Australian scientists use UHT milk to understand Alzheimer’s
Australian scientists are using UHT milk to help them better understand Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Type Two Diabetes.
Published on 1 February 2017 in The Small Journal*, researchers reported that the same type of protein clusters found in UHT milk is also found in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients.
Co-lead researcher, Australian National University Professor John Carver, said that two unrelated proteins aggregate in UHT milk over a period of months to form clusters called amyloid fibrils, which cause the milk to transform from a liquid into a gel.
He said the same type of protein clusters are found in plaque deposits in cases of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
“Our interest in milk proteins led to a discovery of the reason for this gelling phenomenon occurring in aged UHT milk,” said Professor Carver.
“The research does not suggest UHT milk can cause these age-related diseases,” he stated.
Professor Carver said milk proteins changed structurally when heated briefly to around 140 degrees to produce UHT milk, causing the gelling phenomenon with long-term storage.
He said normal pasteurised milk did not form amyloid fibrils.
Approximately 500 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Type 2 Diabetes with millions of deaths attributed to the diseases each year.
*The Small Journal is published by Wiley and specialises in coverage of developments about science and technology on the micro and nanoscales.