Milk study improves understanding of age-related diseases

April 20, 2017, Australian National University
Professor John Carver in his lab, holding a beaker of UHT milk. Credit: Stuart Hay, ANU

A new study on UHT milk is helping scientists to better understand Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and type 2 diabetes, opening the door to improved treatments for these age-related diseases.

About 500 million people worldwide suffer from these diseases, which cause millions of deaths each year.

Co-lead researcher, ANU Professor John Carver, said that two unrelated proteins aggregate in UHT over a period of months to form clusters called amyloid fibrils, which cause the milk to transform from a liquid into a gel.

He said the same type of clusters are found in plaque deposits in cases of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

"Parkinson's, dementia and type 2 diabetes are big problems for the ageing population in Australia and many other countries around the world," said Professor Carver from the ANU Research School of Chemistry.

"Our interest in led to a discovery of the reason for this gelling phenomenon occurring in aged UHT milk."

"The research does not suggest UHT milk can cause these ."

Professor Carver said milk proteins changed structurally when heated briefly to around 140 degrees to produce UHT milk, causing the gelling phenomenon with long-term storage.

He said normal pasteurised milk did not form .

ANU worked with CSIRO, University of Wollongong and international researchers on the study, which is published in the journal Small.

Watch a video interview with Professor John Carver about the study.

Explore further: New review article suggests sheep milk may be the next functional dairy food

More information: Jared K. Raynes et al, Coaggregation of κ-Casein and β-Lactoglobulin Produces Morphologically Distinct Amyloid Fibrils, Small (2017). DOI: 10.1002/smll.201603591

Related Stories

New review article suggests sheep milk may be the next functional dairy food

January 24, 2017
A paper published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety explored the physicochemical and nutritional characteristics of sheep milk and development of sheep milk dairy products containing prebiotics and/or ...

Milk allergy? Watch the dark chocolate

February 11, 2015
Does your sweetheart have a milk allergy? You may want to hold off on a dark chocolate Valentine.

Pesticide in milk years ago may be linked to signs of Parkinson's

January 6, 2016
(HealthDay)—Men who drank milk that may have been tainted with a pesticide when they were young might be more likely to develop signs of Parkinson's disease, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in Neurology.

Breast milk consumption trending among body builders

February 19, 2015
(HealthDay)—Some bodybuilders are drinking human breast milk in the mistaken belief it will give a boost to their muscles.

Recommended for you

Fabric imbued with optical fibers helps fight skin diseases

February 23, 2018
A team of researchers with Texinov Medical Textiles in France has announced that their PHOS-ISTOS system, called the Fluxmedicare, is on track to be made commercially available later this year. The system consists of a piece ...

Low-calorie diet enhances intestinal regeneration after injury

February 22, 2018
Dramatic calorie restriction, diets reduced by 40 percent of a normal calorie total, have long been known to extend health span, the duration of disease-free aging, in animal studies, and even to extend life span in most ...

Gut microbes protect against sepsis—mouse study

February 22, 2018
Sepsis occurs when the body's response to the spread of bacteria or toxins to the bloodstream damages tissues and organs. The fight against sepsis could get a helping hand from a surprising source: gut bacteria. Researchers ...

Artificial intelligence quickly and accurately diagnoses eye diseases and pneumonia

February 22, 2018
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, researchers at Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego Health and University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in China, Germany and Texas, ...

Fertility breakthrough: New research could extend egg health with age

February 22, 2018
Women have been told for years that if they don't have children before their mid-30s, they may not be able to. But a new study from Princeton University's Coleen Murphy has identified a drug that extends egg viability in ...

Breakthrough could lead to better drugs to tackle diabetes and obesity

February 22, 2018
Breakthrough research at Monash University has shown how different areas of major diabetes and obesity drug targets can be 'activated', guiding future drug development and better treatment of diseases.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.