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Return of the globule: milk fat strikes back

Milk fat is structurally different than most other fats, and the milk fat globule membrane has been looked at previously (twice in NERD, in fact) for its impact on chronic disease. But could it also impact response to exercise?

Study under review: Dietary milk fat globule membrane supplementation combined with regular exercise improves skeletal muscle strength in healthy adults: a randomized doubleblind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial

Introduction

The milk-fat globule membrane (also known as MFGM, with the structure pictured in Figure 1) is a three-layered membrane composed[1] of proteins, lipids, and numerous minor bioactive components that encloses the milk fat globules. This way of storing fat is what distinguishes milk-fat from all other animal- and plant-based fats, which are not generally stored in globules.

Figure 1: Structure of MFGM

Animal research has shown that exercise combined with MFGM supplementation is able to significantly increase muscle mass and strength, and human research has shown supplementation to be safe for both adults[2] and infants[3]. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate whether dietary MFGM combined with regular exercise can increase skeletal muscle strength in healthy untrained middle-aged adults.

Milk-fat globule membrane (MFGM) is a unique characteristic of dairy. The current study aimed to investigate whether dietary supplementation with MFGM would affect the strength of untrained middle-aged adults in response to regular exercise.

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