Overview

Casein protein is a protein in milk that gives milk its white color. Cow's milk is made up of around 80% casein. When people drink milk, the body breaks casein down into smaller pieces called casein peptides. Casein peptides can also be made in the laboratory and marketed as dietary supplements. Casein peptide products might be called "casein hydrolysate" or "hydrolyzed casein protein" on the label.

Casein peptides are most commonly used for atopic dermatitis (eczema) and allergies to milk. They are also used for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anxiety, and many other conditions, but there is no good evidence to support most of these uses.

How does it work ?

Some casein peptides are thought to cause blood vessels to enlarge in diameter and therefore lower blood pressure.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Likely Effective for

  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis). Feeding infants a specific formula containing casein peptides (Nutramigen or Progestimil) with or without breastmilk for 4-6 months reduces the chances of getting eczema. This effect appears to last until at least 6 years of age.
  • Prone to allergies and allergic reactions (atopic disease). Some research shows that feeding infants a specific formula containing casein peptides (Nutramigen) instead of cow's milk reduces the risk for allergies in infants whose parents have allergic conditions. This benefit appears to last until at least 6 years of age.

Possibly Effective for

  • Aging skin. Some research shows that taking casein peptides can improve age-related color changes in the skin.
  • Excessive crying in infants (colic). Some research shows that feeding a specific formula containing casein peptides (Alimentum or Nutramigen) to infants with colic for 7 days reduces how often and how much the infant cries. In infants taking cow's milk formula who have colic, switching to a casein peptide formula (Nutramigen) reduces crying and colic for the first few days.
  • Diabetes. Some research in adults with type 2 diabetes shows that eating casein peptides improves insulin and glucose levels after a meal. But it's not clear if taking casein peptides for a long time can improve blood sugar control.
  • Food allergies. Specific formulas containing casein peptides are safe and do not cause allergic reactions in children who have an allergic reaction to cow's milk. These formulas include Alimentum, Damira 2000, Frisolac Allergycare, and Nutramigen.
  • High blood pressure. Taking certain casein peptides, sometimes called lactotripeptides, seems to lower blood pressure by a small amount in people with high blood pressure.
  • High levels of a chemical called bilirubin in the blood of newborns (neonatal jaundice). Some research shows that feeding infants a formula containing casein peptides (Nutramigen) instead of a formula containing whey protein (Enfamil) or breastmilk reduces the chance of getting jaundice.

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Asthma. Most research shows that feeding infants a formula containing casein peptides, with or without breastmilk, for 4 months does not reduce the chance of developing asthma. But early research shows that this formula might decrease the amount of wheezing in some infants.
  • Infant development. Most research shows that feeding premature, low-birth weight, and healthy infants a formula containing casein peptides does not increase or decrease growth when compared to breast milk, whey protein-based formula, rice hydrolysate formula, cow's milk formula, or amino acid-based formula. But some early research in infants with cow's milk allergy shows that taking casein peptides increases growth from 6-12 months of age better than soy milk.
There is interest in using casein peptides for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Casein peptides are LIKELY SAFE when consumed in the diet appropriately. Side effects are not common.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Casein peptides are LIKELY SAFE when consumed in the diet appropriately. Side effects are not common. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if casein peptides are safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Infants and children: Casein peptides are LIKELY SAFE for children and infants when taken by mouth. Most infants receiving casein peptide-based formulas do not experience side effects.

Milk allergy: People with milk allergy are allergic to the proteins contained in milk. They may also be allergic to fragments of milk proteins, such as casein peptides. If you have a milk allergy, it's best to avoid taking casein peptides. However, there are some specific casein peptide formulas that can be safely given to infants with milk allergy. These formulas are: Alimentum, Damira 2000, Frisolac Allergycare, and Nutramigen.

Surgery: Casein peptides might affect blood pressure. There is some concern that casein peptides might interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgery. Stop taking casein peptides at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions ?

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with CASEIN PEPTIDES

    Some casein peptides, called lactotripeptides, might decrease blood pressure. Taking these casein peptides along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.

    Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.

Dosing

ADULTS

BY MOUTH:
  • For aging skin: Certain casein peptides, sometimes called lactotripeptides, have been used in doses of 10.2 mg daily for 48 weeks.
  • For diabetes: Casein peptides 12-17.6 grams, with or without leucine 5 grams, have been taken with meals.
  • For high blood pressure: Certain casein peptides, sometimes called lactotripeptides, have been used in doses of 10.5 mg daily for 4-21 weeks.
CHILDREN

BY MOUTH:
  • For eczema (atopic dermatitis): Specific casein peptide formulas (Nutramigen or Progestimil, Mead Johnson) have been used for 4-6 months.
  • For allergies: A specific casein peptide formula (Nutramigen, Mead Johnson) has been used for 4-6 months.
  • For cow's milk allergy: A variety of casein peptide formulas have been used, including Alimentum (Abbot Laboratories), Damira 2000 (Nutrition & Sante S.L.), Frisolac Allergycare (Friesland Nutrition), and Nutramigen (Mead Johnson).
  • For diabetes: A specific casein peptide-based formula (Nutramigen, Mead Johnson) has been used when breastmilk is not available, starting at birth and lasting up to 6-8 months of age.
  • For excessive crying in infants (colic): Specific casein peptide formulas have been used for up to 7 days. These include Alimentum (Abbot Laboratories) and Nutramigen (Mead Johnson).
  • For high levels of a chemical called bilirubin in the blood of newborns (jaundice): Casein peptide formulas, including Nutramigen (Mead Johnson), have been used for 1-3 weeks.


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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.