Hormones and their effects:
Since decades ago, scientists have been discussing the presence of hormones in milk and dairy foods. Rather more concerns attended to that with respect to finding hormones as biomarkers in milk for diseases. Moreover, considerable amount of studies demonstrated that existing of them in humans and animals milk are essential for infants growing and immunity.
In the last few years, evidences are showing other property of hormones in dairy products as possible impact on health. Those possibilities include the role of some oestrogens and insulin-like growth factor. They are effective in initiation and provoking of breast, prostate and tumours.
Providing consumer information about the relationship between diet and health over the last decade has been raised and elevated the awareness and demand for functional food ingredients. Milk or dairy products such as cheese, butter, and yogurt are the most important components of human diet especially in the Western culture and recently in Asia. Consumption of cow’s milk is frequent , although there is some other variation in consumption of goat, sheep and camel milk.
Apart from dairy foods’ basic nutritional role, many of them contain a number of hormones. They are able to mediate specific physiological functions. Moreover, the presence of hormones in dairy products that have the potential to disrupt the physiological function of endocrine systems is a great concern . Any subtle changes in endocrine function may alter the growth, development, and reproduction in exposed animals and humans.
The most important of them in milk and other dairy products consist of prolactin, steroids including progesterone, and androgens. Moreover, the existence of other types such as insulin-like growth factor, and local hormones in dairy products is a possibility. Diffusion transfers most of them into milk . However, evidence is available for active mechanisms like those in goats and in cows.