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Donkey's and Goat's Milk Consumption and Benefits to Human Health with Special Reference to the Inflammatory Status

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The environmental impact as well as malnutrition are responsible for an increased incidence of inflammatory diseases with a consequential loss of immune homeostasis. Therefore, administration of nutraceuticals is aimed at reconstituting the immune balance in terms of the so-called immune nutrition. Among many known nutraceuticals, more recently, donkey's and goat's milks have been used as good alternatives to human and bovine milk in various clinical conditions such as allergy, atopy and inflammatory diseases. In fact, both milks possess immunomodulating capacities and release nitric oxide, a potent vasodilator endowed with anti-atherogenic properties. In this review, emphasis will be placed on the consumption of fermented milk and, in particular, on its ability to modulate the aged immune system, even including the intestinal mucosal immune response in elderly. Therefore, for their specific properties donkey's and goat's milk administration to aged people should be encouraged.
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Keywords: Donkey; goat; immune response; milk; nitric oxide; probiotics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Immunology, Policlinico, Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124, Bari, Italy.

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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