Studies on the antioxidant activity of milk caseins.

Dipartimento di Chimica e Biochimica Medica, LITA Vialba, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy.
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Impact Factor: 1.26). 08/1999; 50(4):291-6.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The antioxidant properties of milk casein subunits (alpha-casein, beta-casein and kappa-casein) were evaluated in liposomal models. All the subunits of casein are able to inhibit Fe-induced peroxidation of arachidonic acid inserted into multilamellar liposomes of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (0.2 mM and 0.8 mM, respectively). The peroxidation was monitored as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, and the strongest inhibitory effect occurred when 500 micrograms of alpha-casein were added to 0.5 ml of liposomal suspension. At this concentration, peroxidation was completely inhibited in our experimental conditions (incubation for 2 h at room temperature, with a mixture of ferrous sulfate and ascorbate, 50 and 500 microM final concentration, respectively). The mechanisms of antioxidant action are complex, but the strongest effect is achieved by modifying the Fe2+/Fe3+ equilibrium; in fact, caseins seem to favour the autoxidation of iron, and thus inhibit lipid peroxidation.

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