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Pastured verses standard dairy cream

“Dairy products derived from the milk of cows fed in pastures are characterised by higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid (ALA), and several studies have shown their ability to reduce cardiovascular risk. However, their specific metabolic effects compared with standard dairy in a high-fat diet (HFD) context remain largely unknown; this is what we determined in the present study with a focus on the metabolic and intestinal parameters. The experimental animals were fed for 12 weeks a HFD containing 20 % fat in the form of a pasture dairy cream (PDC) or a standard dairy cream (SDC). Samples of plasma, liver, white adipose tissue, duodenum, jejunum and colon were analysed. The PDC mice, despite a higher food intake, exhibited lower fat mass, plasma and hepatic TAG concentrations, and inflammation in the adipose tissue than the SDC mice. Furthermore, they exhibited a higher expression of hepatic PPARα mRNA and adipose tissue uncoupling protein 2 mRNA, suggesting an enhanced oxidative activity of the tissues. These results might be explained, in part, by the higher amounts of ALA in the PDC diet and in the liver and adipose tissue of the PDC mice. Moreover, the PDC diet was found to increase the proportions of two strategic cell populations involved in the protective function of the intestinal epithelium, namely Paneth and goblet cells in the small intestine and colon, compared with the SDC diet. In conclusion, a PDC HFD leads to improved metabolic outcomes and to a stronger gut barrier compared with a SDC HFD. This may be due, at least in part, to the protective mechanisms induced by specific lipids.”

Benoit, B., Plaisancié, P., Géloën, A., Estienne, M., Debard, C., Meugnier, E., … Michalski, M.-C. (2014). Pasture v. standard dairy cream in high-fat diet-fed mice: improved metabolic outcomes and stronger intestinal barrier. The British Journal of Nutrition, 112(4), 520–35. doi:10.1017/S0007114514001172

4 comments… add one
  • James 11/10/2014, 6:41 pm


    Have you noticed different effects from various dairy fats (whole milk, butter, cream)? I’m not too sure. My only opinion is that cream (incl. ice cream) is good for bedtime, it is high in calories and low in protein. I prefer to limit protein before bed, except for gelatin. I’d like to find some non-dairy fats as a complement, to increase my intake at bedtime, because so far ice cream is the only food I can think of that is high fat and can be eaten eagerly in high quantities.

  • Edward 13/10/2014, 7:25 pm

    Fatty acid wise the only difference is the concentration. Obviously the proportions of protein and carbohydrate differ depending on the fat content and type of dairy product. β-Lactoglobulin is absent from butter.

    Aside from that I have noticed a striking difference between the quality of dairy produced in Europe and likely other parts of the world compared to US produced dairy. US dairy is horrible.

    The pastured US dairy is acceptable for those that put a priority on quality. I think it is silly that people believe homogenized milk is not harmful, even pastured homogenized milk is harmful, for sure there are oxidized fats and proteins when milk is produced that way that likely cause inflammation. And it may be why people drinking industrial milk do better with skim milk.

  • James 14/10/2014, 8:56 pm

    Why would homogenization be worse than heat (milk pasteurization, or just cooking in general like frying or roasting meat)?

  • Edward 18/10/2014, 10:59 am

    Michalski, M.-C., & Januel, C. (2006). Does homogenization affect the human health properties of cow’s milk? Trends in Food Science & Technology, 17(8), 423–437. doi:10.1016/j.tifs.2006.02.004

    During the processing of marketed milk, homogenization reduces fat droplet size and alters interface composition by adsorption of casein micelles mainly, and whey proteins. The structural consequences depend on the sequence of the homogenization and heat treatments. Regarding human health, homogenized milk seems more digestible than untreated milk. Homogenization favors milk allergy and intolerance in animals but no difference appears between homogenized and untreated milk in allergic children and lactose-intolerant or milk-hypersensitive adults. Controversies appear regarding the atherogenic or beneficial bioactivity of some casein peptides and milk fat globule membrane proteins, which might be enhanced by homogenization. In children prone to type I diabetes, early cow’s milk consumption would be a risk but no link was observed in the general population and the effect of homogenization has not been studied. In the current context of obesity and allergy outbreaks, the impact of homogenization and other technological processes on the health properties of milk remains to be clarified.

    Poulsen, O. M., Hau, J., & Kollerup, J. (1987). Effect of homogenization and pasteurization on the allergenicity of bovine milk analysed by a murine anaphylactic shock model. Clinical Allergy, 17(5), 449–58. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.1987.tb02039.x

    In a factorial design study a murine anaphylactic shock model was used to analyse the effect of homogenization, pasteurization, and fat content on the ability of bovine milk to induce anaphylactic reactions. Mice were sensitized by either oral or subcutaneous immunizations with various types of bovine milk. In spite of a significantly higher antibody titre in the mice sensitized subcutaneously, there was no difference in the sensitivity between orally and subcutaneously immunized mice with respect to anaphylactic reactions. Pasteurization did not seem to change the ability of milk to induce anaphylactic reactions. However, increasing fat contents in combinations with homogenization resulted in an increase of the ability of the milk to induce anaphylactic reactions.

    Poulsen, O. M., Nielsen, B. R., Basse, A., & Hau, J. (1990). Comparison of intestinal anaphylactic reactions in sensitized mice challenged with untreated bovine milk and homogenized bovine milk. Allergy, 45(5), 321–6. doi:10.1111/j.1398-9995.1990.tb00506.x

    Outbred NMRI mice were sensitized for high IgE production either by subcutaneous injections of low doses of untreated bovine milk or homogenized bovine milk in combination with intraperitoneal injections of Freund’s Complete Adjuvant or by oral administration of untreated or homogenized bovine milk without adjuvant. When analysed in murine passive cutaneous anaphylaxis test both types of milk resulted in production of reaginic antibodies against bovine milk proteins when given subcutaneously. When given orally, homogenized milk resulted in reagin production in 10 out of 14 mice, whereas untreated milk resulted in reagin production in only one out of 12 mice. The sensitized mice, and control mice, were orally challenged with either untreated milk, homogenized milk or 0.9% NaCl. Examination of the intestines 40 min after oral administration revealed that homogenized milk, contrary to untreated milk or 0.9% NaCl, resulted in a large increase in the mass of the proximal gut segment of mice sensitized orally with homogenized milk compared with control mice orally challenged with saline (P less than 0.001), and only mice both sensitized and challenged orally with homogenized milk showed degranulation of mast cells in the intestinal wall. By contrast, subcutaneously sensitized mice or mice sensitized orally with untreated bovine milk showed no significant intestinal reaction upon oral challenge with either homogenized or untreated bovine milk. These observations may indicate that the route of sensitization is of great importance when intestinal reactions are to be studied, and that homogenization of bovine milk may render the milk more aggressive with respect to its ability to induce intestinal reactions. The study indicates that mice may be an attractive experimental animal model for mimicking the intestinal anaphylactic reactions of cow milk-allergic humans.

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