Role of Casein Protein

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Casein proteins can be classified into two groups:

  • Kappa caseins: This is also referred to as the K-casein. In the stomach, this protein splits into insoluble peptide and soluble hydrophilic glycopeptides.
  • Alpha-s1, alpha-s2, and beta caseins

The importance

Casein is rich in calcium, an essential mineral that builds up bone content. Being an effective source of protein, it is necessary for those individuals who exercise vigorously and require muscle protein synthesis.

For newborn babies: A major portion of mammalian milk contains this effective form of protein. They react with calcium phosphate and form colloidal particles referred to as micelles. Micelles maintain a high concentrate of calcium phosphate in the milk which is necessary for the mineralization of calcified tissues.

For adults: Casein is anti-catabolic. It may take about seven hours for the body to digest it because it coagulates, that is, it forms a gel, in the stomach and slowly releases amino acids. This gives a positive nitrogen balance in the body. Therefore, it is recommended to ingest casein supplements before going to bed.

Casein protein in food

Milk: Mammalian milk which comprises of whey and casein protein is a rich source of calcium.

Casein protein powder: This dietary supplement is produced by separating the whey from the casein protein by ultra-filtration.

Cheese: When cheese is made, whey and lactose are separated from the curd. This curd has a high concentrate of casein.

Cottage cheese: The process of making cottage cheese is similar to cheese. However, not all the whey is removed. Compared to cheese, cottage cheese has more protein and less fat.

Differences between whey protein and casein protein

Whey and casein, both which constitute mammalian milk, have the following differences:

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  • Whey protein is acid soluble whereas, buy casein protein forms a gel like substance and takes a longer time to ingest.
  • Whey directly stimulates muscle protein synthesis after a regime of exercise. However, casein enhances the anabolic reaction during weight training.

Benefits

Protein casein is usually consumed by those individuals who require an additional dose of protein. These people may be athletes, body builders and those who exercise for strength and weight training.

Side effects

People who are allergic to casein protein may experience the following symptoms:

  • Hives
  • Headaches
  • Stomach cramps

Alternatives

Soya protein, often seen as a substitute for casein, has less protein compared to milk protein in terms of muscle protein synthesis.

If a person is lactose intolerant, it is advisable to consume casein supplement, cheese or cottage cheese. Studies reveal that there is very little difference between the goat’s milk and sheep’s milk with regard to the alpha-s1 and alpha-s2 content. Therefore, those who are lactose intolerant can consume sheep’s milk safely.

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Source by Sunil Khari

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