative interventions in the land management and food production sectors to reduce carbon emissions, strengthen adaptive capacity, and increase food security.
  • However, deciding which interventions to pursue and understanding their relative co-benefits with and trade-offs against different social and environmental goals has been difficult without comparisons across a range of possible actions.
  • This study examined 40 different options, implemented through land management, value chains, or risk management, for their relative impacts across 18 Nature’s Contributions to People (NCP) and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
  • The researchers found that a relatively small number of interventions show positive synergies with both SDGs and NCPs with no significant adverse trade-offs; these include improved cropland management, improved grazing land management, improved livestock management, agroforestry, integrated water management, increased soil organic carbon content, reduced soil erosion, salinization and compaction, fire management, reduced landslides and hazards, reduced pollution, reduced post-harvest losses, improved energy use in food systems, and disaster risk management.
  • Several interventions show potentially significant negative impacts on both SDGs and NCPs; these include bioenergy and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), afforestation, and some risk sharing measures, like commercial crop insurance.
  • These results demonstrate that a better understanding of co-benefits and trade-offs of different policy approaches can help decisionmakers choose the more effective, or at the very minimum, more benign interventions for implementation.

Review: Genetic and genomic selection as a methane mitigation strategy in dairy cattle. Lassen J, Difford GF. Animal. 2020 Jun 25:1-11.

  • Over the last decade, extensive research effort has been placed on developing methane mitigation strategies in ruminants. Many disciplines on animal science disciplines have been involved, including nutrition and physiology, microbiology and genetic selection.
  • To date, few of the suggested strategies have been implemented because: (1) methane emissions currently have no direct or indirect economic value for farmers, with no financial incentive to change practices and (2) most strategies have limited, or no, long-term effects.
  • Consequently, there is a fundamental need for research on methane mitigation strategies across disciplines.
  • Coordinated international initiatives similar to METHAGENE could represent highly relevant coordination tool of collaboration between countries, facilitating knowledge exchange, sharing concerns and building future collaborations.

Potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through different dairy cattle systems in subtropical regions. Ribeiro-Filho HMN, Civiero M, Kebreab E.PLoS One. 2020 Jun 18;15(6):e0234687.

  • Carbon (C) footprint of dairy production, expressed in kg C dioxide (CO2) equivalents (CO2e) (kg energy-corrected milk (ECM))-1, encompasses emissions from feed production, diet management and total product output. The proportion of pasture on diets may affect all these factors, mainly in subtropical climate zones, where cows may access tropical and temperate pastures during warm and cold seasons, respectively.
  • The aim of the study was to assess the C footprint of a dairy system with annual tropical and temperate pastures in a subtropical region.
  • The system boundary included all processes up to the animal farm gate. Feed requirement during the entire life of each cow was based on data recorded from Holstein × Jersey cow herds producing an average of 7,000 kg ECM lactation-1.
  • The milk production response as consequence of feed strategies (scenarios) was based on results from two experiments (warm and cold seasons) using lactating cows from the same herd. Three scenarios were evaluated: total mixed ration (TMR) ad libitum intake, 75, and 50% of ad libitum TMR intake with access to grazing either a tropical or temperate pasture during lactation periods.
  • Considering IPCC and international literature values to estimate emissions from urine/dung, feed production and electricity, the C footprint was similar between scenarios, averaging 1.06 kg CO2e (kg ECM)-1. Considering factors from studies conducted in subtropical conditions and actual inputs for on-farm feed production, the C footprint decreased 0.04 kg CO2e (kg ECM)-1 in scenarios including pastures compared to ad libitum TMR.
  • Regardless of factors considered, emissions from feed production decreased as the proportion of pasture went up. In conclusion, decreasing TMR intake and including pastures in dairy cow diets in subtropical conditions have the potential to maintain or reduce the C footprint to a small extent.

A sustainable mixotrophic microalgae cultivation from dairy wastes for carbon credit, bioremediation and lucrative biofuels. Patel AK, Joun J, Sim SJ.Bioresour Technol. 2020 Jun 15;313:123681.

  • Globally, high CO2-emitting dairy industry obligated to treat waste and improve its carbon-footprints. Mixotrophic cultivation strategy (MCS) of microalgae enables to treat dairy wastes and mitigate CO2for sustainable dairy economy.
  • This study developed a biochemical process for organic whey with minimum dilution to avoid environmental burden. To make whey suitable for algae cultivation, it was pre-treated to remove polymers, unwanted solid fractions, opacity, and organic and inorganic overloads via acid hydrolysis, chemical flocculation and struvite formations with lowest dilution possible.
  • 40% pretreated whey was most productive for biomass and lipid fractions respectively 4.54 and 1.80 gl-1with daily productivities 0.50 and 0.20 gl-1d-1, however 25% to reach adequate treatment.
  • Overall, biochemical treatment was effective to remove respectively 99.7 and 91-100% of organic and inorganic pollutants, however algal treatment alone exhibited maximum 92.6 and 48.5-98.4% removals from both treatment ratios which is promising finding of this work.

Effects of intramammary infusion of Bifidobacterium breve on mastitis pathogens and somatic cell response in quarters from dairy cows with chronic subclinical mastitis. Nagahata H, Mukai T, Natsume Y, Okuda M, Ando T, Hisaeda K, Gondaira S, Higuchi H.Anim Sci J. 2020 Jan;91(1):e13406.

  • The present study assessed the effects of intramammary infusion of Bifidobacterium breve (B. breve) on mastitis-causing pathogens and on the somatic cell counts (SCC) in lactating cows with chronic subclinical mastitis.
  • The bacteriological cure rates of 42 quarters from 42 cows infected with Staphylococcus aureus, Corynebacterium bovis, coagulase-negative staphylococci, and environmental streptococci were 18.2% (2/11), 14.3% (1/7), 58.8% (10/17), and 28.6% (2/7), respectively, on day 14 after B. breve infusion.
  • In a second trial, B. breve was infused into 18 quarters from 18 cows with chronic subclinical mastitis from which pathogens had not been isolated; the rates of quarters showing SCC > 50 × 104cells/ml prior to B. breve infusion that decreased to < 30 × 104 cells/ml after infusion were significantly (p < .01) increased to 61.1% (11/18) on day 14 compared to that prior to infusion (0/18).
  • The intramammary infusion of B. breve appears to be a non-antibiotic approach for elimination of minor pathogens and decreasing SCC in quarters with chronic subclinical mastitis in dairy cows.

Investigation of On-Farm Transmission Routes for Contamination of Dairy Cows with Top 7 Escherichia coli O-Serogroups. Rapp D, Ross CM, Maclean P, Cave VM, Brightwell G.Microb Ecol. 2020 Jun 20.

  • Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli are foodborne bacterial pathogens, with cattle a significant reservoir for human infection.
  • This study evaluated environmental reservoirs, intermediate hosts and key pathways that could drive the presence of Top 7 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (O157:H7, O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145) on pasture-based dairy herds, using molecular and culture-based methods.
  • A total of 235 composite environmental samples (including soil, bedding, pasture, stock drinking water, bird droppings and flies and fecal samples of dairy animals) were collected from two dairy farms, with four sampling events on each farm. Molecular detection revealed O26, O45, O103 and O121 as the most common O-serogroups, with the greatest occurrence in dairy animal feces (> 91%), environments freshly contaminated with feces (> 73%) and birds and flies (> 71%).
  • Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (79 isolates) were a minor population within the target O-serogroups in all sample types but were widespread in the farm environment in the summer samplings.
  • Phylogenetic analysis of whole genome sequence data targeting single nucleotide polymorphisms revealed the presence of several clonal strains on a farm; a single Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli clonal strain could be found in several sample types concurrently, indicating the existence of more than one possible route for transmission to dairy animals and a high rate of transmission of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli between dairy animals and wildlife.
  • Overall, the findings improved the understanding of the ecology of the Top 7 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in open farm environments, which is required to develop on-farm intervention strategies controlling these zoonoses.

Reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance genes in retail raw milk. Liu J, Zhu Y, Jay-Russell M, Lemay DG, Mills DA. Microbiome. 2020 Jun 26;8(1):99.

  • It has been estimated that at least 3% of the USA population consumes unpasteurized (raw) milk from animal sources, and the demand to legalize raw milk sales continues to increase. However, consumption of raw milk can cause foodborne illness and be a source of bacteria containing transferrable antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs).
  • To obtain a comprehensive understanding of the microbiome and antibiotic resistome in both raw and processed milk, we systematically analyzed 2034 retail milk samples including unpasteurized milk and pasteurized milk via vat pasteurization, high-temperature-short-time pasteurization, and ultra-pasteurization from the United States using complementary culture-based, 16S rRNA gene, and metagenomic sequencing techniques.
  • Raw milk samples had the highest prevalence of viable bacteria which were measured as all aerobic bacteria, coliform, and Escherichia coli counts, and their microbiota was distinct from other types of milk. 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that Pseudomonadaceae dominated raw milk with limited levels of lactic acid bacteria.
  • Among all milk samples, the microbiota remained stable with constant bacterial populations when stored at 4 °C. In contrast, storage at room temperature dramatically enriched the bacterial populations present in raw milk samples and, in parallel, significantly increased the richness and abundance of ARGs.
  • Metagenomic sequencing indicated raw milk possessed dramatically more ARGs than pasteurized milk, and a conjugation assay documented the active transfer of blaCMY-2, one ceftazidime resistance gene present in raw milk-borne E. coli, across bacterial species. The room temperature-enriched resistome differed in raw milk from distinct geographic locations, a difference likely associated with regionally distinct milk microbiota.
  • In conclusion, despite advertised “probiotic” effects, these results indicate that raw milk microbiota has minimal lactic acid bacteria. In addition, retail raw milk serves as a reservoir of ARGs, populations of which are readily amplified by spontaneous fermentation. There is an increased need to understand potential food safety risks from improper transportation and storage of raw milk with regard to ARGs.

Frequency of diet delivery to dairy cows: Effect on nutrient digestion, rumen fermentation, methane production, nitrogen utilization, and milk production. Benchaar C, Hassanat F.J Dairy Sci. 2020 Jun 10:S0022-0302(20)30450-1.

  • The objective of this study was to examine the effect of frequency of diet delivery to dairy cows on nutrient digestion, rumen fermentation, milk production, nitrogen utilization, enteric methane emission, and manure methane production potential.
  • Twelve lactating cows were used in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design (35-d period) and offered a TMR ad libitum [56:44 ratio of forage to concentrate, dry matter (DM) basis] once (0930 h), twice (0930 and 2130 h), or 4 times daily (0930, 1300, 1630, and 2130 h).
  • Frequency of diet delivery did not affect intake or apparent total-tract digestibility of DM and nutrients. Likewise, milk production, milk composition (fat, protein, and lactose), and milk production efficiency (kg of milk/kg of DM intake or g of milk N/g of N intake) were not changed by frequency of diet delivery.
  • Daily enteric CH4emission averaged 534 g/d and was not changed by frequency of diet delivery. Methane energy losses (on gross energy intake basis) were lower when cows received the diet once daily (5.8%) versus twice or 4 times daily (6.1%).
  • Urinary N excretion was higher for cows receiving the diet 4 times daily compared with cows receiving the diet once or twice daily (36 vs. 34% of N intake). Frequency of diet delivery had no influence on manure volatile solids excretion or maximal CH4production potential.
  • Results from this study show that delivering the diet once daily reduces enteric CH4energy losses compared with twice or 4 times daily, whereas urinary N losses increased by delivering the diet 4 times daily compared with once or twice daily. However, milk production and maximal manure CH4 emission potential were not affected by frequency of diet delivery.

Short communication: Technologies and milking practices that reduce hours of work and increase flexibility through milking efficiency in pasture-based dairy farm systems. Edwards JP, Kuhn-Sherlock B, Dela Rue BT, Eastwood CR.J Dairy Sci. 2020 Jun 3:S0022-0302(20)30428-8.

  • To attract and retain quality employees, dairy farms must be competitive with other workplaces offering more conventional hours of work. Milking requires significant labor input and influences the start and end times of the working day, affecting flexibility to suit employee needs or availability. The use of labor-saving technology and milking management strategies could help with this challenge.
  • Previous studies have used scenario modeling in attempt to quantify the value of in-parlor technologies, however, they have relied on assumptions about the effect of the technologies on labor in the dairy. Similarly, the effect of management strategies on work patterns, such as flexible milking intervals (changing the timing of milking), has not been evaluated.
  • The aims of this study were to (1) quantify the milking labor requirements in a range of pasture-based dairy farm systems and (2) identify practices or technologies that facilitate efficient milking.
  • A telephone survey of 500 dairy farmers in New Zealand was conducted during April and May 2018, with questions asked about milking practices and technology use.
  • Predictive analysis showed that at peak lactation, milking required between 17 and 24 hours/week per worker for farms milking twice a day, representing 43 to 58% of a conventional 40-hour work week, depending on parlor type (herringbone or rotary), the number of clusters, and herd size.
  • Using milking intervals of 8 and 16 hours (intervals between milkings), compared with the more usual 10 and 14 hours, largely avoided starting milking before 0500 hour. Eight percent of herds were milked once a day, which required between 7 and 14 hours/week per worker (18-35% of a 40-hour week).
  • The analysis showed that for metrics that related to people (labor efficiency and work routine), using automatic teat spraying had a positive effect on efficiency. Having both automatic cluster removers and drafting were associated with longer milking times in terms of throughput and row/rotation time compared with using drafting only.
  • The results highlight considerable opportunity to reduce the number of hours those milking (employers and employees) spend in the parlor and increase staff time flexibility through milking (e.g., intervals between milkings) and parlor management (e.g., row/rotation time) and use of specific technologies.

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Selected Articles on Dairy Intake and Human Health

Saturated Fats and Health: A Reassessment and Proposal for Food-based Recommendations: JACC State-of -the-Art Review. Astrup A, Magkos F, Bier DM, Brenna JT, de Oliveira Otto MC, Hill JO, King JC, Mente A, Ordovas JM, Volek JS, Yusuf S, Krauss RM.J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Jun 16:S0735-1097(20)35687-4.

  • The recommendation to limit dietary saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake has persisted despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Most recent meta-analyses of randomized trials and observational studies found no beneficial effects of reducing SFA intake on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and total mortality, and instead found protective effects against stroke.
  • Although SFAs increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, in most individuals, this is not due to increasing levels of small, dense LDL particles, but rather larger LDL which are much less strongly related to CVD risk.
  • It is also apparent that the health effects of foods cannot be predicted by their content in any nutrient group, without considering the overall macronutrient distribution.
  • Whole-fat dairy, unprocessed meat, eggs and dark chocolate are SFA-rich foods with a complex matrix that are not associated with increased risk of CVD. The totality of available evidence does not support further limiting the intake of such foods.

Association between yogurt consumption and plasma soluble CD14 in two prospective cohorts of US adults. Luo X, Sui J, Birmann BM, Ivey KL, Tabung FK, Wu Y, Yang W, Wu K, Ogino S, Liu H, Giovannucci EL, Zhang X.Eur J Nutr. 2020 Jun 16.

  • Although evidence suggests an inverse association between yogurt consumption and the risk of disorders, such as type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, the mechanisms remain poorly understood.
  • Researchers aimed to examine the association between yogurt consumption and concentrations of plasma soluble CD14, a marker of gut barrier dysfunction.
  • The researchers analyzed cross-sectional data from 632 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (1989-1990) and 444 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1993-1994) with soluble CD14 concentrations.
  • Among men, higher consumption was associated with a lower soluble CD14 concentration (at least 2 cups/week vs. non-consumers). The inverse association was slightly attenuated following multivariable adjustment.
  • For the same comparison, yogurt consumption was inverse, but not statistically significant associated with soluble CD14 concentration in women. In stratified analyses, the inverse association between yogurt consumption and the concentrations of soluble CD14 was slightly stronger in men who consumed alcohol at least 20 g/day.
  • In conclusion, higher yogurt consumption was associated with lower soluble CD14 concentrations, especially in men. These findings suggest the strengthening of gut barrier function as a plausible mechanism for the observed inverse associations of yogurt consumption with gastrointestinal diseases and disorders involving other systems.

Chemical, Microbiological, and Functional Characterization of Kefir Produced from Cow’s Milk and Soy Milk. Gamba RR, Yamamoto S, Abdel-Hamid M, Sasaki T, Michihata T, Koyanagi T, Enomoto T.Int J Microbiol. 2020 May 12;2020:7019286.

  • Kefir is a functional beverage that contains lactic and acetic acid bacteria and yeasts.
  • This work’s aim was to study the chemical, microbial, and functional characteristics of kefir produced from cow’s milk and soy milk.
  • After fermentation, free amino acids were 20.92 mg 100 mL-1and 36.20 mg 100 mL-1 for cow’s milk and soy milk kefir, respectively. Glutamic acid was majority in both, suggesting that microbial proteolysis leads to an increase in free amino acids including glutamic acid.
  • Soy milk kefir contained greatly lower yeasts and acetic acid bacteria compared to cow’s milk kefir. Lactococcus lactisKazachstania unispora, and Saccharomyces cerevisiaewere isolated as major microorganisms in both kefirs. Acetobacter orientalis only existed in cow’s milk kefir.
  • Cow’s milk and soy milk showed ACE inhibitory activity, which significantly increased after fermentation. Both kefirs also exhibited antioxidant activity and bactericidal activity against Escherichia coliSalmonellaTyphimurium, and Staphylococcus aureus.

The effect of consuming milk and related products during human pregnancy over birth weight and perinatal outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Pérez-Roncero GR, López-Baena MT, Chedraui P, Pérez-López FR.Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2020 Jun 1;251:235-245.

  • Data addressing the effect of milk and dairy products on fetal growth are contradictory.
  • The aim was to meta-analyze the effect of consuming milk and dairy products during human pregnancy over perinatal outcomes.
  • A systematic literature search was performed in PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library.
  • Fourteen studies (111,184 pregnant women) reported on the targeted perinatal outcomes. The meta-analysis of ten studies revealed a positive association between consuming a higher amount of milk and dairy products and birth weight, whereas in five studies a positive effect was observed on infant length. There were no significant differences in ultrasound measured fetal head circumference, biparietal diameter, abdominal circumference and femur length.
  • The consumption of a higher amount of milk and dairy products was associated with a reduced risk of small-for-gestational age and low birth weight infants; in addition to a higher risk of large-for-gestational age
  • The consumption of a higher amount of milk and dairy products during pregnancy was associated with greater infant birth weight and length; in addition to a lower risk of having small-for-gestational age and low birth weight infants, and a higher risk of large-for-gestational age infants.

Dairy Consumption and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Overweight or Obesity during Intensive Multidisciplinary Weight Management: A Prospective Observational Study. Tomah S, Eldib AH, Tasabehji MW, Mitri J, Salsberg V, Al-Badri MR, Gardner H, Hamdy O.Nutrients. 2020 Jun 2;12(6):E1643.

  • Dairy products are integral parts of healthy diets; however, their association with cardiometabolic (CM) health among patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) undergoing weight management is debated.
  • Researchers examined the relationship between dairy consumption and CM biomarkers in 45 subjects with T2D and obesity enrolled in a 12-week intensive multidisciplinary weight management (IMWM) program.
  • After the IMWM program (intervention phase), subjects were followed for 12 weeks (maintenance phase). Researchers stratified subjects based on initial average dairy consumption into infrequent (IFR), less-frequent (LFR), and frequent (FR) consumers. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, 12, and 24 weeks.
  • There were no differences between tertiles at baseline except for higher total energy intake among FR compared with IFR. HbA1c changes showed no association with dairy consumption at 12 or 24 weeks. FR Females achieved greater weight loss at 12 weeks compared with IFR peers. There was a trend towards lower HDL-C with increasing dairy consumption during the intervention phase.
  • In subjects with T2D and overweight or obesity, dairy consumption during weight management is not associated with HbA1c changes but with lower HDL-C and with higher magnitude of weight loss among females.

Effects of a Low Carb Diet and Whey Proteins on Anthropometric, Hematochemical and Cardiovascular Parameters in Subjects with Obesity. De Pergola G, Zupo R, Lampignano L, Paradiso S, Murro I, Bartolomeo N, Cecere A, Ciccone MM, Giannelli G, Triggiani V.Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2020 Jun 10.

  • The best way to lose body weight, without using drugs and/or suffering hunger and stress, has not yet been defined.
  • The present study tested a low carbohydrate diet, enriched with proteins, in subjects with overweight and obesity.
  • The study enrolled 22 uncomplicated overweight and obese subjects. Several parameters were examined before and after 6 weeks of a low-carbohydrate diet, enriched with 18 grams of whey proteins.
  • Anthropometric (body mass index, waist circumference) variables, fasting hormone (insulin, TSH, FT3, FT4) and metabolic (glucose, prealbumin, and lipid levels) parameters were measured. 25-OH-vitamin D (25 (OH) D), parathyroid hormone (PTH) and osteocalcin, were also quantified. Body composition parameters (fat mass, fat free mass, body cell mass, total body water) were measured by electrical bioimpedance analysis. As cardiovascular parameters, blood pressure, endothelium flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and common carotid artery intima-media thickness were measured.
  • The low-carbohydrate diet integrated with proteins induced a significant decrease of body weight, waist circumference, fat mass, diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, total cholesterol, prealbumin, insulin, HOMA-IR, FT3, and c-IMT, and a significant increase of FMD and 25 (OH) D.
  • In conclusion, all these results suggest that a short-term non-prescriptive low carbohydrate diet, enriched with whey proteins, may be a good way to start losing fat mass and increase health.

Very-Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diets with Whey, Vegetable or Animal Protein in Patients with Obesity: A Randomized Pilot Study. Basciani S, Camajani E, Contini S, Persichetti A, Risi R, Bertoldi L, Strigari L, Prossomariti G, Watanabe M, Mariani S, Lubrano C, Genco A, Spera G, Gnessi L.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020 Jun 2:

  • Researchers compared the efficacy, safety and effect of 45-day isocaloric very-low-calorie ketogenic diets (VLCKDs) incorporating whey, vegetable or animal protein on the microbiota in patients with obesity and insulin resistance to test the hypothesis that protein source may modulate the response to VLCKD interventions.
  • Forty-eight patients with obesity were randomly assigned to three 45-day isocaloric VLCKD regimens (≤800 kcal/day) containing whey, plant or animal protein. Anthropometric indexes; blood and urine chemistry, including parameters of kidney, liver, glucose and lipid metabolism; body composition; muscle strength; and taxonomic composition of the gut microbiome were assessed.
  • Body weight, BMI, blood pressure, waist circumference, HOMA index, insulin, and total and LDL cholesterol decreased in all patients. Patients who consumed whey protein had a more pronounced improvement in muscle strength. The markers of renal function worsened slightly in the animal protein group. A decrease in the relative abundance of Firmicutes and an increase in Bacteroidetes were observed after the consumption of VLCKDs. This pattern was less pronounced in patients consuming animal protein.
  • VLCKDs led to significant weight loss and a striking improvement in metabolic parameters over a 45-day period. VLCKDs based on whey or vegetable protein have a safer profile and result in a healthier microbiota composition than those containing animal proteins. VLCKDs incorporating whey protein are more effective in maintaining muscle performance.