Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 486–490 | Cite as

Diet influences the content of bioactive peptides in goat milk

  • F. Rosi
  • A. A. Aufy
  • D. Magistrelli
Original Articles


Leptin, insulin, ghrelin, and IGF-I are circulating peptide hormones concerned with energy homeostasis and the regulation of GH axis. They are present in human milk, and are thought to promote neonatal development. The aim of the present study was to detect these substances in goat milk and determine whether their levels can be modified by changing the macronutrient content of the lactating animals’ diet. Sixteen Saanen goats in mid-lactation were divided into two balanced groups, one given a diet containing 17% starch (LS) and the other a diet of 33% starch (HS). Eighty days later, leptin, insulin, ghrelin, and IGF-I were determined by human radioimmunoassay kits in plasma before and after feeding, and in sonicated milk centrifuged to remove fat from morning and evening milking. The HS diet was associated with higher plasma and milk insulin and IGF-I, and plasma ghrelin. Leptin, insulin, and ghrelin in milk were two-three times higher than in plasma; milk IGF-I was only 5–20% of plasma level. Plasma insulin correlated positively with plasma IGF-I; morning milk IGF-I and insulin correlated positively with morning plasma levels. These findings demonstrate that human immuno-activities of bioactive peptides are present in goat milk, and also that levels of insulin and IGF-I in milk can be altered by changing the macronutrient content of the diet. Further research is required to determine whether these substances can be transferred from the milk to suckling animals and humans, and whether they have biological activity in such animals.


Bioactive peptides ghrelin goat milk IGF-I insulin 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceUniversity of MilanMilanoItaly

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