Welcome to the inaugural edition of CDRF’s Dairy Research Bulletin, where we bring you a serving of the freshest available dairy research on a monthly basis! The 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. We hope you enjoy!

Visit the archive to view more research! Dairy Research Bulletin Archive


Selected Publications on Animal Health, Food Safety, and Sustainability

Measures and metrics of sustainable diets with a focus on milk, yogurt, and dairy products. Drewnowski A1. Nutr Rev. 2018 Jan 1;76(1):21-28.

  • The 4 domains of sustainable diets are nutrition, economics, society, and the environment. To be sustainable, foods and food patterns need to be nutrient-rich, affordable, culturally acceptable, and sparing of natural resources and the environment.
  • Based on multiple sustainability metrics, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products can be described as nutrient-rich, affordable, acceptable, and appealing. The environmental impact of dairy farming needs to be weighed against the high nutrient density of milk, yogurt, and cheese as compared with some plant-based alternatives.

Invited review: Sustainable forage and grain crop production for the US dairy industry. Martin NP, Russelle MP, Powell JM, Sniffen CJ, Smith SI, Tricarico JM, Grant RJ. J Dairy Sci. 2017 Dec;100(12):9479-9494.

  • Land use for production of perennial and annual forages and grains for dairy cattle must evolve in response to multiple food security and environmental sustainability issues.
  • Predicted changes in climate and water availability will likely challenge current feed and dairy production systems and their national spatial distribution, particularly the western migration of dairy production in the late 20th century.
  • To maintain and stabilize profitability while reducing carbon footprint, particularly reductions in methane emission and enhancements in soil carbon sequestration, dairy production will need to capitalize on genetic and management innovations that enhance forage and grain production and nutritive value.
  • Improved regional and on-farm integration of feed production and manure utilization is needed to reduce environmental nitrogen and phosphorus losses and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Prevalence of Salmonella enterica, Listeria monocytogenes, and pathogenic Escherichia coli in bulk tank milk and milk filters from US dairy operations in the National Animal Health Monitoring System Dairy 2014 study. Sonnier JL, Karns JS, Lombard JE, Kopral CA, Haley BJ, Kim SW, Van Kessel JAS. J Dairy Sci. 2017 Dec 20. pii: S0022-0302(17)31180-3.

  • In this study bulk tank milk (n = 234) and milk filters (n = 254) were collected from a total of 234 dairy operations in 17 major dairy states and analyzed for the presence of Salmonella enterica, Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli, and Listeria monocytogenes,
  • Salmonella enterica was isolated from 18.0% of operations. 15% of the Salmonella strains founds were resistant to 1 or more antimicrobials.
  • Listeria spp. were isolated from 19.9% of operations, and L. monocytogenes was isolated from 3.0% of operations.
  • One or more E. coli virulence genes were detected in the bulk tank milk from 30.5% of operations and in the filters from 75.3% of operations.
  • The results of this study indicate an appreciable prevalence of bacterial pathogens in bulk tank milk and filters, including species known to infect humans.

Invited review: Helping dairy farmers to improve economic performance utilizing data-driving decision support tools. Cabrera VE1. Animal. 2018 Jan;12(1):134-144.

  • The objective of this review paper is to describe the development and application of a suite of more than 40 computerized dairy farm decision support tools contained at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) Dairy Management website http://DairyMGT.info.
  • These data-driven decision support tools are aimed to help dairy farmers improve their decision-making, environmental stewardship and economic performance.
  • Dairy farm systems are also highly integrated with heavily interrelated components such as the dairy herd, soils, crops, weather and management. Under these premises, it is critical to evaluate a dairy farm following a dynamic integrated system approach.
  • DairyMGT.info is a translational innovative research website in various areas of dairy farm management that include nutrition, reproduction, calf and heifer management, replacement, price risk and environment.


Selected Publications on Dairy Intake and Human Health

How well do plant based alternatives fare nutritionally compared to cow’s milk? Vanga SK1, Raghavan V1. J Food Sci Technol. 2018 Jan;55(1):10-20.

  • Due to the issues like lactose intolerance and milk allergy arising from the consumption of cow’s milk, there has been an increased demand in the plant based alternative milks around the world. The food industry has addressed these demands by introducing various milk beverages which are promoted as alternatives coming from plant sources which include almond milk and soy milk.
  • Though they are popularly advertised as healthy and wholesome, little research has been done in understanding the nutritional implications of consuming these milk beverages in short term and long term.
  • Based on its nutrient profile, soy milk is the best alternative for replacing cow’s milk in human diet. But, various issues including the ‘beany flavor’ and presence of anti-nutrients are major hurdles which encouraged people to look for other alternatives. Though, almond milk also has a balanced nutrient profile and better flavor than soy milk, the nutrient density and the total number of calories are not as rich as that of cow’s milk. Hence, when consuming almond milk care should be taken that various essential nutrients are available through other sources in the diet in appropriate quantities. Rice milk and coconut milk cannot act as an ideal alternative for cow’s milk because of limited nutrient diversity.

Full fat milk consumption protects against severe childhood obesity in Latinos. Beck AL, Heyman M, Chao C, Wojcicki J. Prev Med Rep. 2017 Jul 23;8:1-5.

  • The objective was to determine the association between milk fat consumption and severe obesity among three-year-old Latino children, a population with a disproportionate burden of obesity and severe obesity.
  • Severely obese children had a lower mean intake of milk fat (5.3 g vs. 8.9 g) and severely obese children were less likely to be milk drinkers. In the multivariate model, higher milk fat consumption was associated with lower odds of severe obesity.
  • Higher milk fat consumption is associated with lower odds of severe obesity among Latino preschoolers. These results call into question recommendations that promote consumption of lower fat milk.

Yogurt consumption is associated with higher nutrient intake, diet quality and favorable metabolic profile in children: a cross-sectional analysis using data from years 1-4 of the National diet and Nutrition Survey, UK. Eur J Nutr. 2018 Jan 12. Hobbs DA1,2,3, Givens DI4,5, Lovegrove JA6,4,5.

  • This study investigated the association of yogurt consumption with nutrient intakes, diet quality and metabolic profile in British children. Data from 1687 children aged 4-10 and 11-18 years were analyzed.
  • This study suggests that British children who are yogurt consumers (> 60 g/day) have higher overall diet quality, nutrient intakes and adequacy, lower pulse pressure (children aged 4-10 years) and HbA1c concentrations (children aged 11-18 years).

Cheese consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Chen GC, Wang Y, Tong X, Szeto IMY, Smit G, Li ZN, Qin LQ. Eur J Nutr. 2017 Dec;56(8):2565-2575.

  • A meta-analysis of prospective observational studies was conducted to evaluate the risks of total CVD, coronary heart disease (CHD), and stroke associated with cheese consumption.
  • The final analyses included 15 prospective studies. The mathematical model used by the researchers indicated evidence of nonlinear relationships between cheese consumption and risks of total CVD and stroke, with the largest risk reductions observed at the consumption of approximately 40 grams of cheese per day.
  • This meta-analysis of prospective studies suggests a beneficial association between cheese consumption and risk of CVD.

Substitutions between dairy product subgroups and risk of type 2 diabetes: the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort. Ibsen DB, Laursen ASD, Lauritzen L, Tjønneland A, Overvad K, Jakobsen MU. Br J Nutr. 2017 Dec;118(11):989-997.

  • The aim of this study was to investigate the associations for specified substitutions between different subgroups of dairy products and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Data was used from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort including 54,277 men and women aged 50-64 years at baseline. On average, participants were followed for 15 years.
  • Low-fat yogurt products in place of whole-fat yogurt products were associated with a higher rate of type 2 diabetes. While whole-fat yogurt products in place of milk products were associated with a lower rate of type 2 diabetes.
  • These findings suggest that intake of whole-fat yogurt products in place of low-fat yogurt products, low-fat milk, whole-fat milk and buttermilk are associated with a lower rate of type 2 diabetes.

A scoping review of the public health impact of vitamin D-fortified dairy products for fracture prevention. Hiligsmann M, Neuprez A, Buckinx F, Locquet M, Reginster JY. Arch Osteoporos. 2017 Dec;12(1):57.

  • This article aims therefore to summarize evidence and review articles that estimated the public health and/or economic impact of vitamin D-fortified dairy products for fracture prevention.
  • Seven studies were assessed in this analysis. The four studies specifically assessing the public health impact of dairy products revealed a substantial benefit in terms of fracture prevented, life years, disability-adjusted life years and/or quality-adjusted life years gained.
  • This systematic review suggests that the use of dairy products could substantially reduce the burden of osteoporotic fractures and seem to be an economically beneficial strategy.

Dairy product consumption and risk of hip fracture: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Bian S1, Hu J1, Zhang K1, Wang Y2, Yu M3, Ma J4. BMC Public Health. 2018 Jan 22;18(1):165.

  • The aim of this meta-analysis was to examine and quantify the potential association of dairy product consumption with risk of hip fracture. The final analysis included 10 cohort studies and 8 case-control studies.
  • After pooling the data from the included studies, the relative risk for hip fracture for highest versus lowest consumption were 9% lower for milk, 25% lower for yogurt, 32% lower for cheese. There was no reduction for total dairy intake (which included milk, yogurt, cheese and cream).
  • The findings indicate that consumption of yogurt and cheese were most greatly associated with lower risk of hip fracture in cohort studies.

Food groups and risk of colorectal cancer. Schwingshackl L, Schwedhelm C, Hoffmann G, Knüppel S, Laure Preterre A, Iqbal K, Bechthold A, De Henauw S, Michels N, Devleesschauwer B, Boeing H, Schlesinger S. Int J Cancer. 2017 Dec 6.

  • The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to summarize the evidence on the relationship between intake of 12 major food groups, including whole grains, refined grains, vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, eggs, dairy, fish, red meat, processed meat and sugar-sweetened beverages with risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Findings of this meta-analysis showed that a diet characterized by high intake of whole grains, vegetables, fruit and dairy products and low amounts of red meat and processed meat was associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer.

Dairy Products Intake and Endometrial Cancer Risk: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. Li X, Zhao J, Li P, Gao Y. Nutrients. 2017 Dec 28;10(1). pii: E25.

  • This meta-analysis of 18 studies aimed to evaluate the relationship between dairy intake and endometrial cancer.
  • No significant association was observed between endometrial cancer risk and the intake of total dairy products, milk, or cheese for the highest for the highest consumers compared to the lowest consumers.
  • In women with a higher body mass index (BMI), higher dairy products intake was associated with lower endometrial cancer risk.

Milk and other dairy foods in relation to prostate cancer recurrence: Data from the cancer of the prostate strategic urologic research endeavor (CaPSURE™). Tat D1,2, Kenfield SA2,3, Cowan JE2, Broering JM2, Carroll PR2, Van Blarigan EL2,4, Chan JM2,4. Prostate. 2018 Jan;78(1):32-39.

  • High-fat dairy, particularly whole milk, in healthy men may increase risk of aggressive prostate cancer. However, data are limited regarding dairy after prostate cancer diagnosis.
  • The researchers conducted a prospective study among 1334 men with non-metastatic prostate cancer. Men who consumed >4 servings/week of whole milk had an 73% increased risk of recurrence compared to those who consumed 0-3 servings/week. Low-fat milk and other dairy foods were not associated with recurrence.
  • Whole milk drinkers who were overweight or obese had a much higher rate of reccurrence than men who had a healthy weight when diagnosed.
  • In conclusion, whole milk consumption after prostate cancer diagnosis was associated with increased risk of recurrence, particularly among very overweight or obese men. Men with prostate cancer who choose to drink milk should select non-fat or low-fat options.