Differences for the development of many parts of

Differences in
composition between human and bovine milk.

According to the Oxford
Dictionary (2012), the definition of milk is “An opaque white fluid rich in fat
and protein, secreted by female mammals for the nourishment of their young.”
The composition of mammal’s milk has developed to suit their young, and offer
them the best chance at survival. In today’s society, many people would simply
consider milk as milk, but the composition of milk is completely dependent on
the animal it comes from. Breast milk (from humans) is made up of different
components compared to cow’s milk, or goat’s milk. For the purpose of this
assignment I will be focusing on the differences in composition between human
and bovine milk. Bovine milk has been an essential part of the human diet for
as long back as humans have populated the earth. Human milk is suited uniquely
to human infants and its benefits have been a major talking point in the last
few decades. Milk is an essential part of the diet of any human regardless of
age as it contains nutrients that are essential for the development of many
parts of the body such as the bones, brain, eye etc. The composition of any
mammal’s milk can vary depending on many factors such as age, health,
nourishment etc. In general, milk is made up of water, carbohydrates, proteins,
fats, minerals, vitamins and some enzymes. The amounts and types of these
components available in human or bovine milk vary depending on the needs of the
offspring. Throughout the course of this essay, I will describe in detail the
differences in composition between human and bovine milk, and will explain the
process of how baby formula is made and the benefits (if any) of feeding your
child breast milk as opposed to bovine milk or infant formula. 

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Data obtained from www.viva.org.uk/white-lies/comparison-between-human-milk-and-cows-milk

            From the above table, it is clear
to see that the protein content of whole cow’s milk is approximately twice that
of human milk (per 100g). Bovine milk protein has a high biological value and
this then shows it contains many of the essential amino acids, as well as a
wide variety of proteins that aid in absorption, antimicrobial proteins,
hormones enzymes etc. (Haug et al 2007). Whereas the proteins in breast milk
can be divided into two broad categories (whey and casein), which can then be
subdivided into an array of specific proteins and polypeptides. The main
proteins found in breast milk are casein, ?-lactalbumin, lactoferrin, secretory
immunoglobulin IgA, lysozyme, and serum albumin (Ballard and Morrow, 2013). Protein levels in human breast
milk decrease slightly approximately four to six weeks after giving birth. In
bovine milk, caseins represent about 80% of the milk protein content, with the
other 20% made up of whey proteins and non-protein nitrogen. Animal proteins
are an important addition to the human diet but there are health implications
to over-consumption of these products such as cardiovascular disease. “High
protein diets have also been suggested to have negative effects on blood lipid
profiles and blood pressure, causing an increased risk for cardiovascular
disease”. (Hoffman and 
Falvo, 2004). According
to this journal, this is mainly due to the higher fat intakes, but has not yet
been proven by a scientific study.  One
of the major differences between human and bovine milk, however, is the
presence of the amino acid taurine. Taurine is found in high quantities in
breast milk and plays a key role in the central nervous system, as it aids in progression
to cytoprotection. If someone has a taurine deficiency, it highly increases
their risk of cardiomyopathy, dysfunction of the renal, stunt in development,
and can have a very bad impact on retinal neurons. (Ripps and Shen 2012). As taurine has so many health
benefits, this is one of the key factors in many doctors recommending breast
milk over bovine milk as it is found in much higher quantities in breast milk
than the other and would be passed from mother to baby. From reading the above
article it was also clear that taurine plays a key role in the function of the
eye as analysis of ocular tissue extracts from a sample of rat eyes showed that
taurine was found to be the most plentiful amino acid in the retina, vitreous,
lens, cornea, iris, and ciliary body (Ripps and Shen 2012). This article shows that there is no
question that taurine is an essential amino acid and its health benefits are
undoubted even though the scientific evidence is not readily available as it
has not been studied in great detail.

         The next component of milk I will discuss
is fat. Fat in milk is dispersed in globules. Fat globules found in milk are covered
by a biological membrane that is due to how fat globules secrete from
epithelial cells in the mammary gland (Lopez et al., 2008). From figure 2.0,
the fat content of human and bovine milk is relatively similar, but slightly
higher in human milk. The fat in milk is a critical component in the human diet
in moderation. Saturated fat content is higher in bovine milk (>60%) than in
human milk (