Magazine the blood more slowly and peak

Critic: 5 benefits of casein protein.


has a profound effect on muscle growth and for muscle protein metabolism, amino
acid availability is an important regulator (Tipton and Wolfe, 2001).

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protein has been identified as being a ‘slower’ release protein which results
in an attenuated release of its amino acids (Kerksick et al., 2006). An article
published by Men’s Health Magazine (2017) compiled a list of the five most
important benefits of consuming casein, listed below:


1.    Casein
“lasts” longer in your system

Health Magazine (2017) highlights
casein’s greatest strength as being timing. According to the article, Men’s
Health Magazine (2017), ‘Casein has the ability to
provide your bloodstream with a slow and steady flow of amino acids that could last for hours’. Casein is considered a
‘slow’ protein as it is released from the stomach slower than ‘fast proteins’
such as whey proteins (Tipton et al., 2004). Tipton et al., 2004 suggest that
amino acids from casein appear in the blood more slowly and peak at a lower
magnitude however where they differ to fast proteins is that the response lasts


A study conducted by Boirie et al.,
(1997) demonstrated that amino acid absorption was faster with whey protein
than with casein. Boirie et al., (1997) identified that casein promotes protein deposition by inhibiting protein
breakdown without increasing amino acid concentration excessively, where-as in
contrast, a fast-dietary protein stimulates both protein synthesis and oxidation. Whey
protein has been found to cause increases in blood amino acids in under an
hour, with peak levels under 90 minutes (Kollias, 2017). In contrasts casein
takes longer to increase blood amino acids but remains elevated for over 300
minutes (Boire et al., (1997).



2.    Casein
yields greater gains

Health Magazine (2017) refer to a Texas study consisting of 36 males who
performed a heavy resistance training programme where results concluded that
the group consuming a whey and casein combination had significantly improved
performance levels when compared with participants who consumed a combination
of whey, BCAAs, and glutamine supplement.

Texas study referred to was completed by Kerksick et al., (2006) which evaluated
whether 2 different forms of protein supplementation (whey protein with casein
or whey protein with BCAA and glutamine) would elicit greater changes following
a 10-week training program in comparison to subjects who ingested an
isoenergetic amount of carbohydrates. A double-blind manner was applied to
methodology eliminating the element of bias. Significant improvements in 1RM
bench and leg press were demonstrated after 10 weeks of training. It was
identified that the greatest increase in fat-free mass was found within the
whey and casein protein group which is suggested that these findings can be
used to improve body composition during resistance training. It is important to
note that these findings were based on casein being used in conjunction with
whey protein alongside a resistance training programme therefore more research
is needed to examine the effects of casein supplementation alone, alongside
evaluating the timings of supplementation in conjunction with training



study conducted by Pennings et al., (2011) found that whey protein stimulated
greater postprandial muscle accretion more effectively in elderly subjects than
casein which was attributed to whey’s faster digestion, absorption kinetics and
higher leucine content.  Findings by Burd
et al., (2012) match that of Pennings et al., (2011) in a small study of 14
older male participants who conclude that whey protein stimulates greater rates
of myo-fibrillar protein synthesis at rest and after resistance exercise.


Leucine is a key amino acid for activating protein synthesis
and uniquely activates protein synthesis through mammalian target of rapamycin
(mTOR) pathway and since whey protein has a greater content of leucine it is
the primary choice for building muscle mass (Kollias, 2017).



3.    Casein
helps improve metabolic rate

Health Magazine (2017) base this claim on a study conducted in the Netherlands ‘found that by multiplying
casein intake by two and a half times, participants had improved overall fat
balance and increased metabolic rate whilst sleeping. Also of note is that
satiety levels were 33% higher.’ The study referred to was a randomised
crossover design conducted by Hochstenbach-Waelen et al., (2009), where 30
subjects were required to stay in a respiration chamber for 36hours twice.
Subjects received 1 of 2 diets (10En% or 25En% protein diet with casein as the
only protein source) while in the chamber. This methodology of a randomised
crossover design could yield a more efficient comparison of treatments however
it could be argued that the carry over effects from the initial sampling could
affect results.

A study conducted by Kinsey et al.,
randomly assigned 12 obese males in a crossover design to either ingest casein
protein (within 30 min of sleep) or a non-nutritive placebo before sleep.
Results demonstrated that consumption before sleep had no effect on glucose and
fat metabolism or reduce appetite in hyper-insulemic obese men.

Similar findings were found in a small study of 11
participants by Madzima et al., (2014) who concluded that although night time
consumption of whey, casein and carbohydrates elicited favourable effects on
metabolism, there was no significant difference between whey and casein.

It is suggested that further research is required assessing
the effects of casein on metabolic rate on greater sample sizes to improve


4.    Casein
yields greater strength

Health Magazine (2017) refer to a Massachusetts
study by
Demling and DeSanti (2000), where researchers found that casein doubled the
effect that whey protein had on legs, chest, and shoulder strength results.
Results were believed to be due to casein’s well-known anti-catabolic
abilities. Demling and DeSanti (2000) evaluated body compositional changes in
overweight police officers between a hypocaloric diet alone and hypocaloric diet plus resistance exercise plus a
high-protein intake (1.5 g/kg/day) using a casein protein hydrolysate. Mean
increase in strength for chest, shoulder and legs was greater for casein compared
with whey. It can be disputed that it is difficult to relate these findings to
the general population as it is a ‘niche’ study evaluating the effects on a
small sample size of specifically overweight police officers.   


contrast to these findings, during a 10-week resistance programme conducted by
Cribb et al., (2006) participants who supplemented whey protein into their diet
found a significant difference in lean
mass, change in fat mass and improvements in strength compared to participants
who supplemented casein. Although the study conducted was a double-blind
protocol to allow for elimination of bias – again it was conducted with a
relatively small participant group of only 13 male recreational body builders
therefore it can be argued whether findings are representable to the whole



5.    Casein
beefs up your teeth

final claim is referred from a U.K study which reports casein has the potential
to reduce or prevent the effects of enamel erosion.

article ends by stating ‘So if you drink a lot of
fruit juices, or just can’t kick the soft drink habit, at least consider
protecting your teeth by adding some casein protein to your diet.’

has been proven to reduce the acid solubility of enamel (Jenkins and Ferguson,
1966; Weiss and Bibby, 1966a). It is suggestive that milks demineralisation
reducing properties originating from its calcium and phosphate content (Jenkins
and Ferguson, 1966).

Weiss and Bibby (1966b) demonstrated that this protective effective from milk
was due to casein in the decalcifying buffer which was far superior than ion
effect of calcium and phosphate content. Furthermore, it has been suggested in
several studies that casein absorbs to the tooth surface, altering the surface
chemistry and that the protective effect of milk is related to caseins ability
to reduce bacterial adhesion (White, Gracia and Barbour, 2011). White, Gracia
and Barbour (2011) concluded that solutions of casein, CPP or GMP reduce
surface softening and erosion in vitro erosion models with the suggestion of a
number of possible ways in which the protein layer could be protective against


In a small study of 10 participants, conducted by Vashisht et
al., (2010) a casein phosphor-peptide-amorphous calcium phosphate nano-complexes
(CPP-ACP) paste was found to be effective in preventing demineralisation
of tooth enamel. Vashisht et al., (2010) contribute findings to the CPP-ACP
pastes ability to buffer free calcium and phosphate ions thereby promoting a
state of supersaturation and as a result preventing demineralisation and
enhancing remineralisation.


is sufficient evidence to demonstrate positive training effects for both whey
and casein as since whey increases protein synthesis rapidly whilst casein
inhibits protein breakdown, it is suggested that a combination of both would
stimulate the greatest training effects, rather than casein alone. Protein
requirements should be met through the food first approach, especially seeing
as casein is so prevalent in dairy. However, for individuals who are
insufficient in protein requirements due to training demands, there is evidence
to suggest positive benefits of consuming casein supplementation.  

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