Recombinant bovine growth hormone (r BGH) is a synthetic (man-made) hormone that is marketed to dairy farmers to increase milk production in cows.
It has been used in the United States since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993, but its use is not permitted in the European Union, Canada, and some other countries.
It’s the first thing we reach for in the fridge when we stumble into the kitchen for a morning cuppa.
Most of us probably won’t give it a second thought – but the colour of the plastic cap on your milk bottle could make a big difference to your health. Research from America found that people who drink whole milk (with the blue lid) have a lower risk of diabetes than those who don’t.
Both the natural and recombinant forms of the hormone stimulate a cow's milk production by increasing levels of another hormone known as insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1).
Concerns about possible health effects on humans from milk produced using r BGH have focused on 2 main issues.
[Read more: Would you try a breast milk facial to look younger?
] The 15-year-long study by Tufts University looked at 3,333 people aged between 30 and 75.
In another study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers looked at the link between full and low-fat dairy and obesity in women.
Recombinant bovine growth hormone (r BGH) or recombinant bovine somatotropin (r BST) refers to bovine growth hormone that is made in a lab using genetic technology.
Some r BGH products on the market differ chemically from a cow's natural somatotropin by one amino acid.
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