Bioactive components in milk

J. Bruce German, Cora J. Dillard, Robert E. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

Milk is the only biomaterial that evolved under the Darwinian selective pressure to nourish growing mammals. The purpose of this article is to review the scientific research that is using new techniques of integrating biological sequence, structure and function, to understand the innovative biology underlying the products of that evolutionary pressure. As it emerges that milk is actively communicating between the maternal mammary epithelia and the infant's gastrointestinal system, actively directing and educating the immune, metabolic and microflora systems within the infant, enhancing nutrient absorption and delivery, and conferring multiple means of protection, nutritionists are gaining a host of new molecular targets towards which to build scientific strategies for future foods and clinical applications. As new components and functions are being discovered in milk by using traditional methods and modern genomic tools, the complexities of demonstrating in vivo, and particularly in humans, the functional mechanisms behind milk's newly observed physiological benefits are becoming the next challenge of this rapidly growing field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-658
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Volume5
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2002

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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