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Evolutionary Perspectives
Evolution of the Mammary Gland and Milk from the Innate Immune System

Claudia Vorbach, PhD
Various hypotheses on the evolution of the mammary gland and milk exist. Recent findings on the complex role of xanthine oxidoreductase in the mammalian body strongly suggest that the mammary gland evolved as an immune organ and that the initial function of milk was protection.

Origins and Evolution of the Western Diet: Health Implications of Dairy Consumption
Loren Cordain, PhD

There is growing awareness that the profound changes in the environment (e.g., in diet and other lifestyle conditions) that began with the introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry approximately 10,000 years ago occurred too recently on an evolutionary timescale for the human genome to adjust. In conjunction with this discordance between our ancient, genetically determined biology and the nutritional, cultural and activity patterns of contemporary western populations, many of the so-called diseases of civilization have emerged. In particular, food staples (including dairy products), and food processing procedures introduced during the Neolithic and Industrial Periods have fundamentally altered a number of crucial nutritional characteristics of ancestral hominin diets and ultimately underlie many of the chronic diseases of western civilization.

Energetics, Development, and Cancer Risk
Peter Ellison, PhD

Endogenous steroid hormone exposure can contribute to the risk and prognosis of many cancers. Recent evidence suggests that energetic factors interact with developmental trajectories in several ways to influence endogenous steroid exposure. These pathways may result in transgenerational correlations in cancer risk.

Dairy Production and Consumption
A Short Tale of the Cow and Dairy Products
John Bunting

"A Short Tale of the Cow and Dairy Products" will look at humanities' relationship with milk (production and processing) with emphasis placed on the last fifty years. Many unexamined changes have occurred from the pastoral production and distribution of milk.

Effects of Milk Consumption on Post Natal Growth and Circulating Hormones
Ghrelin, Leptin and IGF-I Levels in Breast-Fed Infants
Francisco Savino, MD
An emerging issue at this time for nutritional researchers is that of discovering breakthroughs in the understanding of metabolic patterns and long-term effects related to breastfeeding. In fact, it is already known that human milk is a source of different nutrients and biological compounds, especially hormones and growth factors like insulin like growth factor I (IGF-I),  ghrelin and leptin, which are involved in food intake regulation and metabolism. Their presence is not yet detected in commercial milk formulae. Our finding suggests that breastfeeding influences ghrelin, leptin and IGF-I levels in infancy, mainly during the first 4 months of life.

Cow’s Milk and Linear Growth in Industrialized and Developing Countries
Camilla Hoppe, MSc, ScD
The talk will cover results from oberservational and intervention studies from both industrialized and developing countries, suggesting that milk stimulates linear growth, even in situations where the nutrient intake is adequate. Adding cow’s milk to the diet of stunted children is likely to improve linear growth and possibly reduce morbidity. In well-nourished children, the long-term consequences of an increased consumption of cow’s milk, which may lead to higher levels of IGF-I in circulation or an increase in the velocity of linear growth, are likely to be both positive and negative. Based on emerging data that suggest both growth and diet during early life program the IGF-axis, the association between milk intake and later health is likely to be complex.

Milk, Growth and IGF in the ALSPAC and Boyd Orr Cohorts
David Gunnell, PhD
Observational and experimental studies carried out in the UK over the last 80 years consistently show higher levels of milk intake in childhood are associated with greater stature. We have examined these associations and their links with the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system in historical (the Boyd Orr cohort) and contemporary (ALSPAC) cohorts. These studies show that infants breast fed in the 1930s are taller than their peers in both childhood and adulthood. High milk intake is associated with raised IGF-I levels. High IGF-I and increases in IGF-I in childhood are associated with increased rates of pre-pubertal growth. Taller children do not appear to have higher IGF-I levels in adulthood.

Milk is Food for Neonates: Studies of Its Effects on IGF-I in Population Cohorts
Jeff Holly, PhD
More milk consumption is associated with increased serum IGF-I levels in subjects from childhood through to old age. This is consistent with the known effects of protein intake on hepatic IGF-I expression and the effects of amino acid intake on pituitary GH secretion. In contrast we have found that increased milk intake in childhood has a long-term programming effect that acts in the opposite manner resulting in lower IGF-I levels throughout adult life. Such programming can occur early as breast feeding also results in higher IGF-I levels throughout later life, again in the opposite manner to its acute effects. The consequences of milk intake in childhood therefore have to be interpreted in terms of both the acute affects and the long-term consequences which can be very different.

Impact of Cow's Milk on Prepubertal Hormone Levels
Janet Rich-Edwards, ScD, MPH

Results of two pilot studies in Boston and Mongolia suggest that bioactive factors in cow's milk may increase IGF-I and growth hormone levels in prepubertal children.

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