Understanding Supplement Labels : Calcium Caseinate

You may well have come across the two words in isolation, and you might know a bit about each individually, but add an ‘ate’ or ‘ase’ on the end and the whole meaning could change.

Well in Calcium Caseinate’s case, the combination of ingredients does not alter the desired outcome. Through combining Calcium with Casein, supplement manufacturers end up with the same milk derivative as you’d get from cow’s milk, but in a form that is more readily dispersed in water.

Calcium Caseinate has the same nutritional properties as ordinary Casein protein meaning it breaks down more slowly, releasing its amino acids over the course of about 6-8 hours making it ideal as a late night supplement (Tamime, 2009).

The Science

In order to extract the Casein from milk, the manufacturers adjust its pH making it more acidic or neutral; as a result Casein loses its solubility in water and therefore separates allowing for easy isolation and removal.

Why add Calcium?

This is more to do with the chemical structure as opposed to the nutritional value, and it’s all to do with stability. Calcium Caseinate has a longer shelf life than ordinary casein, increases palatability (as casein is notoriously less tasty than its whey protein cousin), and due to its enhanced stability is more readily absorbed from the bowel (Fox and McSweeney, 2003).

So to summarise, Calcium Caseinate does pretty much the same job as Casein does in its whole food form, but when it comes to dietary supplements, a few extra steps need to happen to make it all work as it should.

References

Tamime, A, Y, (2009). Dairy Powders and Concentrated Products. Society of Dairy Technology. : Wiley-Blackwell.

Fox, P. & McSweeney, P, L, H, (2003). Advanced Dairy Chemistry: Volume 1: Proteins, Parts A&B. 3rd Ed. Cork: Kluwer Academic/ Plenum Publishers.

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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