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Effects of thermized donkey milk with lysozyme activity on altered gut barrier in mice exposed to water-avoidance stress.

TitleEffects of thermized donkey milk with lysozyme activity on altered gut barrier in mice exposed to water-avoidance stress.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsYvon, S, Schwebel, L, Belahcen, L, Tormo, H, Peter, M, Haimoud-Lekhal, DAli, Eutamène, H, Jard, G
JournalJ Dairy Sci
Date Published2019 Sep

Nutrition plays a crucial role in human gut health through the improvement of gut barrier functionality. Donkey milk represents an interesting source of natural antimicrobial factors such as lysozyme. Recently, anti-inflammatory properties of donkey milk lysozyme activity were described in a mouse model of ileitis. The current increase of donkey milk consumption highlights the necessity to propose a healthy milk compliant with microbiological standards. This study aims to define a heat treatment of donkey milk, retaining its high lysozyme activity, and to evaluate its beneficial effects on a gut barrier impairment model due to chronic stress in mice. To perform this experiment, samples of raw donkey milk were collected in 15 distinct French farms. Microbiological analysis and lysozyme content and activity were evaluated for each sample. Then, several heat treatments were carried out to define a time and temperature combination that allowed for both a reduction in the number of total micro-organisms, increasing the shelf-life of the product, and preservation of lysozyme activity. The beneficial effect of heated donkey milk on the gut barrier of mice was evaluated and compared with raw donkey milk. We found that samples of raw donkey milk showed low total mesophilic microbial counts, and no pathogens were detected. Among the different heat-treatment procedures tested, a 2-min, 72°C combination was determined to be the most optimal time and temperature combination to preserve lysozyme activity and increase the shelf-life of donkey milk. Oral administration of this heat-treated donkey milk in mice counteracted chronic stress-induced intestinal damage, illustrated by gut hyper-permeability and low-grade inflammation, similar to raw donkey milk. We have demonstrated for the first time that oral intervention with donkey milk, optimally heat-treated to retain enzymatic lysozyme activity, improves intestinal barrier damage linked to psychological stress in mice.

Alternate JournalJ. Dairy Sci.
PubMed ID31326167