Why is Micellar Casein important

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Casein in its micellar form is a one of a kind molecular composition. When we consume micellar form casein, a “bolus” (a large curd) is formed in our stomach as the micellar casein reacts with gastric juices in the stomach. The bolus takes on a unique composition as well. Our stomachs and upper intestines generate digestive enzymes to help speed up digestion of food. Some of these enzymes are “site specific” meaning that they will only act on certain sites of a molecule when that molecule is in a specific composition. These specific enzymes fit into molecular structures much as a specific key fits into a specific lock. Particular digestive enzymes will act on casein micelles to produce bioactive peptides from micellar casein. Some of these peptides will have immunomodulatory attributes. Others will have antibacterial attributes. Examples of peptides produced from consumption of micellar casein are:

Glycomacropeptide (GMP)

Made when kappa-casein is hydrolyzed at one precise peptide bond, between amino acids 105 and 106. The smaller peptide that is made from amino acids 106 through 169 is GMP. When the stomach discovers the formation of GMP, a hormonal cascade begins. The body generates cholecystokinin (CKK) a chemical substance which alerts the brain of satiety and suppresses appetite. GMP has also been shown to enhance the absorption of calcium and zinc. GMP has been shown to inhibit platelet aggregation in our veins and arteries, and thus helping to prevent arteriosclerosis.

Casomorphins

These are peptides cleaved from micellar casein during digestion that elicit an opioid effect in the body. They have been shown to travel to the brain and can have a relaxing, tranquilizing influence. They have also been shown to be antihypertensive and, as such, are under research as a natural blood pressure management agent. Casomorphins can also act to slow motility of the small intestine, therefore enabling food to linger longer for maximum absorption of nutrients in the food.

Casein-Phospho-Peptide (CPP)

These peptides include large levels of calcium and phosphorous. They are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and, consequently, carry large quantities of calcium and phosphorous into the bloodstream. Since calcium (of the form as found in milk) and phosphorous are the building blocks of our skeletal system, it can be said that CPP helps to develop strong bones. In Asia, CPP is used as a preventive against osteoporosis.

Along with the bioactive peptides that form when micellar casein is consumed, there are other research confirmed advantages. Micellar casein is the only protein that has ever been shown to be anticatabolic (Boire et. al. 1997) – meaning that micellar form casein will help avoid oxidative breakdown of muscle tissue throughout and after intensive workout. Consumption of micellar casein results in extented intervals (up to 7 hours) of increased amino acids in the bloodstream, therefore permitting the body to repair and build muscle tissue after workout for extented periods of time.

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