Review/Oorsig Volume 22, Issue 05 - Page 16

Oorsig/Review HOW TO INCREASE LACTOSE PRODUCTION It is important to understand that increased lactose production leads to increased milk production through the osmotic effect of Lactose. The Lactose levels in milk will remain fairly constant and do not increase as a result. • • • • • Ensure adequate energy levels by feeding a high energy concentrate. Feed high quality dry forage and a source of long fibre Ensure the cows have adequate BCS (Body Condition Score) Avoid stressing the cows Good udder health leads to less mastitis which prevents a depression in Lactose levels Blood and milk are isosmotic but are not in chemical equilibrium: Milk has: º º º º º º º º º º º º º º 90 x more sugar than blood 13 x more Ca than blood 10 x more P than blood 9 x more fat than blood 5 x more K than blood 1/2 as much protein as blood 1/7 as much Na as blood LACTOSE-FREE MILK Lactose-free milk should not be confused with products (such as Almond “milk”, Soya “milk”, Rice “milk” etc.) which parade as Lactose-free milk replacements. By definition, only mammals produce milk. Plants produce juice. In 2011 Chinese scientists claimed to have successfully introduced human genes into 300 Holstein cows to produce human milk. It makes the cows produce lysozyme (a protein that is abundant in human milk) in their milk since human milk has 1,600 times the level of lysozyme of cow’s milk. Lysozyme accounts for the strong sweet taste of human milk. A year later, in 2012, Scientists claimed to have produced a calf whose milk is safe to be drunk by lactose-intolerant people, by introducing a gene which causes the lactose to be broken down into other sugars, that are easier for humans to digest. These developments have inflamed critics of GM foods and they call into question the safety of milk from genetically modified animals. Nowadays, Lactose-free milk is quite freely available on the supermarket shelves. The Lactose in the milk is “removed” by adding lactase to the milk. This pre-digests the Lactose into the simple sugars Glucose and Galactose. It does make the milk taste sweeter and is probably more cariogenic as well. Since Lactose-free milk is not as popular as regular milk yet, it tends to stay on the shelf longer. As a result, all the Lactose-free milk currently available, is ultra-pasteurised to extend the shelf-life. Dr Mark Chimes is an independent veterinarian working in the dairy industry and can be contacted at References available upon on request ENDUMENI HERD HEALTH PRACTICE | Job Vacancy Please send CV to or contact 0825320821 / 0609611874 for more info. 16 We are looking for an enthusiastic vet to join our busy 3-vet large animal practice in Dundee, Northern KZN. The practice is well equipped for cattle, sheep and wildlife. We are offering a competitive salary with shared after hours and an opportunity for future partnership. New graduates are welcome to apply.