Casomorphin is an opioid[1][2] peptide (protein fragment) derived from the digestion of the milk protein casein.[3]

Digestive enzymes can break casein down into peptides that have some biological activity in cells and in laboratory animals though conclusive causal effects on humans have not been fully established.[3] Although they have not yet been proven to be formed in the human digestive system,[4] there are serious associations between serum levels of β-casomorphins and the risk of sudden infant death syndrome,[1] histamine release,[2] stimulation of food intake, specifically high-fat foods,[5] and lymphocytosis.[6]. 

There may be a link between autism and both gluten and casein..[7]

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  1. Wasilewska, J; Sienkiewicz-Szłapka, E; Kuźbida, E; Jarmołowska, B; Kaczmarski, M; Kostyra, E (2011). “The exogenous opioid peptides and DPPIV serum activity in infants with apnoea expressed as apparent life threatening events (ALTE)”. Neuropeptides. 45 (3): 189–95. doi:10.1016/j.npep.2011.01.005.
  2.  Kurek, M; Przybilla, B; Hermann, K; Ring, J (1992). “A naturally occurring opioid peptide from cow’s milk, beta-casomorphine-7, is a direct histamine releaser in man”. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 97 (2): 115–20. doi:10.1159/000236106.
  3. European Food Safety Authority. 1 February 2009 Review of the potential health impact of β-casomorphins and related peptides
  4. ^ Clemens, RA (2011). “Milk A1 and A2 peptides and diabetes” (PDF). Nestle Nutr Workshop Ser Pediatr Program. 67: 187–95. doi:10.1159/000325584. PMID 21335999.
  5. ^ Lin, L; Umahara, M; York, DA; Bray, GA (1998). “Beta-casomorphins stimulate and enterostatin inhibits the intake of dietary fat in rats”. Peptides. 19 (2): 325–331. doi:10.1016/S0196-9781(97)00307-0.
  6. ^ Kayser, H; Meisel, H (1996). “Stimulation of human peripheral blood lymphocytes by bioactive peptides derived from bovine milk proteins”. FEBS Lett. 383 (1–2): 18–20. doi:10.1016/0014-5793(96)00207-4.
  7. ^ Millward, C; Ferriter, M; Calver, S; Connell-Jones, G (2008). “Gluten- and casein-free diets for autistic spectrum disorder”. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2): CD003498. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003498.pub3. PMC 4164915. PMID 18425890


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