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J Dairy Res. 2013 May;80(2):246-54. doi: 10.1017/S0022029913000058. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

Bile composition, plasma lipids and oxidative hepatic damage induced by calcium supplementation; effects of goat or cow milk consumption.

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Department of Physiology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology 'José Mataix', University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain.


Calcium-fortified foods, especially milk and dairy products are recommended to be consumed daily for groups in risk of nutritional deficiency, including children, young adults, menopausal women, pregnant women and the elderly, however Ca-supplementation promotes gallstone formation because Ca is a nucleating factor. The objective of the current study was to assess the influence of cow or goat milk-based diets, either normal or Ca-supplemented, on bile composition, biochemical parameters and hepatic antioxidant status. Weanling male rats were randomly divided into six groups, fed standard, goat or cow milk-based diets, either with normal Ca content (5.0 g/kg), or Ca-supplemented (10.0 g/kg), for 2 weeks. Bile cholesterol concentration and output was higher in rats fed goat milk in comparison with those fed with standard and cow-milk-based diet. Ca-supplementation increased lithogenic index with the standard and cow-milk based diets, this change was not observed with the goat milk diet. Activities of plasma transaminases were also lower in the animals fed Ca-supplemented goat milk, in comparison with the other diets assayed. In general, Ca-supplement in the diet led to an increase in the hepatic oxidative damage, with an increase in the activities of all the antioxidant enzymes studied in the standard and cow milk diet, but not with goat milk. The habitual consumption of goat milk has positive effects on the plasma lipid profile, biliary composition and hepatic antioxidant defence. In addition, under our experimental conditions, Ca-supplementation of this type of milk does not increase the lithogenic index, or hepatic oxidative damage.

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