Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Effect of Milk Supplementation on Bone Development in Pre-Pubertal Pigs Public Deposited

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  • Bone is much more than a simple, static organ. While its classical functions of mineral storage, organ protection, and locomotion still hold true, further studies into the skeleton have revealed a dynamic system capable of signaling, communication, remodeling, and responding to various stimuli. Overall skeletal health is critically important to maintaining high quality of life. Unfortunately, the skeleton is susceptible to various ailments such as fracture, cancer, and deterioration. Decreased bone mass and structural deterioration may lead to the silent disease of osteoporosis. With limited treatment options, focus has been shifted to prevention. The best method of osteoporosis prevention is to maximize peak bone mass during development. Nutrition plays an important role in developmental bone health and one nutrient is synonymous with skeletal health: milk. Supplying biologically relevant levels of bone specific nutrients, along with various bioactive compounds, milk should be nature’s perfect food for increasing bone health. However, little evidence exists regarding milk’s direct effect on bone development and strength. To fill this gap, we used pre-pubertal pigs as a model for children to test the effect of 750 mL of milk supplementation (n=6) vs. isocaloric maltodextrin solution (n=6) on the growing skeleton. Two experiments were conducted for 13 and 11 weeks and bones of the appendicular skeleton and mandible were collected and analyzed, for a total of 12 piglets per group. Short-term milk supplementation had no effect on bone growth, mineral density, or strength. However, piglets receiving milk had lower BMD of the mandible. The detected effect can be explained by the known anxiolytic effect of milk, that may have exerted behavioral effects, leading to lower mandibular activity and lower bone mineral density of the mandible. The major limitation of the present study was the short duration of the treatment. Further research is still needed to determine long-term direct effects of milk consumption on the pre-pubertal and pubertal skeleton.
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Peer Reviewed
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  • Pending Publication
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  • 2018-08-20 to 2020-09-02



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