Human Health and Nutrition

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

2022 - 2023 Yogurt Matrix: Benefits of Milk Composition and Structure

OBJECTIVE: To better understand how dairy yogurt and plant-based yogurts differ, this project will determine how those foods breakdown during digestion (stomach and intestine), impacting nutrient profiles and probiotic survival. To provide scientific evidence showing the benefits of a fermented dairy food matrix for delivering nutrients and probiotics. Although plant-based products are frequently made using the same bacteria as dairy yogurt, plant matrices have very different nutritive and structural properties. This project’s aim is to clarify the structural and functional differences between traditional dairy-based yogurts and various plant-based yogurt-like products. 

Translating Science for Milk Genomics information on presentation board

2022 - 2023 Microbial Taxa and Function in Lactase Non-Persisters

OBJECTIVE: To understand how to help lactose intolerant people consume more milk so that they derive the nutritional benefits of dairy. Determine whether genetically lactose intolerant adults who consume lactose also produce more short chain fatty acids, especially acetate. Determine which microbes are the source of microbial lactase in genetically intolerant people. To investigate and document the relationship between lactose intolerance, dairy consumption, gut microbes, and gut-derived short chain fatty acids. 

couple drinking milk

2023 Characterization of Oligosaccharides in Bovine Milk vs Alternatives

OBJECTIVES:To demonstrate the unique nature of milk bioactives in comparison to non-dairy milk alternatives. To recover oligosaccharides from bovine milk and non-dairy alternatives and characterize and quantify them by advanced mass spectrometry; compare in vitro functional activity of all purified oligosaccharides; investigate their anti-inflammatory and antiviral activity.

Baby eating from bottle

2023 Effect of Yogurt on Mucosal Immunity in the Gastrointestinal Tract

OBJECTIVE: To measure mucosal protection in an intervention trial in which adults are supplied with twice daily servings of yogurt. We hypothesize that mucosal immunity will be improved within two weeks of daily yogurt consumption and that this protection dissipates by two weeks after the yogurt is discontinued. To determine the potential of dairy products to impact a novel aspect of gut health. To inform future trial design for comparisons against nondairy alternatives which would not be expected to confer similar GI protection.

Translating Science for Milk Genomics information on presentation board

Translating the Science of Milk Genomics

OBJECTIVE: To highlight emerging research trends in the scientific research literature and to translate the content of those articles for the non-expert through SPLASH!® milk science update, a bi-monthly e-newsletter, with content mirrored on the International Milk Genomics Consortium (IMGC) website,.