Author(s): Bell SJ, Grochoski GT, Clarke AJ
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Abstract Milk from dairy cows has long provided a high quality source of protein and selected micronutrients such as calcium to most populations. Recently, a relationship between disease risk and consumption of a specific bovine ss-casein fraction either A1 or A2 genetic variants has been identified. Populations, which consume milk containing high levels of ss-casein A2 variant, have a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, consumption of milk with the A2 variant may be associated with less severe symptoms of autism and schizophrenia. The mechanism of action focuses on ss-casein A1 and related forms preferentially that are able to produce a bioactive opioid peptide, ss-casomorphin-7 (ss-CM-7) during digestion. Infants may absorb ss-CM-7 due to an immature gastrointestinal tract. Adults, on the other hand, appear to reap the biological activity locally on the intestinal brush boarder. ss-CM-7 can potentially affect numerous opioid receptors in the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. Whether there is a definite health benefit to milk containing the A2 genetic variant is unknown and requires further investigation.
This article was published in Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability