Dairy Farmers of Canada’s dairy research kiosk at the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar

Dairy Farmers of Canada’s (DFC) research kiosk will be set up at the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar (WCDS) in Red Deer, Alberta from March 10-13, 2020. With more than 800 participants, most of which are dairy farmers, DFC will be handing out a new fact sheet on best practices for footbath use, as well as summaries of the new Dairy Research Cluster 3 projects.

UnknownMoreover, among the many featured speakers at the WCDS, Nina von Keyserlingk, professor at the University of British Columbia, and one of the NSERC Industrial Research Chairholders on Dairy Cattle Welfare will be speaking on Identifying Gaps in Building Bridges: Working Towards a Sustainable Dairy Industry. DFC was one of the founding investment partners of the Dairy Cattle Welfare Chair at the University of British Columbia when it was established in 1997 and has continued investing in the program since its creation. DFC has renewed its commitment to the program for a new five-year term from 2019-2024.

Nina von Keyserlingk and co-chairholders Dan Weary and David Fraser have developed a world-class program in this area of research, providing scientific evidence for best practices and standards for dairy cattle welfare in Canada and globally. Notably, the results published from their research have served as science-based evidence in the development of animal welfare assessment protocols for DFC’s proAction® Animal Care module.

For a summary of recent findings from the Chair in Dairy Cattle Welfare consult the 2018 Dairy Research Highlights.

 

 

Vitamin B12 is better absorbed from dairy products

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Milk is an excellent source of vitamin B12. A glass of milk (250 mL serving) provides approximately half of the Recommended Daily Intake of this vitamin for an adult.¹ What’s more, the conclusions of research studies, some of which were financed under the Dairy Research Cluster 2 (2013-2018), found that vitamin B12 is much better absorbed when consumed in cow’s milk than when taken in vitamin supplements and that cheddar cheese is one of the best natural sources of vitamin B12, after cow’s milk.

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Christiane Girard, research scientist at the Sherbrooke Research and Development Centre, and her team of collaborators conducted their studies using pigs, which have a very similar digestive system to that of humans. The researchers gave pigs either cow’s milk or vitamin B12 supplements to compare the absorption rates of this vitamin. They found that vitamin B12, which is naturally present in cow’s milk, is absorbed two times better than synthetic vitamin B12.²

The research team also investigated whether vitamin B12 in other types of dairy products is better absorbed than a synthetic supplement is. For comparison purposes, pigs were given a meal of cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, yogurt, tofu (completely free of vitamin B12) or tofu with added synthetic vitamin B12. They compared the levels of vitamin B12 in the pigs’ blood in the following hours and discovered that cheddar cheese wins hands-down over tofu enriched with synthetic vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 from the cheese was two times more bioavailable than the synthetic vitamin B12 in the enriched tofu. Cheddar cheese is, therefore, one of the best natural sources, after cow’s milk, of vitamin B12.³

Source and function of Vitamin B12

  • Vitamin B12 is present only in foods of animal origin, such as meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs and milk products.  It can  also be found in few plant foods that are  fortified with this vitamin.
  • Vitamin B12 is essential for neurological functions and the growth and division of cells, including red blood cells.
  • Vegetarians, especially vegans, older adults, and pregnant women are more at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.

{This article contains extracts from a text published online by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada}


¹ https://www.dairynutrition.ca/nutrients-in-milk-products/other-nutrients/milk-an-excellent-source-of-vitamin-b12

² J. Jacques Matte, F. Guay and C. L. Girard, Bioavailability of vitamin B12 in cows’ milk. British Journal of Nutrition 2012; 107, 61-66

³ D. Dalto Bueno, I. Audet, C.L. Girard, J. J. Matte, Bioavailability of Vitamin B12 from Dairy Products Using a Pig Model. Nutrients 2018 Aug 21;10(9). pii: E1134

 

DFC webinar presents the latest science on diet, cardiovascular disease and mortality

Dairy Farmers of Canada’s team of registered dietitians hosted a webinar in November to provide health professionals with the latest scientific evidence on saturated fat and its association with cardiovascular disease outcomes and mortality.

Dr. Andrew Mente of the Population Health Research Institute and Associate Professor at the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI), McMaster University presented on the latest scientific evidence on saturated fat and its association with CVD outcomes and mortality; the PURE study and some of its key findings for saturated fat, carbs and various foods; and, the PURE healthy dietary pattern.

The PURE study is a landmark 21-country multinational cohort study of individuals aged 35-70 years old. Researchers tracked dietary intakes and consumption of milk, yogurt, and cheese of 138,484 individuals over time. They also tracked mortality and total major cardiovascular events (i.e. major CVD, stroke, myocardial infarction) to assess any associations between total dairy and specific dairy product consumption with mortality and CVD events. The team of researchers found dairy consumption, especially of regular fat dairy, was associated with a lower risk of mortality and major cardiovascular disease events in a diverse multinational population.

For more information on the PURE study, read the article in the DairyResearchBlog.ca.