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Milk Fat and its Role in Human Health

Chaudhari Vishal Jagubhai, C. N. Dharaiya, A. I. Shaikh


Milk fat, a variable component influenced by dairy cattle diets, plays crucial roles in the body as an insulator, energy source, and transporter of fat-soluble vitamins. Understanding its composition and impact on health is essential, given its complexity and interaction with dietary fats. Lipids, including essential fatty acids, contribute to bodily functions and influence eicosanoid production. The introduction of supplemental fats can alter fatty acid synthesis, affecting health outcomes. Conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs), medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), and short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) exhibit diverse health effects, from anticancer properties to immune modulation. Notably, butyric acid, abundant in milk fat, shows promise in cancer prevention, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) management, and immune support. The potential impact of fatty acids on cardiovascular health is significant, especially amidst emerging risk factors like diabetes and obesity. Studies highlight varying associations between dairy fat intake and cardiovascular risk, with fermented dairy products showing modest reductions in mortality and CVD risk. However, high milk consumption levels may negate these benefits. Trans fatty acids, present in industrially processed foods, pose health risks, while CLAs from natural sources like milk may offer protective effects against cancer and immune modulation. The complex interplay between dietary fats, health outcomes, and emerging cardiovascular risk factors involve a comprehensive understanding of lipid metabolism and its implications. This emphasizes how important dietary choices are in managing heart disease and related health issues, especially in populations experiencing fast epidemiological change like India.


Milk fat, human health, trans fatty acids, lipids, conjugated linoleic acid

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