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The conventional wisdom that human growth is optimal when adequate amounts of all nutrients, minimal infection, and adequate psychosocial stimulation are available is too simplistic. The extensive interacting networks of material, biological, social, and ideological variables that comprise human life give rise to a hugely complicated matrix of factors that shape human phenotypes. There is no single optimal pattern of growth. There are ranges of possibilities with a multitude of local optima within the developmental matrix. The importance of social-economic-political-emotional (SEPE) factors is discussed in relation to new hypotheses of community effects and strategic growth adjustments on human development.
Milk is the main source of iodine in the UK; however, the consumption and popularity of plant-based milk-alternative drinks are increasing. Consumers may be at risk of iodine deficiency as, unless fortified, milk alternatives have a low iodine concentration. We therefore aimed to compare the iodine intake and status of milk-alternative consumers with that of cows’ milk consumers. We used data from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey from years 7 to 9 (2014–2017; before a few manufacturers fortified their milk-alternative drinks with iodine). Data from 4-d food diaries were used to identify consumers of milk-alternative drinks and cows’ milk, along with the estimation of their iodine intake (µg/d) (available for n 3976 adults and children ≥1·5 years). Iodine status was based on urinary iodine concentration (UIC, µg/l) from spot-urine samples (available for n 2845 adults and children ≥4 years). Milk-alternative drinks were consumed by 4·6 % (n 185; n 88 consumed these drinks exclusively). Iodine intake was significantly lower in exclusive consumers of milk alternatives than cows’ milk consumers (94 v. 129 µg/d; P < 0·001). Exclusive consumers of milk alternatives also had a lower median UIC than cows’ milk consumers (79 v. 132 µg/l; P < 0·001) and were classified as iodine deficient by the WHO criterion (median UIC < 100 µg/l), whereas cows’ milk consumers were iodine sufficient. These data show that consumers of unfortified milk-alternative drinks are at risk of iodine deficiency. As a greater number of people consume milk-alternative drinks, it is important that these products are fortified appropriately to provide a similar iodine content to that of cows’ milk.
Recent advances on milk exosomes (EXO), cargoes in cell−cell communication, explored their role within and between individuals, including in dairy species. The potential use of EXO as biomarkers of disease and metabolic conditions adds significant interest to the study of EXO in milk. Although several researches have been carried out on circulating miRNA in the milk, less information is available about milk-derived exosomal miRNAs, which are stable over time and resistant to digestion and milk processing. EXO are taken up by recipient cells through specific mechanisms, which enable the selective delivery of cargoes. This suggests that EXO cargoes can be used as biomarkers of health. Nevertheless, methodological limitations and potential applications of milk EXO in dairy ruminants must be considered. The paucity of studies that associate the EXO cargo to specific challenges deserves further investigations to unravel the variation of miRNA and proteins cargo in relation to metabolic imbalance and infectious disease of the mammary gland.
Obesity and its complications occur at alarming rates worldwide. Epidemiological data have associated perinatal conditions, such as malnutrition, with the development of some disorders, such as obesity, dyslipidemia, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, in childhood and adulthood. Exclusive breastfeeding has been associated with protection against long-term chronic diseases. However, in humans, the interruption of breastfeeding before the recommended period of 6 months is a common practice and can increase the risk of several metabolic disturbances. Nutritional and environmental changes within a critical window of development, such as pregnancy and breastfeeding, can induce permanent changes in metabolism through epigenetic mechanisms, leading to diseases later in life via a phenomenon known as programming or developmental plasticity. However, little is known regarding the underlying mechanisms by which precocious weaning can result in adipose tissue dysfunction and endocrine profile alterations. Here, the authors give a comprehensive report of the different animal models of early weaning and programming that can result in the development of metabolic syndrome. In rats, for example, pharmacological and nonpharmacological early weaning models are associated with the development of overweight and visceral fat accumulation, leptin and insulin resistance, and neuroendocrine and hepatic changes in adult progeny. Sex-related differences seem to influence this phenotype. Therefore, precocious weaning seems to be obesogenic for offspring. A better understanding of this condition seems essential to reducing the risk for diseases. Additionally, this knowledge can generate new insights into therapeutic strategies for obesity management, improving health outcomes.
The present study aimed to compare the effects of drinking different types of coffee before a high-glycaemic index (GI) meal on postprandial glucose metabolism and to assess the effects of adding milk and sugar into coffee. In this randomised, crossover, acute feeding study, apparently healthy adults (n 21) consumed the test drink followed by a high-GI meal in each session. Different types of coffee (espresso, instant, boiled and decaffeinated, all with milk and sugar) and plain water were tested in separate sessions, while a subset of the participants (n 10) completed extra sessions using black coffees. Postprandial levels of glucose, insulin, active glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and nitrotyrosine between different test drinks were compared using linear mixed models. Results showed that only preloading decaffeinated coffee with milk and sugar led to significantly lower glucose incremental AUC (iAUC; 14 % lower, P = 0·001) than water. Preloading black coffees led to greater postprandial glucose iAUC than preloading coffees with milk and sugar added (12–35 % smaller, P < 0·05 for all coffee types). Active GLP-1 and nitrotyrosine levels were not significantly different between test drinks. To conclude, preloading decaffeinated coffee with milk and sugar led to a blunted postprandial glycaemic response after a subsequent high-GI meal, while adding milk and sugar into coffee could mitigate the impairment effect of black coffee towards postprandial glucose responses. These findings may partly explain the positive effects of coffee consumption on glucose metabolism.
Artisan fresh cheese producing farms from six provinces of Cuba were studied to identify the presence of bacterial hazards and the results are presented in this research communication. The bacterial hazards identified in milk and cheese respectively were: Listeria spp. (9.5 and 18.9%), Bacillus cereus (23.2 and 24.2%), Escherichia coli O157 (12.6 and 13.7%), Salmonella spp. (10.5 and 17.9%), and Staphylococcus aureus (29.5 and 51.6%). Listeria monocytogenes was not detected. Nine Salmonella serotypes corresponding to Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica and Salmonella enterica subsp. arizonae were isolated, whereas Salmonella Anatum was present most often. Biofilm formation by the isolated species and enterotoxin production by S. aureus strains demonstrated the pathogenic potential of the identified bacterial hazards. Results proved the presence of bacterial hazards in the raw milk and cheeses analyzed, so that good manufacturing practices must be accomplished throughout the entire production process in order to avoid the occurrence of foodborne diseases in the population.
Subclinical (SCK) and clinical (CK) ketosis are metabolic disorders responsible for big losses in dairy production. Although Fourier-transform mid-infrared spectrometry (FTIR) to predict ketosis in cows exposed to great metabolic stress was studied extensively, little is known about its suitability in predicting hyperketonemia using individual samples, e.g. in small dairy herds or when only few animals are at risk of ketosis. The objective of the present research was to determine the applicability of milk metabolites predicted by FTIR spectrometry in the individual screening for ketosis. In experiment 1, blood and milk samples were taken every two weeks after calving from Holstein (n = 80), Brown Swiss (n = 72) and Swiss Fleckvieh (n = 58) cows. In experiment 2, cows diagnosed with CK (n = 474) and 420 samples with blood β-hydroxybutyrate [BHB] <1.0 mmol/l were used to investigate if CK could be detected by FTIR-predicted BHB and acetone from a preceding milk control. In experiment 3, correlations between data from an in farm automatic milk analyser and FTIR-predicted BHB and acetone from the monthly milk controls were evaluated. Hyperketonemia occurred in majority during the first eight weeks of lactation. Correlations between blood BHB and FTIR-predicted BHB and acetone were low (r = 0.37 and 0.12, respectively, P < 0.0001), as well as the percentage of true positive values (11.9 and 16.6%, respectively). No association of FTIR predicted ketone bodies with the interval of milk sampling relative to CK diagnosis was found. Data obtained from the automatic milk analyser were moderately correlated with the same day FTIR-predicted BHB analysis (r = 0.61). In conclusion, the low correlations with blood BHB and the small number of true positive samples discourage the use of milk mid-infrared spectrometry analyses as the only method to predict hyperketonemia at the individual cow level.
The hypothesis of the study was that feeding a relatively low amount of Se biofortified alfalfa hay during the dry period and early lactation would improve selenium status and glutathione peroxidase activity in dairy cows and their calves. Ten Jersey and 8 Holstein primiparous dairy cows were supplemented with Se biofortified (TRT; n = 9) or non-biofortified (CTR; n = 9) alfalfa hay at a rate of 1 kg/100 kg of BW mixed with the TMR from 40 d prior parturition to 2 weeks post-partum. Se concentration in whole blood, liver, milk, and colostrum, the transfer of Se to calves, and the glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity were assessed. TRT had 2-fold larger (P < 0.05) Se in blood v. CTR that resulted in larger Se in liver and colostrum but not milk and larger GPx activity in plasma and erythrocytes but not in milk. Compared to CTR, calves from TRT had larger Se in blood but only a numerical (P = 0.09) larger GPx activity in plasma. A positive correlation was detected between Se in the blood and GPx activity in erythrocytes and plasma in cows. Our results demonstrated that feeding pregnant primiparous dairy cows with a relatively low amount of Se-biofortified alfalfa hay is an effective way to increase Se in the blood and liver, leading to greater antioxidant activity via GPx. The same treatment was effective in improving Se concentration in calves but had a modest effect on their GPx activity. Feeding Se biofortified hay increased Se concentration in colostrum but not in milk.
Milk production is an important economic and social activity in Brazil. Failure to meet institutional and market demands for quality and sustainability has led farmers, particularly small-scale farmers, to leave agriculture. The aim of this study was to assess and compare the sustainability of dairy farms in Paraná, Brazil. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 75 dairy farm operators. Sustainability indicators were generated on the basis of economic, environmental and social data using exploratory factor analysis. Factor scores were subjected to hierarchical clustering, which resulted in the formation of three groups of dairy farms. Groups 1, 2 and 3 had high, intermediate and low levels of sustainability, respectively. Group 1 comprised large-scale dairy farms with high productivity. Dairy farms with intermediate sustainability (group 2) had medium production capacity, and farms with low sustainability (group 1) had the smallest production scale and capacity. Large-scale dairy farms have greater economic, environmental and social sustainability and are, therefore, more likely to survive in the medium and long term.
The objectives of this study were: to assess the efficiency of high hydrostatic pressure or ultra-high pressure homogenization against Mycobacterium smegmatis in milk and to discuss whether M. smegmatis can be considered a suitable surrogate for other Mycobacterium spp. in high pressure inactivation trials using milk. Three strains of this specie (CECT 3017, 3020 and 3032) were independently inoculated into both skimmed (0.2% fat) and whole milk (3.4% fat) at an approximate load of 6.5 Log CFU/ml and submitted to HHP treatments at 300, 400 or 500 MPa for 10 m at 6°C and 20°C. Evolution of the surviving cells of the inoculated strains was evaluated analysing milk immediately after the treatments and after 5 and 8 d of storage at 6°C. HHP treatments at 300 MPa were seldom efficient at inactivating M. smegmatis strains, but lethality increased with pressure applied in all cases. Generation of sub-lethal injured cells was observed only after 400 MPa treatments since inactivation at 500 MPa was shown to be complete. Significant differences were not observed due to either temperature of treatment or fat content of milk, except for strain CECT3032, which was shown to be the most sensitive to HHP treatments. Milk inoculated with strain CECT3017 was submitted to ultra-high pressure homogenization (UHPH) treatments at 200, 300 and 400 MPa. Maximum reductions were obtained after 300 and 400 MPa treatments, although less than 3.50 Log CFU/ml were inactivated. UHPH did not cause significant number of injured cells. The usefulness of this species as a marker for pressure-based processing seems limited since it showed greater sensitivity than some pathogenic species including other Mycobacteria reported in previous studies.
The association between milk consumption and the metabolic syndrome remains inconclusive, and data from Chinese populations are scarce. We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the association between milk consumption and the metabolic syndrome and its components among the residents of Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, China. A total of 5149 participants were included in the final analysis. A logistic regression model was applied to estimate the OR and 95 % CI for the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and its components according to milk consumption. In addition, the results of our study were further meta-analysed with other published observational studies to quantify the association between the highest v. lowest categories of milk consumption and the metabolic syndrome and its components. There was no significant difference in the odds of having the metabolic syndrome between milk consumers and non-milk consumers (OR 0·86, 95 % CI 0·73, 1·01). However, milk consumers had lower odds of having elevated waist circumference (OR 0·78, 95 % CI 0·67, 0·92), elevated TAG (OR 0·83, 95 % CI 0·70, 0·99) and elevated blood pressure (OR 0·85, 95 % CI 0·73, 0·99). When the results were pooled together with other published studies, higher milk consumption was inversely associated with the risk of the metabolic syndrome (relative risk 0·80, 95 % CI 0·72, 0·88) and its components (except elevated fasting blood glucose); however, these results should be treated with caution as high heterogeneity was observed. In summary, the currently available evidence from observational studies suggests that higher milk consumption may be inversely associated with the metabolic syndrome.
The fourth chapter, “Innovations,” discusses the environmental challenges in a rapidly urbanizing London, the capital of the largest empire of the modern period. It explores the early innovations in dealing with excreta disposal, including the creation of an underground sewer system and efforts to use the highly dilute sewer effluvia as fertilizer. The direct health benefits of modern sewerage alone were modest. Many smaller and less wealthy cities and towns opted for other methods of human waste disposal, including the tub-and-pail system. Much infectious intestinal disease was the result of pathogen-laden flies alighting on food and the contamination of the urban milk supply. The major reductions in mortality and morbidity from intestinal pathogens came about as a result of the filtration and chemical treatment of drinking water with chlorine or ozonation.
The effects of dietary vitamin D, Ca and dairy products intakes on colorectal cancer risk remain controversial. The present study investigated the association between these dietary intakes and the risk of colorectal cancer in Guangdong, China. From July 2010 to December 2018, 2380 patients with colorectal cancer and 2389 sex- and age-matched controls were recruited. Dietary intake data were collected through face-to-face interviews using a validated FFQ. Unconditional multivariable logistic regression models were used to calculate the OR and 95 % CI after adjusting for various confounders. Higher dietary vitamin D and Ca intakes were associated with 43 and 52 % reductions in colorectal cancer risk, with OR of 0·57 (95 % CI 0·46, 0·70) and 0·48 (95 % CI 0·39, 0·61), respectively, for the highest quartile (v. the lowest quartile) intakes. A statistically significant inverse association was observed between total dairy product intake and colorectal cancer risk, with an adjusted OR of 0·32 (95 % CI 0·27, 0·39) for the highest v. the lowest tertile. Subjects who drank milk had a 48 % lower risk of colorectal cancer than those who did not (OR 0·52, 95 % CI 0·45, 0·59). The inverse associations of dietary vitamin D, Ca, total dairy products and milk intakes with the risk of colorectal cancer were independent of sex and cancer site. Our study supports the protective effects of high dietary vitamin D, Ca and dairy products intakes against colorectal cancer in a Chinese population.
This research communications addresses the hypothesis that a part of iso 17:0 and anteiso 17:0 in milk fat could come from endogenous extraruminal tissue synthesis. In order to confirm this a linear regression model was applied to calculate the proportions of iso 17:0 and anteiso 17:0 in milk fat that could come from elongation of their putative precursors iso 15:0 and anteiso 15:0, respectively. Sixteen dairy goats were allocated to two simultaneous experiments, in a crossover design with four animals per treatment and two experimental periods of 25 d. In both experiments, alfalfa hay was the sole forage and the forage to concentrate ratio (33 : 67) remained constant. Experimental diets differed on the concentrate composition, either rich in starch or neutral detergent fibre, and they were administered alone or in combination with 30 g/d of linseed oil. Iso 15:0, anteiso 15:0, iso 17:0 and anteiso 17:0, the most abundant branched-chain fatty acids in milk fat, were determined by gas chromatography using two different capillary columns. The regression model resolved that 49% of iso 17:0 and 60% of anteiso 17:0 in milk fat was formed extraruminally from iso 15:0 and anteiso 15:0 elongation.
Although bariatric surgery is approved for a woman of child-bearing age with an interest in subsequent pregnancy, reports of in utero growth issues during pregnancy have garnered a closer look at the impact of maternal surgical weight loss on the pre- and postpartum periods. Offspring of dams having received vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) are born small-for-gestational age and have increased risk for metabolic syndrome later in life. Here, we aimed to determine whether the postnatal catch-up growth trajectory of bariatric offspring may be affected by milk composition. Milk samples were collected at postnatal day 15/16 from dams having received VSG surgery and fed a high-fat diet (HFD) (H-VSG), Sham surgery and fed chow (C-Sham), or Sham surgery and fed HFD (H-Sham). Milk obtained from H-VSG dams had elevated glucose (P < 0.05) and significantly reduced triglyceride content (P < 0.01). Milk from H-Sham dams had the lowest amount of milk protein (P < 0.05). Fatty acid composition measured by fractionation was largely not affected by surgery but rather maternal diet. No difference was observed in milk leptin levels; however, insulin, adiponectin, and growth hormone levels were significantly increased in milk from H-VSG animals. H-Sham had the lowest level of immunoglobulin (Ig)A, whereas IgG was significantly reduced in H-VSG. Taken together, the quality of milk from H-VSG dams suggests that milk composition could be a factor in reducing the rate of growth during the lactation period.
Evidence from randomised controlled trials supports beneficial effects of total dairy products on body weight, fat and lean mass, but evidence on associations of dairy types with distributions of body fat and lean mass is limited. We aimed to investigate associations of total and different types of dairy products with markers of adiposity, and body fat and lean mass distribution. We evaluated cross-sectional data from 12 065 adults aged 30–65 years recruited to the Fenland Study between 2005 and 2015 in Cambridgeshire, UK. Diet was assessed with an FFQ. We estimated regression coefficients (or percentage differences) and their 95 % CI using multiple linear regression models. The medians of milk, yogurt and cheese consumption were 293 (interquartile range (IQR) 146–439), 35·3 (IQR 8·8–71·8) and 14·6 (IQR 4·8–26·9) g/d, respectively. Low-fat dairy consumption was inversely associated with visceral:subcutaneous fat ratio estimated with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (–2·58 % (95 % CI –3·91, –1·23 %) per serving/d). Habitual consumption per serving/d (200 g) of milk was associated with 0·33 (95 % CI 0·19, 0·46) kg higher lean mass. Other associations were not significant after false discovery correction. Our findings suggest that the influence of milk consumption on lean mass and of low-fat dairy consumption on fat mass distribution may be potential pathways for the link between dairy consumption and metabolic risk. Our cross-sectional findings warrant further research in prospective and experimental studies in diverse populations.
The effect of weight gain during mid- and late gestation in dairy heifers on performance at the start of first lactation was studied. In this experiment, 47 Holstein heifers with first calving at 36 months of age were used. The plane of nutrition aimed to have a high (900 g/d, H; n = 23) and low (500, L; n = 24) average daily gain (ADG) from the 4th month of gestation until 3 weeks before the expected day of calving, achieved by ad libitum intake of high quality pasture (H) or controlled intake of a total mixed ration (L). Body weight (BW), body condition score (BCS), milking, and reproductive performances were recorded. Concentrations of plasma non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), glucose, beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA), and urea were characterised at weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8 of lactation. Milk fatty acid composition was determined at weeks 3 and 6. A total of 39 heifers successfully calved and completed first lactation. During feeding treatment the required ADG were achieved. BW and BCS were higher in H heifers at calving compared to L heifers: 707 vs. 640 kg, and 3.91 vs. 3.01 respectively. H heifers lost more weight, BCS and had lower feed intake during the beginning of first lactation (−0.8 kg DM/d/heifer over the first 4 weeks of lactation). Per day of lactation, H heifers produced significantly more milk (29.2 vs. 26.2 kg), fat (1.27 vs. 1.07 kg) and protein (0.84 vs. 0.477 kg) from 0 to 8 weeks of lactation. Concentrations of NEFA, glucose and BHBA were higher in H heifers compared to L heifers, but urea concentration was not affected. Concentration of preformed fatty acids in the milk (C16 and more) was higher. As a result, the calculated daily net energy balance during the first 8 weeks of lactation was −1.53 and −5.95 MJ for L and H heifers, respectively.
Water scarcity prevailing in the drylands is threatening the sustainability of livestock production systems. The water footprint (WF) indicator was proposed as a metric of water use. This study aimed to determine the WF and the economic water productivity (EWP) of 1 kg of fat and protein-corrected milk (FPCM) in eight dairy farms (n = 8; animals = 117 ± 62; area = 198 ± 127; 95% confidence level) in northern Tunisia. Then, to assess the effects of three simulation scenarios targeting the reduction of the WF of milk production (scenario A: using triticale silage to replace, on DM basis, the silage of maize, sorghum or ray-grass; scenario B: reducing by 56% the wastage of water devoted to milking, cooling, cleaning and servicing; scenario C: using concentrate feeds imported from Brazil and Argentina instead of that imported from France). A year-round monitoring of on-farm practices was performed using water-meters and recording equipment installed in key locations in the target dairy farms: (i) water used for feed production, (ii) cow watering, (iii) servicing water, (v) crop and forage production and (iv) economic and production performance were controlled by water source (green and blue). Over the eight farms evaluated, milk production consumed on average 1.36 ± 0.41 m3/kg FPCM, of which 0.93 ± 0.40 m3/kg FPCM was green water and 0.42 ± 0.30 m3/kg FPCM was blue water. However, virtual water of 1 kg FPCM averaged 43% ± 14.3%. Water used for feed production for lactating cows represents approximately 87% ± 6% of the total WF of milk production. However, drinking and servicing water contributed by 3.75% ± 2% and 9% ± 5% to the total WF of milk, respectively. The EWP assessment revealed that the selected dairy farms had a relatively small gross margin per m3 of water averaging US$ 0.05 ± 0.04. The variation in WF of milk was mainly associated with diets’ ingredients, which affected milk productivity and water consumption. Scenario analysis indicated that using feed with less water requirements or importing feeds from countries where its water consumption is low could reduce consumptive water use for milk production by up to 16%. The efficient use of servicing water could reduce blue WF of milk by up to 4%. The implementation of these measures would lead to potential total water savings in the Tunisian dairy sector of 646 million m3 per year (30%).
The use of a proteomic approach to investigate changes in the milk proteome is growing and has parralleled the increasing technological developments in proteomics moving from early investigation using a gel-based two-dimensional separation approach to more quantitative method of current focus applying chromatography and mass spectrometry. Proteomic approaches to investigate lactational performance have made substantial findings especially in the alterations in lactation during mastitis. An experimental model of Streptococcus uberis infection of the mammary gland has been used as a means to determine change not only in the milk proteome, but also in the peptidome and in the metabolome caused by the infection. Examination of the peptidome, that is the peptides of less than 25 kDa in molecular weight, demonstrated an increase in small peptides most of which were casein degradation products but also included small bioactive peptides such as mammary-associated serum amyloid A3 (MSAA3). The peptidome has also been shown to differ depending on the causative bacteria of naturally occuring mastitis. The use of a non-gel-based relative quantitative proteomic methodology has revealed major changes in the protein component of milk in mastitis. The S. uberis infection lead to increases in the concentrations of proteins such as cathelicidins, haptoglobin, MSAA3 and decreases milk content of proteins such as xanthine oxidase, butyrophilin and β-1,4-galactosyltransferase. Analysis of all protein change data identified the acute phase, coagulation and complement pathways as well as proteins related to bile acid metabolism as being most modified. Examination of the small molecular weight organic molecules of milk using a metabolomic approach identified an increase in the content in milk during mastitis of bile acids such as taurochenodeoxycholic acid. Notable changes were also found in metabolites responding to infection of the mammary gland. Carbohydrate and nucleic acid metabolites were reduced, whereas lipid and nitrogen containing metabolites were increased. The latter included increases in amino acids along with di and tri peptides, likely to be the result of casein degradation. The use of proteomics and other omic technology is in its infancy in investigation of lactational parameters, but can already provide additional insight into the changes involved in disease and will have further value in physiological and nutritional investigation of lactation.
The increasing lactational performance of dairy cows over the last few decades is closely related to higher nutritional requirements. The decrease in dry matter intake during the peripartal period results in a considerable mobilisation of body tissues (mainly fat reserves and muscle mass) to compensate for the prevailing lack of energy and nutrients. Despite the activation of adaptive mechanisms to mobilise nutrients from body tissues for maintenance and milk production, the increased metabolic load is still a risk factor for animal health. The prevalence of production diseases, particularly subclinical ketosis is high in the early lactation period. Increased β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentrations further depress gluconeogenesis, feed intake and the immune system. Despite a variety of adaptation responses to nutrient and energy deficit that exists among dairy cows, an early and non-invasive detection of developing metabolic disorders in milk samples would be useful. The frequent and regular milking process of dairy cows creates the ability to obtain samples at any stage of lactation. Routine identification of biomarkers accurately characterising the physiological status of an animal is crucial for decisive strategies. The present overview recapitulates established markers measured in milk that are associated with metabolic health of dairy cows. Specifically, measurements of milk fat, protein, lactose and urea concentrations are evaluated. Changes in the ratio of milk fat to protein may indicate an increased risk for rumen acidosis and ketosis. The costly determination of individual fatty acids in milk creates barriers for grouping of fatty acids into saturated, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Novel approaches include the potential of mid-IR (MIR) based predictions of BHB and acetone in milk, although the latter are not directly measured, but only estimated via indirect associations of concomitantly altered milk composition during (sub)clinical ketosis. Although MIR-based ketone body concentrations in milk are not suitable to monitor the metabolic status of the individual cow, they provide an estimate of the overall herd or specific groups of animals earlier in a particular stage of lactation. Management decisions can be made earlier and animal health status improved by adjusting diet composition.