7 Side Effects of Calcium Caseinate

Bodybuilders and athletes should consult their physician before opting for a dietary supplement which they think can help improve their performance. This Buzzle article presents information on the possible side effects of calcium caseinate.
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Side effect of calcium caseinate
Did You Know?
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data collected from 2003 to 2006, that covered all types of dietary supplements, indicates that 53 % of American adults took at least one dietary supplement, most commonly multivitamin/multimineral supplements (taken by 39 % of all adults). Women were more likely than men to take dietary supplements.
Dietary supplement 'calcium caseinate' is a protein that is obtained from casein present in skim and milk. It contains about 17% glutamic acid―a proteinogenic amino acid. As you know, casein is the main protein present in milk. About 80% of protein in cow milk is casein. Athletes and bodybuilders consume protein supplements which help increase the rate of metabolism, promote fast burning of fat, and help build muscle. They consume calcium caseinate supplement before going to bed as it promotes a higher metabolic rate while sleeping and keeps the body in a muscle-building state all night long. It is also consumed as a snack before going to bed. It is taken with breakfast, or as a meal after working out.

Those who need a slow and sustained nutrient supply take this supplement instead of whey protein, because when ingested, whey protein breaks down at a relatively faster rate while this supplement keeps releasing amino acids into the blood stream for several hours. In the food industry, the compound calcium caseinate is added to powders that require a quick dispersion in water, for example, instant cream soups and coffee creamers. Thus, it is used as a food additive too.

Downside

Calcium caseinate, micellar casein, and milk casein isolate are the three types of casein proteins, out of which calcium caseinate is the lowest quality casein.

This supplement is not useful to those who need a fast-acting protein.

As explained above, this supplement does not contain pure casein but a highly processed variant of casein, called calcium caseinate. It cannot offer similar health benefits as offered by casein. Proteins that undergo heating (processing involves exposure to high heat) and various other chemical processes often lose many of the functional benefits. They are said to be denatured (different from their original, natural structure). Such proteins can prove to be harmful to your health. Moreover, the product may contain some toxic residues, and may leave a bad aftertaste.

Possible Side effects

1. Those who are lactose-intolerant may experience stomach pain and bloating (excess gas and pressure in stomach). They are at a higher risk for developing gastrointestinal problems. Excessive consumption of this supplement may result in heartburn, indigestion, etc.

2. Acid casein is treated with the chemical calcium hydroxide (alkali) to get calcium caseinate. Such chemical alkalies may curb and damage the nutrient-absorbing capacity of your digestive system.

3. Because it is exposed to high heat during processing, the caseinate becomes an ultra thermolyzed protein combined with MSG (a byproduct of protein thermolyzation). Consumption of this protein may lead to headaches, chest pain, nausea, weakness, heart palpitations, etc. It is true that more research is needed to prove these facts. Most people experience short-term reactions to MSG that don't require any treatment, but possibility of long-term effects cannot be completely denied. Dangers of MSG include brain damage, weight gain, obesity, liver inflammation, type 2 diabetes, etc. The MSG in disguise can trigger your allergies too.

4. It is difficult for the human stomach to digest the denatured protein completely. So, some undigested protein enters the colon. There, it is fermented by colonic bacteria. This results in formation of highly carcinogenic phenolic compounds that contribute to the growth of colonic tumors. Thus, ultra thermolyzed casein can increase the risk of colon cancer.

5. Researchers and doctors are of the opinion that casein peptides can seriously affect blood pressure levels during and after surgery.

6. It has been observed that casein products interfere with the adsorption of certain drugs which can eventually result in serious health issues.

7. Some people are allergic to casein and may have a life-threatening reaction.

Dr. Russell Blaylock M.D., has described in his book Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills that calcium and sodium caseinates as food additives always contain free glutamate. The review of this book is available on the American Nutrition Association's Nutrition Digest, Volume 36, No. 4. Although MSG is not added to the supplement as an ingredient, it is formed during processing, and therefore, it may not be mentioned on the label. To be on the safe side, pregnant and breastfeeding women and those who are about to undergo a surgery should avoid taking calcium caseinate supplement.

According to researchers, natural casein present in milk is the best protein for muscles, and the protein provided through this dietary supplement is actually of no use to muscles. Pure casein is known for its unique anabolic properties, and so, raw milk casein can keep your muscles in a sustained anabolic mode for an extended period of time. But the manufacturers of dietary supplements want you to believe that their product is the best one.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements, but less strictly than the way it regulates prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Consumers should keep in mind that minimally processed foods and supplements are considered healthy, because they contain compounds that are close to their natural state.
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Published: August 21, 2014
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