PhD defence - Louise Bruun Werner

Louise Bruun Werner is defending her PhD thesis

Does green feed result in healthier dairy products?

How can dairy products contribute to a healty and sustainable diet?


21 November 2013 at 13:00


Auditorium A2-83.01, Thorvaldsensvej 40, stuen, 1871 Frederiksberg C.


Lotte Lauritzen, PhD, Associate Professor (chair), Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Merete Myrup Christensen, PhD, Director of Dairy Nutrition, Danish Agriculture and Food Council, Copenhagen, Denmark

Helena Lindmark-Månsson, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition, Lund University, Sweden


Tine Tholstrup, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Lars O. Dragsted, PhD, Professor, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

About the thesis

Lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus are a growing problem in the Western world. Consequently, attempts are made to prevent and reduce the complications of these diseases and one strategy is the use of bioactive agents in foods.

Phytanic acid (PA), produced by the degradation of the chlorophyll molecule, is a fatty acid uniquely found in ruminant fat. PA has been suggested to have beneficial properties with regard to metabolic disorders. The content of milk fat PA has been shown to increase with the content of green feed fed to dairy cows. Hence, increasing green feed has the potential to modify the content of this FA in commercially sold dairy products.

The objective of the first part of this PhD thesis was to examine if dairy products derived from cows fed green plant material have protective effect against risk markers of the metabolic syndrome compared to milk from cows fed conventional feed – with special focus on phytanic acid. This was evaluated on the basis of two human intervention studies. In the European Union about one third of all emissions are related to the food production. Animal based products are generally associated with relatively large greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) on a per kg basis compared to vegetable products. Therefore, a change toward a less animal-dependent diet is also one of the solutions often suggested to reduce GHGE. However, products of animal origin also have an important place in a healthy diet because of their high nutritional value.

The objective of the second part of this PhD thesis was to elucidate the role of dairy products in overall nutrition and furthermore to clarify the effects of dietary choices on GHGE, and, furthermore to estimate nutrient density in relation to climate impact for difference solid food items.

2013, 160 pages, ISBN 978 87 7611 656 9