Nutritional effects of milk fat in milk replacers
Milk lipid is key to provide the suckling mammal with energy but also specific bioactive factors for organ development. For infant formulas, dairy lipids are often partly replaced with vegetable-based oils. These replacements are done partly for presumed nutritional benefits (e.g. improved essential fatty acid supply), and partly for technological and economic reasons related to formula production. However, the scientific base for these replacements remains weak. There is an urgent need to better understand both benefits and shortcomings of dairy lipids for infant formulas, including effects on digestibility, immunity and brain functions.
By: Grith Mortensen
In recent experimental studies, increased dairy fat supply improved metabolic indices, immunity and brain functions, relative to vegetable oils. There is an urgent need to better understand both benefits and shortcomings of dairy lipids for infant formulas, including effects on digestibility, immunity and brain functions.
In this study, the project participants use a highly sensitive, in vivo piglet model to better describe lipid digestion and the presumed benefits of dairy lipids. First, the development of important pancreatic lipases in neonatal pigs is documented. This is followed by launching a series of experiments with neonatal piglets to assess effects of dairy and/or vegetable lipids on gut, immunity and brain endpoints.
Project main objectives:
a. To characterize development of lipases in a clinically relevant piglet model of neonatal infants
b. To document fat absorption from formulas based on dairy lipid or vegetable oils.
c. To document gut, immunity and brain effects of formulas with bovine or vegetable fat.
Project period: January 2020 - December 2022
Budget: 5.053.333 DKK
Financing: Milk Levy Fund, Novo Nordisk Foundation, Independent Research Fund Denmark, In-kind from University of Copenhagen
Project manager: Thomas Thymann
Institution: Department of Veterinary And Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen
Participants: Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Rigshospitalet, and National Human Milk Bank, NL