CropTec Show
Farminguk
30 September 2016 | Online since 2003
Briefing Media - FG Classified


16 April 2014 05:41:13 |Cattle,News

Changing cows' diet could help tackle heart disease


Adding oilseed to a cow’s diet can significantly reduce the harmful saturated fat found in its milk without compromising the white stuff’s nutritional benefits, according to research by the University of Reading.

The researchers found that supplementing a cow’s diet with oilseed variants cut the amount of saturated fat in its milk by over a quarter. Crucially it also increased both cis-monounsaturated fats and natural trans fats which are thought to have health benefits.

Cardiovascular disease is the UK's single biggest killer, responsible for more than 88,000 deaths each year. A key Government recommendation in tackling heart disease is to reduce the amount of saturated fat in our diet.

Milk and dairy foods are the largest single source of saturated fatty acids (SFA) in the UK diet. However they are important foods that provide essential nutrients, so reducing the amount of milk we drink may be counter-productive. With milk consumption in the UK falling there is a need to reverse this trend.

The three-year project, funded by the Diet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC), consisted of two main studies.

Twenty two commercial dairy farms in the south west of the UK included three oilseed supplements, or a commercially available fat supplement, in the diet of their dairy cows over a month. After this period, the saturated fat content of milk fat decreased by an average of 5%, without altering the overall fat content of the milk. At the same time, monounsaturated fats were increased by an average of 9 %.

The second study¹, in the form of several experiments, took place at the University of Reading during 2012/13. The experiments looked in detail at the effect of different fats in the diet of the dairy cow. This study showed that adding a novel oil-based supplement to a cow’s diet cut saturated fat by 27 % and increased both cis-monounsaturated fats (+ 55 %) and trans fats.

Professor Ian Givens, the University of Reading's DRINC project leader, said: “Adult UK milk consumption in the UK has dropped from about three litres per week in the 1970s to less than one litre. This is a big concern. Milk and dairy are vital components of our diet, providing about a quarter of our daily protein needs and up to 60% of vital nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus. Consumers need to regain faith in milk.

“There is evidence that replacing a proportion of the saturated fats in milk with mono or polyunsaturated fats improves human cholesterol levels once consumed. Both our studies showed adding oilseed to a cow’s diet could be the answer.”

The success of these studies has paved the way for Reading experts to begin a new project involving human participation. Starting this month the study, funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), will examine whether or not SFA –reduced milk and dairy could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Professor Julie Lovegrove who is leading the MRC study confirmed: “Very few studies of this type have been undertaken. Reading is in the unique position of having the expertise and facilities to perform such a multidisciplinary project. After producing SFA-reduced milk at our farm, we will then make cheese and butter from this milk in our Food Processing Plant. The effects of consuming these SFA-reduced dairy foods compared with normal products will then be carried out at our Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition.”

This research will be presented at the symposium, ‘Healthy Cows. Healthy Humans, Healthy Planet’, on Wednesday 16 April, organised by the University of Reading and the National Milk Records. Nearly 100 scientists and food industry experts will highlight why dairy research and industry are key to tackling some of the world’s health and environmental challenges.

Download

3 Comments

loginuserlogo
Name

Please enter your name


Email

Please enter your email

Please enter valid email


Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment has been submitted successfully. Please wait for admin approval.


Comments


USA | 30 September 2016
Toolbox unveiled to help preserve agriculture in Utah County

Rex Larsen, a fifth-generation Utah County farmer, is facing issues that the previous generations didn’t have to worry about, namely, rapid urban development encroaching on farmland. His farm, he s...


China | 30 September 2016
Will big agriculture mergers impact smallholder farmers?

A tsunami-sized wave of corporate megamergers sweeping the agrochemical industry has the potential to reshape the landscape of global farming and food production. If approved, the multibillion doll...


USA | 30 September 2016
Morris farm works to rebound after beef recall

A Connecticut farm in the middle of a beef recall is giving refunds, and fighting to guarantee its reputation. Truelove Farms had one steer sent off to Adams Farm in Massachusetts in late July for ...


USA | 30 September 2016
Small dairy farm wins with robotic milking

Old English cheese recipes and high-tech production put Kenton County farmer on the menu. On a rainy day, Eddie Gibson sits outside his dairy barn near Walton looking out at his 130-acre farm. Surr...


Canada | 30 September 2016
Schumer continues push against harmful Canadian dairy rules

A push against Canadian protectionism harming O-AT-KA Milk and dairy entities has reached federa Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer said Wednesday that...



Trending Now

Viewed
Discussed


Top stories you may have missed
FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Farm subsidy payments funded by the UK taxpayer are being paid to millionai...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Labour will end the badger cull and prioritise ending bovine TB, Shadow Def...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A herd of rare White Park cattle could die out if its owners do not urgentl...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The UK government is "failing" to support farmers in the long-term accordin...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Retailer Co-op has announced that from May 2017 all of its bacon and lamb w...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Over 50 wildlife organisations have compiled a stock-take of all the UK's n...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

In the run up to the EU farm ministers meeting the agricultural sector have...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The RPA must iron out a number of problems that still exist with 2015 BPS p...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Tourism businesses in the countryside are being held back due to the uncert...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A 24 point action plan aimed at revitalising Scotland's sheep sector after ...


closeicon
Username
Password