Goat milk protein digestibility in relation to intestinal function Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Milk is an important high-quality animal protein source in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Although the true ileal digestibility and absorption of milk has been shown to be high in French adults, this may be lower in individuals from LMICs who are at risk of environmental enteropathy. OBJECTIVE: To determine the true ileal indispensable amino acid (IAA) digestibility of intrinsically labeled goat milk protein in South Indian women of reproductive age (WRA), using the dual-isotope tracer technique, and to measure intestinal absorption of amino acid and inert sugar in the same participants using L-allo-isoleucine and a dual-sugar assay. METHODS: Milk with 2H-labeled protein collected from a lactating goat fed intrinsically 2H-labeled fodder (maize and cowpea) was spray dried. Labeled milk protein was administered in a plateau feeding protocol to WRA with normal BMI, in whom urinary lactulose and mannitol recovery and the lactulose/mannitol ratio (LMR) were measured, to determine its true ileal IAA digestibility by the dual-isotope tracer technique with a reference U-13C-amino acid mixture. A phenylalanine absorption index was calculated from the plasma to meal ratio of 13C9 phenylalanine within the digestibility protocol. On a separate day, the allo-isoleucine absorption index was estimated from the ratio of plasma allo-isoleucine enrichments after oral 13C6-15N-L- and intravenous 2H10-L-allo-isoleucine administration. RESULTS: The means ± SDs of true ileal IAA digestibility of goat milk protein, lactulose and mannitol recovery, LMR, allo-isoleucine and phenylalanine absorption index were 94.0 ± 2.9%, 0.09 ± 0.03%, 7.9 ± 2.3%, 0.012 ± 0.004, 88.4 ± 3.8% and 24.5 ± 1.6%, respectively. The LMR correlated with the allo-isoleucine absorption index (rs = -0.93, P = 0.008). CONCLUSION: The true ileal digestibility of goat milk protein in South Indian WRA with normal intestinal absorptive function and integrity was comparable to earlier estimates in healthy French adults.

altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Kashyap, S., Shivakumar, N., Sejian, V., Deutz, N. E., Preston, T., Sreeman, S., Devi, S., & Kurpad, A. V.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • March 2021