Dairy Research Bulletin
Selected Articles from December 2021

Environmental Management and Sustainability

A Review of 3-Nitrooxypropanol for Enteric Methane Mitigation from Ruminant Livestock. Yu G, Beauchemin KA, Dong R. Animals (Basel). 2021 Dec 13;11(12):3540.

  • Methane (CH4) from enteric fermentation accounts for 3 to 5% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. Cost-effective strategies are needed to reduce feed energy losses as enteric CH4while improving ruminant production efficiency.
  • Mitigation strategies need to be environmentally friendly, easily adopted by producers and accepted by consumers. However, few sustainable CH4mitigation approaches are available. Recent studies show that the chemically synthesized CH4 inhibitor 3-nitrooxypropanol is one of the most effective approaches for enteric CH4 abatement. 3-nitrooxypropanol specifically targets the methyl-coenzyme M reductase and inhibits the final catalytic step in methanogenesis in rumen archaea.
  • Providing 3-nitrooxypropanol to dairy and beef cattle in research studies has consistently decreased enteric CH4production by 30% on average, with reductions as high as 82% in some cases. Efficacy is positively related to 3-NOP dose and negatively affected by neutral detergent fiber concentration of the diet, with greater responses in dairy compared with beef cattle when compared at the same dose.
  • This review collates the current literature on 3-nitrooxypropanol and examines the overall findings of meta-analyses and individual studies to provide a synthesis of science-based information on the use of 3-nitrooxypropanol for CH4 The intent is to help guide commercial adoption at the farm level in the future.
  • There is a significant body of peer-reviewed scientific literature to indicate that 3-nitrooxypropanol is effective and safe when incorporated into total mixed rations, but further research is required to fully understand the long-term effects and the interactions with other CH4mitigating compounds.

Meta-analysis quantifying the potential of dietary additives and rumen modifiers for methane mitigation in ruminant production systems. Almeida AK, Hegarty RS, Cowie A. Anim Nutr. 2021 Dec;7(4):1219-1230.

  • Increasingly countries are seeking to reduce emission of greenhouse gases from the agricultural industries, and livestock production in particular, as part of their climate change management.
  • While many reviews update progress in mitigation research, a quantitative assessment of the efficacy and performance-consequences of nutritional strategies to mitigate enteric methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants has been lacking.
  • A meta-analysis was conducted based on 108 refereed papers from recent animal studies (2000-2020) to report effects on CH4production, CH4 yield and CH4 emission intensity from 8 dietary interventions. The interventions (oils, microalgae, nitrate, ionophores, protozoal control, phytochemicals, essential oils and 3-nitrooxypropanol).
  • Of these, macroalgae and 3-nitrooxypropanol showed greatest efficacy in reducing CH4yield (g CH4/kg of dry matter intake) at the doses trialed.

Optimizing accuracy of measurement protocols for nitrogen application in dilute dairy manure. Miller CMF, Clark NE, Meyer D. J Environ Qual. 2021 Dec 27.

  • Variability of dairy process wastewater nitrogen content makes precise fertilizing of forage challenging.
  • The objective of this study was to improve measurement accuracy of dairy process wastewater nitrogen. The researchers characterized dairy process wastewater nitrogen and quantified its variability using over 1000 samples from 91 lagoons on commercial California dairies, then used statistical modeling and stochastic simulations to compare the accuracy of various protocols for measuring dairy process wastewater nitrogen applied to forage crops.
  • Electrical Conductivity was positively correlated with N concentration within a lagoon. Simulations compared the accuracy of N application rates when lagoon samples for N analyses were collected more frequently and from more homogenous lagoons.
  • When sampled quarterly, the N application measurement error was ±50%. Homogenizing dairy process wastewater and sampling weekly reduced measurement error to ±42% and ±30%, respectively. Simulations using electrical conductivity as an N concentration proxy within an automated irrigation system reduced N application measurement error to ±5%.
  • More accurate automated N concentration measurements allow for precision N management that meets yield goals and reduces environmental impacts.

A meta-analysis reveals that operational parameters influence levels of antibiotic resistance genes during anaerobic digestion of animal manures. Flores-Orozco D, Levin D, Kumar A, Sparling R, Cicek N. Sci Total Environ. 2021 Dec 30:152711.

  • Anaerobic digestion has shown the potential to reduce the numbers and types of antibiotic-resistance genes (ARG) present in animal manures. However, the variability of the results has limited the ability to draw solid conclusions.
  • To address this issue, researchers performed a series of meta-analyses to evaluate how anaerobic digestion of pig, cattle, and dairy manures affects ARG levels and how different parameters, such as temperature, pH, digestion times, and the addition of other substances (e.g., solids, antibiotics) influence ARG changes.
  • Twenty studies with enough details on changes in ARG levels during the anaerobic digestion process were identified and used for the meta-analyses.
  • The results suggested that anaerobic digestion could significantly reduce ARG levels regardless of the conditions of the process. Also, thermophilic anaerobic digestion was more effective than mesophilic anaerobic digestion at reducing ARGs, although this difference was only significant for pig manures.
  • The results also suggested that long digestion times (>50 days) yielded better ARG reduction rates, and that the addition of solids from an external source (co-digestion) negatively affected the efficiency of ARG reduction.
  • In general, the results suggested that ARG changes during anaerobic digestion could be linked to the abundance and activity of hydrolytic communities.

Potential utilization of dairy industries by-products and wastes through microbial processes: A critical review. Sar T, Harirchi S, Taherzadeh MJ, et al. Sci Total Environ. 2021 Dec 10;810:152253.

  • The dairy industry generates excessive amounts of waste and by-products while it gives a wide range of dairy products. Alternative biotechnological uses of these wastes need to be determined to aerobic and anaerobic treatment systems due to their high chemical oxygen demand levels and rich nutrient (lactose, protein and fat) contents.
  • This work presents a critical review on the fermentation-engineering aspects based on defining the effective use of dairy effluents in the production of various microbial products such as biofuel, enzyme, organic acid, polymer, biomass production, etc.
  • In addition to microbial processes, techno-economic analyses to the integration of some microbial products into the biorefinery and feasibility of the related processes have been presented.
  • Overall, the inclusion of dairy wastes into the designed microbial processes seems also promising for commercial approaches. Especially the digestion of dairy wastes with cow manure and/or different substrates will provide a positive net present value and a payback period less than 10 years to the plant in terms of biogas production.

Life Cycle Assessment on Environmental Sustainability of Food Processing.
Chung MMS, Bao Y, Zhang BY, Le TM, Huang JY. Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2021 Dec 22.

  • Food processing represents a critical part of the food supply chain that converts raw materials into safe and nutritious food products with high quality. However, the fast-growing food processing industry has imposed enormous burdens on the environment.
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA) is widely used for evaluating the sustainability of food systems; nonetheless, current attention mainly concentrates on the agricultural production stage. This article reviews recent LCA studies on dairy, fruits and vegetables, and beverage products, with a particular emphasis on their processing stage.
  • The environmental impacts of various foods are summarized, and the hotspots in their processing lines as well as potential remediation strategies are highlighted. Moreover, an outlook on the environmental performance of nonthermal processing, modified atmosphere packaging, and active packaging is provided, and future research directions are recommended.
  • This review enables quantitative assessments and comparisons to be made by food manufacturers that are devoted to implementing sustainable processing technologies.
Animal Health and Food Safety 

Parenteral Antioxidant Supplementation at Birth Improves the Response to Intranasal Vaccination in Newborn Dairy Calves. Nayak A, Abuelo A. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Dec 12;10(12):1979.

  • Newborn calves experience oxidative stress throughout the first month of their life, which is known to decrease lymphocyte functions relevant to vaccine responsiveness.
  • Thus, this study aimed to determine the extent to which parenteral antioxidant supplementation given at birth improves the response to an intranasal viral vaccine in the first month of life of newborn dairy calves.
  • For this, 21 calves were randomly assigned at birth to one of two commercially available antioxidant micronutrient supplements or a placebo group receiving 0.9% sterile saline (n= 7/group).
  • Serum and nasal secretion samples were collected before administration of treatments and an intranasal vaccine against respiratory viruses (bovine herpesvirus type 1, bovine syncytial respiratory virus, and parainfluenza 3), and once weekly for the first four weeks of age.
  • The results showed that parenteral administration of antioxidants at birth improved calves’ redox balance. Additionally, calves receiving antioxidant supplementation had higher concentrations of immunoglobulin A in their nasal secretions than calves in the control group.
  • Thus, the researchers concluded that supplementation of calves with antioxidants at birth could be a practical strategy to improve intranasal vaccine response. Future larger studies should evaluate the extent to which this increased mucosal response to intranasal vaccination could result in decreased calf morbidity and mortality.

Herd Routines and Veterinary Advice Related to Dry-Cow Therapy and Treatment with Internal Teat Sealants in Dairy Cows. Persson Waller K, Landin H, Nyman AK. Animals (Basel). 2021;11(12):3411.

  • Dry-cow therapy with antibiotics (DCT) and treatment with internal teat sealants (ITS) are often used to control mastitis in dairy cows. However, the knowledge on farmer and veterinary compliance with recommendations for DCT and ITS is scarce.
  • Thus, the main aim was to collect information on farmer routines and veterinary advice for such treatments. Associations with herd and veterinary variables were also studied.
  • Web-based questionnaires including questions on demographics and the use of DCT and ITS were sent to 2472 farmers and 517 veterinarians in Sweden. The answers were summarized descriptively, and associations with demographics were evaluated using univariable regression models.
  • The response rate was 14% for farmers and 25% for veterinarians. Among the farmers, 81% used selective DCT (SDCT), 3% used blanket DCT (BDCT), and 16% did not use DCT. Almost all (93%) veterinarians prescribed DCT and among those most recommended SDCT while 8% recommended BDCT. Eighty-two percent of the farmers did not use ITS and 45% of the veterinarians never prescribed ITS.
  • In conclusion, many farmer routines and veterinary advice complied with the recommendations available at the time, but a clear need for more education was also identified. The results also indicated that an up-date of the national recommendations was warranted.

Preferences of European dairy stakeholders in breeding for resilient and efficient cattle: A best-worst scaling approach. Burns JG, Glenk K, Eory V, Simm G, Wall E. J Dairy Sci. 2021 Dec 23:S0022-0302(21)01050-X.

  • Including resilience in the breeding objective of dairy cattle is gaining increasing attention, primarily as anticipated challenges to production systems, such as climate change, may make some perturbations more difficult to moderate at the farm level. Consequently, the underlying biological mechanisms by which resilience is achieved are likely to become an important part of the system itself, increasing value on the animal’s ability to be unperturbed by variable production circumstances, or to quickly return to pre-perturbed levels of productivity and health.
  • However, because the value of improving genetic traits to a system is usually based on known profit functions or bioeconomic models linked to current production conditions, it can be difficult to define longer-term value, especially under uncertain future production circumstances and where nonmonetary values may be progressively more important.
  • This study presents the novel application of a discrete choice experiment, used to investigate potential antagonisms in the values of genetic improvements for 8 traits to dairy cattle system stakeholders in Europe when the production goal was either efficiency or resilience.
  • Results suggested 3 distinct latent preference classes for each production goal. For the efficiency goal, yield and feed efficiency traits were generally highly valued, whereas for the resilience goal, health and robustness traits were generally highly valued. In both cases, these traits generally carried a low value in the other production scenario.
  • Overall, in both scenarios, longevity was highly valued; however, the value of this trait in terms of resilience will depend on phenotyping across diverse environments to sufficiently capture performance under various anticipated system challenges. Additionally, results showed significant associations between membership of latent preference classes with education level and profession.
  • In conclusion, as resilience becomes increasingly important, it is likely that a continued reliance on the short-term economic value of traits alone will lead decision makers to misrepresent the importance of some traits, including those with substantial contextual values in terms of resilience.

Prevalence and Antimicrobial Resistance Profiles of Foodborne Pathogens Isolated from Dairy Cattle and Poultry Manure Amended Farms in Northeastern Ohio, the United States. Hailu W, Helmy YA, Rajashekara G, et al. Antibiotics (Basel). 2021;10(12):1450.

  • Foodborne pathogens significantly impact public health globally. Excessive antimicrobial use plays a significant role in the development of the public health crisis of antibiotic resistance.
  • In this study, researchers determined the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance profiles of  coliO157, SalmonellaL. monocytogenes, and Campylobacter isolated between 2016 and 2020 from small scale agricultural settings that were amended with dairy cattle or poultry manure in Northeastern Ohio.
  • The total prevalence of the foodborne pathogens was 19.3%: Campylobacter8%, Listeria monocytogenes9%, Escherichia coli O157 1.8%, and Salmonella 1.5%. The prevalence was significantly higher in dairy cattle (87.7%) compared to poultry (12.2%) manure amended farms. Furthermore, the prevalence was higher in manure samples (84%) compared to soil samples (15.9%; p < 0.05).
  • Multiple drug resistance was observed in 73%, 77%, 100%, and 57.3% of  Coli O157, Salmonella, L. monocytogenes, and Campylobacter isolates recovered, respectively.
  • These results highlight the critical need to address the dissemination of foodborne pathogens and antibiotic resistance in agricultural settings.

Antibiotic resistance and phylogenetic profiling of Escherichia coli from dairy farm soils; organic versus conventional systems. Amoafo OY, Malekar V, Jones E, On SLW. Curr Res Microb Sci. 2021 Dec 10;3:100088.

  • The prevalence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as a result of the persistent use and/or abuse of antimicrobials is a key health problem for health authorities and governments worldwide.
  • A study of contrasting farming systems such as organic versus conventional dairy farming may help to authenticate some factors that may contribute to the prevalence and spread of AMR in their soils.
  • A case study was conducted in organic and conventional dairy farms in the South Canterbury region of New Zealand. A total of 814 dairy farm soil  coli(DfSEC) isolates recovered over two years were studied. Isolates were recovered from each of two farms practicing organic, and another two practicing conventional husbandries.
  • The  coliisolates were examined for their antimicrobial resistance (AMR) against cefoxitin, cefpodoxime, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, meropenem, nalidixic acid, and tetracycline.
  • The AMR results indicated 3.7% of the DfSEC isolates were resistant to at least one of the eight selected antimicrobials. Of the resistant isolates, DfSEC from the organic dairy farms showed a lower prevalence of resistance to the antimicrobials tested, compared to their counterparts from the conventional farms.
  • Phylogenetic analysis placed the majority (73.7%) of isolates recovered in group B1, itself dominated by isolates of bovine origin. The tendency for higher rates of resistance among strains from conventional farming may be important for future decision-making around farming practices.

Influence of Manure Application on the Soil Bacterial Microbiome in Integrated Crop-Livestock Farms in Maryland. Peng M, Tabashsum Z, Millner P, Parveen S, Biswas D. Microorganisms. 2021 Dec 15;9(12):2586.

  • As a traditional agricultural system, integrated crop-livestock farms involve the production of animals and crops in a shared environment. The integrated crop-livestock farms in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States practice sustainable manure aging or composting processes to provide an on-farm source of soil amendment for use as natural fertilizer and soil conditioner for crop production. However, crop fertilization by soil incorporation of aged manure or compost may introduce different microbes and alter the soil microbial community.
  • The aim of this study was to characterize the influence of aged or composted manure application on the diversity of soil bacterial community in integrated crop-livestock farms.
  • Soil samples from six integrated crop-livestock farms in Maryland were collected before (pre-crop) and during the season (2020-2021) and used to analyze soil bacterial microbiome by 16S rDNA sequencing.
  • Results showed that both phylum- and genus-level alterations of soil bacterial communities were associated with amendment of aged or composted manure. Particularly, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria were enriched, while Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Planctomycetes, Firmicutes, and Chloroflexi were reduced after manure product application. Meanwhile, the relative abundance of Bacilluswas decreased, while two zoonotic pathogens, Salmonella and Listeria, were enriched by manure amendments.
  • Overall, animal manure amendment of soil increased the phylogenetic diversity, but reduced the richness and evenness of the soil bacterial communities. Although manure composting management in integrated crop-livestock farms benefits agricultural sustainable production, the amendments altered the soil bacterial communities and were associated with the finding of two major zoonotic bacterial pathogens, which raises the possibility of their potential transfer to fresh horticultural produce crops that may be produced on the manured soils and then subsequently consumed without cooking.

The Fate of Foodborne Pathogens in Manure Treated Soil. Black Z, Balta I, Corcionivoschi N, et al. Front Microbiol. 2021 Dec 10;12:781357.

  • It is important to consider soil health in relation to environment and land management practices in the context of the soil microflora and the introduction of pathogens on the health of the soil microbiome.
  • The aim of this review was to provide an update on the complex relationship between manure application, altered pathogen levels and antibiotic resistance. This is necessary to protect health and improve the sustainability of this major farming practice in agricultural systems based on high levels of manure production.
  • Viable pathogens in manure spread on agricultural land may be distributed by leaching, surface run-off, water source contamination and contaminated crop removal. Thus, it is important to understand how multiple pathogens can persist in manures and on soil at farm-scale and how crops produced under these conditions could be a potential transfer route for zoonotic pathogens.
  • The management of pathogen load within livestock manure is a potential mechanism for the reduction and prevention of outbreaks infection with Escherichia coliListeria Salmonella, and Campylobacter. The ability of Campylobacter coli, Listeria and Salmonellato combat environmental stress coupled with their survival on food crops and vegetables post-harvest emphasizes the need for further study of these pathogens along with the emerging pathogen Providencia given its link to disease in the immunocompromised and its’ high levels of antibiotic resistance.
  • The management of pathogen load within livestock manure has been widely recognized as a potential mechanism for the reduction and prevention of outbreaks infection but any studies undertaken should be considered as region specific due to the variable nature of the factors influencing pathogen content and survival in manures and soil.
Human Nutrition and Health

Dose-response relationships between dairy intake and non-communicable chronic diseases: an NHANES-based cross-sectional study. Zhao Y, Ji X, Feng R, et al. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2021 Dec 29:1-12.

  • Non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs) tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioral factors. The main types of NCD are obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, which have been global public health threats.
  • The purpose of this study was to explore the possible association between dairy and NCDs and identify possible dairy types that could lower the odds of NCDs.
  • Data were from the 2003-2016 NHANES, a cross-sectional study with 20,297 adults.
  • The average intakes were: yogurt (0-1.2 daily servings), milk (0-3.5 daily servings), cheese (1.7 daily servings), and butter (0.5 daily servings).
  • In the highest intake group 1 daily serving), yogurt and milk were inversely associated with the odds of general obesity and central obesity .
  • Higher milk intake was inversely associated with diabetes, and higher cream intake was associated with a lower likelihood of hyperlipidemia.
  • The milk intake levels that decreased the likelihood of NCD were 1–2.2 daily servings for youth, 1.8–2.3 daily servings for middle-aged individuals, and 0–2.3 daily servings) for elderly individuals.
  • Overall, the intake of different fat dairy products might have different effects on NCDs.

Total dairy consumption in relation to overweight and obesity in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Babio N, Becerra-Tomás N, Salas-Salvadó J, et al. Obes Rev. 2021 Dec 8:e13400.

  • Childhood obesity has emerged as one of the most serious worldwide problems. According to the latest Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) report, the prevalence of overweight and obesity for boys and girls aged 6 to 9 years was 29% and 27%, respectively, worldwide.
  • A systematic review and meta-analysis of cross-sectional and prospective cohort studies was conducted to assess the associations between total dairy consumption and its different subtypes with the prevalence and incidence of overweight, obesity, and overweight/obesity in children and adolescents.
  • A literature search was conducted in Medline through PUBMED and Cochrane Library databases until October 18, 2021. Articles reporting the risk estimates as odd ratios (OR), risk ratios (RR), or hazard ratios and their corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) for the association between dairy product consumption and the risk of overweight and/or obesity were included.
  • In the meta-analysis from cross-sectional studies, results showed an inverse association between total dairy consumption and obesity prevalence (OR: 0.66). No significant associations were found between milk or yogurt and obesity prevalence risk.
  • Regarding prospective studies, total milk consumption was positively associated with overweight prevalence (OR: 1.13) and incidence (RR: 1.17) risk. Evidence from pooled analysis of cross-sectional studies suggested an inverse association between total dairy consumption and obesity.

Total, low-fat, and full-fat dairy consumption and risk of metabolic syndrome among workers. Yoko J, Nanri A, Eguchi M, Kochi T, Kabe I, Mizoue T. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2021 Dec;46:350-355.

  • Dairy products may play a beneficial role against metabolic syndrome; however, epidemiological evidence is scarce in Asian populations, who consume less dairy than Western populations.
  • Therefore, researchers prospectively investigated the association between dairy product intake, both overall and by fat content, and metabolic syndrome in a Japanese working population.
  • Participants were 1014 workers (aged 19-68 years) without metabolic syndrome at baseline who completed a 3-year follow-up survey. Dietary intake was assessed using a validated self-administered diet history questionnaire. Multiple logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio of metabolic syndrome according to tertile of total, low-fat, and full-fat dairy product intake with adjustment for covariates.
  • At the 3-year follow-up, 66 (6.5%) workers were newly identified as having metabolic syndrome. A trend towards decreased odds of developing metabolic syndrome was observed among those in the highest tertile of total and full-fat dairy product intake: multivariable-adjusted odds ratio for the highest versus lowest tertile was 0.54 (P = 0.094) for total dairy products and 0.50 (P = 0.038) for full-fat dairy products. Low-fat dairy intake was not associated with metabolic syndrome.
  • These results suggest that higher intake of full-fat, but not low-fat, dairy products may be associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome among Japanese.

Associations Between Intake of Fermented Dairy Products and Blood Lipid Concentrations Are Affected by Fat Content and Dairy Matrix – The Tromso Study: Tromso7. Machlik ML, Hopstock LA, Wilsgaard T, Hansson P. Front Nutr. 2021 Nov 22;8:773468.

  • Dairy fat is rich in saturated fatty acids known to increase serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentration, an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, intake of fermented dairy products has been associated with reduced CVD risk in observational studies. How intakes of different fermented dairy products are associated with blood lipid concentrations may provide a possible explanation for the suggested reduced CVD risk.
  • The aim of this study was to examine the associations between different types of fermented dairy products, with various fat contents and dairy matrix structures, and blood lipid concentrations in a general population.
  • Participants were 11,377 women and men aged between 40-99 years old. The researchers examined associations between total intake of fermented dairy products, intake of yogurt (including regular-fat, low-fat, and semi-solid yogurt), cheese (including regular-fat and low-fat), and liquid fermented dairy, and serum concentrations of total cholesterol, LDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides.
  • The results showed that cheese intake was positively associated with HDL-C, and inversely associated with LDL-C and triglycerides per 25 g/day among non-users of cholesterol-lowering drugs, while no associations were found among users.
  • Total intake of fermented dairy was inversely associated with triglycerides per 250 g/day, while no associations were found for yogurt intake. Intake of low-fat cheese was more favorably associated with blood lipids compared to regular-fat cheese, and semi-solid yogurt was inversely associated with LDL-C and triglycerides, while intake of liquid fermented dairy was not associated with any of the blood lipids.
  • In conclusion, this study highlights the importance of investigating specific types of dairy products separately, based on fat content and dairy matrix, when examining effects on blood lipid concentrations, and stratifying statistical models by use of cholesterol-lowering drugs when relevant.

Dairy Consumption, Lactase Persistence, and Mortality Risk in a Cohort From Southern Sweden. Sonestedt E, Borné Y, Wirfält E, Ericson U. Front Nutr. 2021;8:779034.

  • Whether high dairy consumption is related to longevity is still unclear, and additional studies of prospective cohorts with high-quality dietary data from populations with wide consumption ranges are needed.
  • The objective of this study was to examine the association between dairy consumption and mortality in a Swedish cohort.
  • The study followed 26,190 participants (62% females, 45-73 years old) without diabetes and cardiovascular disease from the population-based Malmö Diet and Cancer cohort. 7,156 individuals died during a mean follow-up time of 19 years.
  • Data on intake of dairy (non-fermented milk, fermented milk, cheese, cream and butter) were collected from 7 day food records and food questionnaires. A genetic marker (rs4988235) associated with lactase persistence was detected among 22,234 individuals born in Sweden.
  • The results showed that higher intakes up to 1,000 g/day of non-fermented milk were associated with only marginal higher mortality rates after adjusting for potential confounders. However, intakes above 1,000 g/day (1.5% of the population) were associated with 34% higher mortality compared to that with < 200 g/day.
  • Fermented milk and cheese intake were inversely associated with mortality. Cream showed a protective association only among men. Butter was not associated with mortality.
  • CT/TT genotype carriers (i.e., individuals with lactase persistence) had a 27% higher reported consumption of non-fermented milk, and non-significant higher mortality risk than CC genotype carriers
  • In conclusion, higher mortality rates were mainly observed among participants consuming more than 1,000 g of non-fermented milk per day. In contrast, fermented milk and cheese were associated with lower mortality. Because dairy products differ in composition, it is important to examine them separately in their relation to health and disease.

Dietary Composition and Its Association with Newly Diagnosed Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Insulin Resistance. Charatcharoenwitthaya P, Tansakul E, Chaiyasoot K, et al. Nutrients. 2021 Dec 11;13(12):4438.

  • Dietary modification is essential for treating nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); however, the specific dietary components to modify are not well-defined.
  • Researchers enrolled 252 adults with no history of liver disease and excessive alcohol use to evaluate the relationship between macronutrients and NAFLD and insulin resistance.
  • Participants took photographs of their meals and documented their food intake in a food diary for seven consecutive days. Participants underwent transient elastography to diagnose NAFLD and blood tests to measure insulin resistance.
  • Total energy intake and the proportion of carbohydrate, fat, and protein consumption did not differ between participants with NAFLD (n= 41) and those without NAFLD (n = 211).
  • Daily intake of protein < 1.0 g/kg (OR: 3.66) and full-fat dairy product ≥ 50 g (OR: 0.42) were associated with NAFLD. Insulin resistance was associated with a daily intake of protein < 1.0 g/kg (OR: 3.09), full-fat dairy product ≥ 50 g (OR: 0.46), and dietary fiber ≥ 8 g (OR: 0.41).
  • Overall, the data show that a low protein intake increases the odds for NAFLD and insulin resistance. Contrarily, a high intake of full-fat dairy products and dietary fiber has been associated with a potential protective effect against NAFLD and insulin resistance.

Cow products: boon to human health and food security. Prasad A, Kothari N. Trop Anim Health Prod. 2021 Dec 11;54(1):12.

  • The world population exceeded 7.8 billion people in 2020 and is predicted to reach 9.9 billion by 2050 as per the current increasing rate of 25%. In view of this, ensuring human health and food security has become an issue of key importance to countries with different degrees of economic development. At the same time, the livestock sector plays a strategic role in improving the economic, environmental, and sociocultural stewardship of any nation.
  • The cow (Bos indicus) has held a distinctive role in human history ever since its domestication because of its valued harvests such as dairy products (milk, clarified butter, yogurt, curd, and buttermilk) and excreta such as dung and urine.
  • Dairy products provide all the necessary energy and nutrients to ensure the proper growth and development of the human. They are the source of many bioactive substances, which possess immense pharmacotherapeutic action against various physiological, metabolic and infectious disorders, including COVID-19.
  • The use of urine and dung can be considered a low-cost agricultural practice for farmers and has been extensively used in modern agriculture practices to ensure food security via soil fertility, plant pathogens, and pests. Cow urine mediated synthesized nanomaterial also display distinctive characteristics and novel applications in various fields of science and technology.
  • Thus, this paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview of cow products, describing their biochemical constituents, bioactivities, and their utilization in the area ranging from human welfare to agriculture sustainability. An attempt is also made to present possible applications in bioenergy production and pollution reduction.

Whey protein and vitamin D supplementation in institutionalized older adults: A randomized trial. Colonetti T, Grande AJ, da Rosa MI, et al. Nutr Health. 2021 Dec 13:2601060211060665.

  • The increase in life expectancy and in the number of individuals over 60 years old brings new demands to health professionals and services based on the physiological changes that occur in this population. The aging process results in changes in body composition, increasing body fat and reducing muscle mass, in addition to a reduction in bone mass.
  • The aim of this study was to examine the effect of whey protein and vitamin D supplementation on body composition and skeletal muscle in older adults living in long-term care facilities.
  • This study was a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Thirty older adults (>60 years old) were randomized and allocated in three groups: group receiving resistance training and supplementation receiving resistance training, whey protein and vitamin D; group received resistance and placebo training receiving resistance training and placebo, and control group without any intervention.
  • The mean population age was 74.87 years. A significant difference was observed between the group receiving resistance training and supplementation and control groups in relation to lean mass increase at 24 weeks.
  • After 24 weeks of intervention, there was a significant increase in Relative index of muscle mass for the two groups that underwent resistance training, group received resistance and placebo training and group receiving resistance training and supplementation, in relation to the control.
  • The study concluded that combined supplementation of whey protein and vitamin D with resistance training can significantly improve lean mass, total mass, and relative index of muscle mass in institutionalized older adults.

Effect of Whey Protein Supplementation on Perioperative Outcomes in Patients with Cancer-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Srinivasaraghavan N, Das N, Balakrishnan K, Rajaram S. Nutr Cancer. 2021 Dec 28:1-14.

  • Whey protein has several biochemical characteristics which make it an ideal nutritional supplement in cancer.
  • This meta-analysis aims to evaluate the effects of whey on perioperative outcomes in cancer. A systematic review was also conducted.
  • The primary outcome was postoperative complications. Secondary outcomes included 6-minute walk test, length-of-stay, and thirty-day readmission.
  • Of the ten trials, six supplemented whey to meet protein requirements of around 1.2 mg/kg/day, and four supplemented whey variably.
  • A synthesis of ten trials with 643 patients showed significantly decreased postoperative complications in the whey supplemented (22%) group as compared to the control (32%) (OR 0.61).
  • Analysis of six trials showed that patients supplemented with whey had greater functional walking capacity before surgery and after 4 weeks of surgery. Thirty-day readmissions and length-of-stay showed no differences.
  • Overall, whey protein supplementation was shown to improve perioperative functional capacity and significantly reduce postoperative complications in patients with cancer.

Influence of Dairy Products on Bioavailability of Zinc from Other Food Products: A Review of Complementarity at a Meal Level. Shkembi B, Huppertz T. Nutrients. 2021;13(12):4253.

  • Dairy products can have a reasonable contribution for dietary zinc intake in Western diets, where dairy consumption is high. However, the co-ingestion of dairy products can also improve zinc absorption from other food products.
  • In this paper, researchers reviewed the role of dairy products in dietary zinc absorption.
  • Improvements in zinc absorption have been observed when dairy products (e.g., milk or yoghurt) were ingested together with food such as rice, tortillas or bread products, all of which are considered to be high-phytate foods with low inherent zinc absorption.
  • For foods low in phytate, the co-ingestion of dairy products did not improve zinc absorption. Improved zinc absorption of zinc from high-phytate foods following co-ingestion with dairy products may be related to the beneficial effects of the citrate and phosphopeptides present in dairy products.
  • Considering that the main dietary zinc sources in areas in the world where zinc deficiency is most prevalent are typically high in phytate, the inclusion of dairy products in meals may be a viable dietary strategy to improve zinc absorption.

Dairy Lactic Acid Bacteria and Their Potential Function in Dietetics: The Food-Gut-Health Axis. Ağagündüz D, Yılmaz B, Özogul F, et al. Foods. 2021 Dec 14;10(12):3099.

  • Fermented dairy products are the good source of different species of live lactic acid bacteria (LAB), which are beneficial microbes well characterized for their health-promoting potential. Traditionally, dietary intake of fermented dairy foods has been related to different health-promoting benefits including antimicrobial activity and modulation of the immune system, among others.
  • In recent years, emerging evidence suggests a contribution of dairy LAB in the prophylaxis and therapy of non-communicable diseases. Live bacterial cells or their metabolites can directly impact physiological responses and/or act as signalling molecules mediating more complex communications.
  • This review provides up-to-date knowledge on the interactions between LAB isolated from dairy products (dairy LAB) and human health by discussing the concept of the food-gut-health axis.
  • In particular, some bioactivities and probiotic potentials of dairy LAB have been provided on their involvement in the gut-brain axis and non-communicable diseases mainly focusing on their potential in the treatment of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel diseases, and cancer.
Innovation, Economics, and Dairy Alternatives

Perspective of dairy producers from California, Idaho, South Dakota, and Washington: Health and business implications of the COVID-19 pandemic during the second wave. Valldecabres A, Wenz J, Ferreira FC, Silva-Del-Río N, et al. J Dairy Sci. 2021 Dec 23:S0022-0302(21)01067-5.

  • Understanding the concern of dairy producers regarding the health risk and effect on business of the pandemic, and the mitigation measures adopted, will inform and guide not only COVID-19 outreach efforts but also preparedness and response if future pandemics or uncertainties arise.
  • The aim of this study was to document California, Idaho, South Dakota, and Washington dairy producers’ perspectives on the health and business implications of COVID-19 during the pandemic second wave.
  • Dairy producers were reached by a 14-question anonymous mail survey during June and July of 2020.
  • Researchers obtained 226 responses (response rate: 9.3% CA, 8.6% ID, 31.4%, and 10.0% WA). Responses were grouped by state (CA: 48.7%, ID: 15.9%, SD: 21.7%, or WA: 13.7%) and dairy size [small (<100 cows): 14.1%, medium (100-499 cows): 27.7%, medium-large (500-1,999 cows): 33.2%, or large (≥2,000 cows): 25.0%].
  • Respondents were somewhat or very concerned about the health (75%) and business (92%) implications associated with COVID-19. Producers were concerned about the health of their families, employees, and employees’ families; having to reduce production; workforce shortage; limited goods availability; and lack of services.
  • There was COVID-19 safety information or training provided (78%) or intended (4%) in English (22%), Spanish (23%), or both (55%). The focus of training was as follows: how to remain healthy at work (91%) and at home (60%), what to do if a worker gets sick (77%), and sick leave information (54%).
  • The following control measures implemented: providing hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes (78%), instruction on frequent hand-washing (76%), social distancing (59%), prevention of employee gatherings (54%), providing and requiring the use of face masks (49%), and limiting on-farm visitors (44%).
  • The greatest concerns were reported by producers from California and large and medium-large dairies, whereas the fewest concerns were reported by producers from small dairies.
  • In conclusion, mitigation measures were adopted by most dairy producers but in various degrees. Dairy industry service providers and educators were secondary educational resources during the pandemic; thus, future efforts toward centralized access to dairy specific bilingual educational materials are suggested.

Foodomic-Based Approach for the Control and Quality Improvement of Dairy Products. Agregán R, Echegaray N, Lorenzo JM, et al. Metabolites. 2021;11(12):818.

  • The food quality assurance before selling is a needed requirement intended for protecting consumer interests. In the same way, it is also indispensable to promote continuous improvement of sensory and nutritional properties. In this regard, food research has recently contributed with studies focused on the use of ‘foodomics’.
  • This review focuses on the use of this technology, represented by transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, for the control and quality improvement of dairy products.
  • The complex matrix of these foods requires sophisticated technology able to extract large amounts of information with which to influence their aptitude for consumption. Thus, throughout the article, different applications of the aforementioned technologies are described and discussed in essential matters related to food quality, such as the detection of fraud and/or adulterations, microbiological safety, and the assessment and improvement of transformation industrial processes (e.g., fermentation and ripening).
  • The magnitude of the reported results may open the door to an in-depth transformation of the most conventional analytical processes, with the introduction of new techniques that allow a greater understanding of the biochemical phenomena occurred in this type of food.

FI: The Fecobiome Initiative. Sapountzis P, Teseo S, Huws SA, et al. Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2021 Dec 21.

  • Animal husbandry has been key to the sustainability of human societies for millennia. Livestock animals, such as cattle, convert plants to protein biomass due to a compartmentalized gastrointestinal tract and the complementary contributions of a diverse gastrointestinal microbiota, thereby providing humans with meat and dairy products.
  • Research on cattle gut microbial symbionts has mainly focused on the rumen (which is the primary fermentation compartment) and there is a paucity of functional insight on the intestinal (distal end) microbiota, where most foodborne zoonotic bacteria reside.
  • Here, researchers present the Fecobiome Initiative (or FI), an international effort that aims at facilitating collaboration on research projects related to the intestinal microbiota, disseminating research results, and increasing public availability of resources.
  • By doing so, the FI can help mitigate foodborne and animal pathogens that threaten livestock and human health, reduce the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in cattle and their proximate environment, and potentially improve the welfare and nutrition of animals.

Antibiotic Resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Milk Alternatives. Mukuna W, Mafiz A, Pokharel B, Tobenna A, Kilonzo-Nthenge A. Foods. 2021 Dec 10;10(12):3070.

  • The consumption of non-dairy milk is on the rise due to health benefits. Although there is increasing inclination towards milk alternatives, there is limited data on antibiotic resistant bacteria in these substitutes.
  • The aim of this study was to investigate antimicrobial resistance of bacteria isolated from milk alternatives. A total of 138 extracts from almonds (n= 63), cashew nuts (n = 36), and soybeans (n = 39) were analyzed for Enterobacteriaceae.
  • Overall, 31% (43 of 138) of extracts were positive for Ten bacterial species were identified, of which Enterobacter cloacae (42.7%) and Enterobacter cancerogenus (35.4%) were the most predominant species (p < 0.05).
  • Antibiotic resistance was exhibited to vancomycin (88.3%), novobiocin (83.8%), erythromycin (81.1%), which was significantly higher (p< 0.05) than in tetracycline (59.5%), cefpodoxime (30.6%), and nalidixic acid (6.3%).
  • The findings of this study suggest that milk alternatives, though considered healthy, may be a reservoir of multidrug resistant opportunist pathogens.

Health- or Environment-Focused Text Messages as a Potential Strategy to Increase Plant-Based Eating among Young Adults: An Exploratory Study. Lim TJ, Okine RN, Kershaw JC. Foods. 2021 Dec 19;10(12):3147.

  • Previous plant-based diet adoption strategies have primarily focused on health rather than environmental rationale and meat reduction rather than plant-based protein promotion.
  • In this study, researchers explored the effect of a theory-informed text-message intervention on dietary intentions and behaviors in young adult omnivores and the potential explanatory role of plant-based diet beliefs, subjective norm, self-efficacy, moral norm, and health and environmental values.
  • Participants completed baseline questionnaires and reported dietary intake before being randomly assigned to receive 2-3 health- or environment-focused text messages per week for eight weeks and then repeated baseline assessments.
  • Although the results did not show significant changes in meat or plant protein intake, researchers did observe a marked decrease in intentions to consume animal protein and a marginal increase in fruit and vegetable consumption intention. Researchers identified subjective norms, self-efficacy, and moral satisfaction as the strongest predictors of changes in intention to consume animal or plant protein.
  • Although few group differences were observed, those receiving environment-focused text messages experienced a greater change in values and were more likely to increase vegetable intake.
  • Messages that improve sustainability awareness and provide practical adoption strategies may be part of an effective strategy to influence plant-based diet intake among young adults.