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The Distribution of Essential, Trace, and Nonessential Minerals in Weanling Male Rats Fed Sheep or Cow Milk

Burrow, Keegan, Young, Wayne, McConnell, Michelle, Carne, Alan, Barr, David, Reid, Malcom, Bekhit, Alaa El‐Din
Molecular nutrition & food research 2018 v.62 no.21 pp. e1800482
animal growth, animal models, bioaccumulation, bioavailability, blood serum, cesium, ewe milk, iron, liver, males, milk, milk consumption, mineral content, minerals, rats, rubidium, weanlings
SCOPE: The aim of the study is to determine the effects of sheep milk consumption in comparison to cow milk on the mineral distribution in the soft organs and serum in a growing animal model system. As the mineral composition of cow and sheep milk differs, different effects on the bio‐accumulations in the body may be observed. Differences in the mineral composition of cow and sheep milk may lead to different bioavailability or accumulation of minerals in the body. Newly weaned rats were fed either cow milk, sheep milk, or sheep milk diluted so that it had the same solid content as cow milk. At the end of the feeding trial, the concentration of minerals in the organs and plasma of the rats was assessed. The results indicate that the consumption of the high level of minerals in sheep milk does not have any negative effects in the rat model. METHODS AND RESULTS: Newly weaned male rats were fed ad libitum for 28 days on either cow milk, sheep milk, or sheep milk diluted to have the same concentration of milk solids as cow milk. Animals were euthanized and the soft organs and serum were harvested and then analyzed for mineral composition by inductively coupled plasma MS. Rats fed sheep milk had lower iron concentrations in the liver and higher concentrations of rubidium and cesium in all of the soft organs. The growth rate of the rats was not affected by the type of milk consumed. CONCLUSION: The concentration of essential and trace minerals in the liver is found to be significantly different between rats fed sheep milk compared to those fed cow milk (p < 0.05). The consumption of sheep milk does not affect the growth of animals.