University of Oulu

Raza, G. S., Herzig, K.-H., & Leppäluoto, J. (2021). Invited review: Milk fat globule membrane—A possible panacea for neurodevelopment, infections, cardiometabolic diseases, and frailty. Journal of Dairy Science, 104(7), 7345–7363.

Invited review: Milk fat globule membrane : a possible panacea for neurodevelopment, infections, cardiometabolic diseases, and frailty

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Author: Raza, Ghulam Shere1; Herzig, Karl-Heinz1,2,3; Leppäluoto, Juhani1
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Biomedicine, Medical Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Oulu University Hospital, 90220 Oulu, Finland
3Pediatric Institute, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 60-572 Poznan, Poland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Dairy Science Association, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-04-07


Milk is an evolutionary benefit for humans. For infants, it offers optimal nutrients for normal growth, neural development, and protection from harmful microbes. Humans are the only mammals who drink milk throughout their life. Lipids in colostrum originate mostly from milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) droplets extruded from the mammary gland. The MFGM gained much interest as a potential nutraceutical, due to their high phospholipid (PL), ganglioside (GD), and protein contents. In this review, we focused on health effects of MFGM ingredients and dairy food across the life span, especially on neurodevelopment, cardiometabolic health, and frailty in older adults. The MFGM supplements to infants and children reduced gastrointestinal and respiratory tract infections and improved neurodevelopment due to the higher content of protein, PL, and GD in MFGM. The MFGM formulas containing PL and GD improved brain myelination and fastened nerve conduction speed, resulting in improved behavioral developments. Administration of MFGM-rich ingredients improved insulin sensitivity and decreased inflammatory markers, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides by lowering intestinal absorption of cholesterol and increasing its fecal excretion. The MFGM supplements, together with exercise, improved ambulatory activities, leg muscle mass, and muscle fiber velocity in older adults. There are great variations in the composition of lipids and proteins in MFGM products, which make comparisons of the different studies impossible. In addition, investigations of the individual MFGM components are required to evaluate their specific effects and molecular mechanisms. Although we are currently only beginning to understand the possible health effects of MFGM products, the current MFGM supplementation trials as presented in this review have shown significant clinical health benefits across the human life span, which are worth further investigation.

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Series: Journal of dairy science
ISSN: 0022-0302
ISSN-E: 1525-3198
ISSN-L: 0022-0302
Volume: 104
Issue: 7
Pages: 7345 - 7363
DOI: 10.3168/jds.2020-19649
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
Copyright information: © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license