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.

couple drinking milk

Association of Dairy Intake with Protection against GI Inflammation

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether dairy intake is associated with protection against gastrointestinal inflammation in order to counter media misinformation suggesting that milk is detrimental to gut health.

Cream separator

Procream as Source of Bioactive Compounds that Improve Human Health (2019)

OBJECTIVE:To identify the composition of ProCream—also known as Whey Protein Phospholipid Concentrate (WPPC)—to determine its health effects and add value to this byproduct/waste stream. There is great potential for creating higher value for this byproduct in the human food supply based on its components (lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, xanthine oxidase, etc.) and potential beneficial health effects.

Baby eating from bottle

Discovering the Bioactivity of Milk Fat Globules from Dairy Streams

OBJECTIVE: To identify novel uses for a dairy co-product, ProCream, that is currently valued at less than $1/lb, and demonstrate the value of ProCream as a value-added ingredient. To develop and validate novel ingredients that can be extracted at scale from whey co-products. In vivo testing of ProCream in a mouse model to determine its effects on gut health, function, and protection against systemic inflammation.

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,.

Translating Science for Milk Genomics information on presentation board

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.

Translating Science for Milk Genomics information on presentation board

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.