Differences in cow’s milk composition between Iceland and the other Nordic countries and possible connections to public health

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Iggman, D. ; Birgisdottir, B. ; Ramel, A. ; Hill, J ; Thorsdottir, I. (2003)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Food & Nutrition Research (issn: 1654-661X, eissn: 1654-6628)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/fnr.v47i4.1493
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: food and beverages | fluids and secretions

Background: The Icelandic bovine herd has been isolated for over 1100 years. Knowledge is needed about how its milk constituents differ from those of milk in the other Nordic countries, where cattle have been interbred with other European races. As milk and dairy products comprise a substantial part of food intake, especially in children, variations in cow’s milk composition may be of value when considering environmental factors in public health. Regional variation in milk composition may explain contradictory results from studies on milk consumption and aetiology of diseases, type 1 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Objective: To investigate differences in milk composition, particularly substances suggested to influence public health. Design: Analyses of the proteins b-casein and b-lactoglobulin, as well as fatty acid profiles and nitrates, were performed in samples of cow’s milk as sold to consumers, at four different times during 1 year in three different regions in Iceland and in the capital areas of the other countries. Results: The Icelandic milk was significantly (p
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