Human Nutrition and Health

Man watching young girl pour milk

Research into the human health impact of dairy product consumption is occurring in many institutions nationally and globally, and the nutrition related challenges and opportunities in California are generally similar to those in other developed countries. CDRF recognizes nutrition as a fast evolving science and acts as a conduit for leading health- and nutrition-related research for the California dairy industry, collaborating with other state organizations working in this area, such as the Dairy Council of California. The organization will interact with state, national and international nutrition research bodies, monitor published scientific findings and communicate key outcomes for use.

Where appropriate, CDRF seeks to bolster research interest and foster collaboration between California-based experts and national and international research bodies. CDRF prioritizes its funding in human health and nutrition to research projects with strong implications to the California dairy industry. Areas of special interest will include dairy as a source of sustainable nutrition and the health benefits of value-added dairy products. In addition, CDRF seeks to co-fund (on a minority basis) larger projects led by others that are of specific and aligned interest.

California has an important part to play in the global effort. California is home to a number of milk scientists (the most well-known are housed at the University of California, Davis) that are making groundbreaking advancements in our knowledge about the health benefits of milk.

CDRF has taken a global leadership role in the advancement, sharing and collaboration of milk science through its support and management of the International Milk Genomics Consortium (IMGC). IMGC has a base of more than 1,000 interested parties (mainly scientists) and the support of dairy industry associations from around the globe.  CDRF intends to continue its support for the IMGC as well as dedicate funding towards important health and nutrition based projects.

See below for current project details.

Translating Science for Milk Genomics information on presentation board

Yogurt Matrix: Benefits of Milk Composition and Structure

Researcher: Maria Marco, UC Davis​
Co-Funder: National Dairy Council
Timeline: January 2022 – December 2023

Translating Science for Milk Genomics information on presentation board

Microbial Taxa and Function in Lactase Non-Persisters

Researcher: Danielle Lemay, UC Davis
Timeline: January 2022 – December 2023

couple drinking milk

Characterization of Oligosaccharides in Bovine Milk vs Alternatives

Researcher: Daniela Barile, UC Davis
Timeline: January 2023 – December 2024

Baby eating from bottle

Effect of Yogurt on Mucosal Immunity in the Gastrointestinal Tract

Researcher: Danielle Lemay, USDA
Timeline: January 2023 – December 2024

Translating Science for Milk Genomics information on presentation board

SPLASH! Milk Science Update: Translating the Science of Milk Genomics

Project Lead: Carl Whithaus, UC Davis
Timeline: January to December 2024

Translating Science for Milk Genomics information on presentation board

Women Infants, and Children (WIC) Assessment and Fermented Foods

Researcher:  Jennifer Smilowitz, UC Davis, Department of Nutrition
Timeline: January 2024 – December 2026

Translating Science for Milk Genomics information on presentation board

MilkTOT Microbiome Study

Researcher: Dr. Helen Ritchie, Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) and Cooperative Extension Nutrition Specialist, UC ANR
Timeline: January 2024 – December 2026

Translating Science for Milk Genomics information on presentation board

Improve Gut Function with Fermented Dairy

Researcher: Dr. Maria Marco, UC Davis Food Science and Technology
Timeline: January 2024 – December 2025

Dairy Co-Products Role in Gut-Brain Function

Researchers: Dr. Ameer Taha, Dr. Daniela Barile, UC Davis, Department of Food Science and Technology
Timeline: January 2024 – December 2025

Dairy Fats as Healthy Fats

Researcher: Dr. Sean Adams, UC Davis, School of Medicine
Timeline: January – December 2024