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Milk Osteopontin and Human Health

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Osteopontin (OPN) is a multifunctional protein found in all vertebrates. OPN is expressed in many different cell types, and is consequently found in most tissues and physiological secretions. OPN is involved in a multitude of biological processes, such as activation and regulation of the immune system; biomineralization; tissue-transformative processes, including growth and development of the gut and brain; interaction with bacteria; and many more. OPN is found in the highest concentrations in milk, where it is believed to initiate and regulate developmental, immunological and physiological processes in infants who consume milk. Processes for the isolation of bovine OPN for use in infant formula have been developed, and in recent years, many studies have investigated the effects of the intake of milk OPN. The purpose of this article is to review and compare existing knowledge about the structure and function of milk OPN, with a particular focus on the effects of milk OPN on human health and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2423
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2023

    Research areas

  • Animals, Brain/metabolism, Cattle, Humans, Infant, Infant Formula/chemistry, Milk, Human/chemistry, Milk/chemistry, Osteopontin/pharmacology

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