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Following the digestion of milk proteins from mother to baby

By November 9, 2014No Comments

Human digestion remains poorly understood at the molecular level. Digesting is a crucial process for transforming the food we eat into smaller nutritional fragments which our bodies can readily absorb and utilize. Understanding digestion is paramount to understanding how food interacts with our bodies. It is for this reason that Dr. Nora Khaldi and co-authors decided to follow the infant digestion of maternal milk to further elucidate this process [1]. Following digestion in adults is a difficult task as diets vary greatly from person to person; however, it is easier to trace changes in infant digestion as their diet consists solely of maternal milk in the initial stage of their lives.

In this peer reviewed publication Dr. Nora Khaldi and co-authors portray how milk proteins are digested and broken down into smaller peptide fragments, starting with the digestion of milk proteins in the mammary gland right through to digestion in the infant’s stomach [1]. The digestion of milk proteins in the mammary gland was investigated first followed by further digestion in the infant’s stomach. Enzymes never previously reported to exist in milk were found and it was shown that active enzymes demonstrate increased enzyme activity as they descend through the infant digestive system where they reach their optimal conditions.

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[1] Following the digestion of milk proteins from mother to baby. Therese A. Holton , Vaishnavi Vijaykumar , David C. Dallas , Andrés Guerrero , Robyn C Borghese , Carlito B. Lebrilla , J. Bruce German , Daniela Barile , Mark A. Underwood , Denis C. Shields , and Nora Khaldi (corresponding author). 2014. J. Proteome Res., DOI: 10.1021/pr5006907

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