Casein phosphopeptides

Dairy products are the most recognized anticaries active food group (Reynolds. 1998). Using in vitro, animal and in situ caries models, the components largely responsible for this anticariogenic activity have been identified as casein, calcium and phosphate (Reynolds & Black. 1989) The bovine milk phosphoprotein, casein, which is known to interact with calcium and phosphate (Reeves & Latour.1958) and is a natural food component, is an obvious candidate for an anticariogenic food and toothpaste additive, however this is precluded by organoleptic properties and the very high levels required for activity. Using a human intraoral caries model, Reynolds (1987) showed that digestion of caseinate with trypsin did not destroy the protein's ability to prevent enamel sub-surface demineralization. Tryptic peptides of casein were found incorporated into the intra-oral appliance plaque and were associated with a substantial increase in the plaque's content of calcium and phosphate. It was concluded that the tryptic peptides that were responsible for the anticariogenic activity were the calcium phosphate sequestering phosphopeptides.

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