Monday, February 25, 2013

Micellar Casein v/s Calcium Caseinate. By Vic Goyaram

 casein proteins: 
micellar v/s Caseinates
Researched and composed by Veeraj Goyaram
Verdict: There is a difference between micellar and caseinatesCaseinates are not necessarily slow releasing proteins, according to latest research
Casein basics
There are two main proteins in milk, namely whey and casein, with casein consisting of approximately 80% of the protein and whey making up the remaining 20%.  As you probably already know, casein is a slower digesting protein compared to whey protein. The result is that casein releases amino acids into blood circulation (aminoacidemia) at a slower and more sustained rate than whey (Fig. 1).  Casein is marketed on this basis, that by virtue of its slow-digesting properties it acts as anti-catabolic protein and is suitable for keeping the body in an anabolic state for a long time after ingestion (about 6-8 hours).
Fig 1: Casein releases amino acids into the bloodstream at a significantly
slower rate than whey protein. (Tang et al, 2009)
Are all casein the same?
However, not all casein proteins are the same. If you take the time to read casein protein labels or happen to compare several casein products you will see that some products contain calcium caseinate or sodium caseinate (caseinates) while others contain micellar casein. The products that contain Micellar casein will most often display it prominently on the label, for one good reason: the micellar form is better than caseinates. You will also note that micellar casein products are tougher on the wallet than caseinates. But what really is the difference between the Micellar and the Caseinate forms of Casein?
When you are ready to take your physique to the next level you can email me to receive my brochure
Casein, as it exists in milk, is Micellar Casein. Micellar is derived from the term “Micelle” which is a chemical term for a special type of aggregate or “bubble” (Fig. 2). Micellar casein, when consumed, clots in the stomach, forming relatively large globules of protein that empty from the stomach much more slowly than whey protein and is thus digested slowly. 

The problem with micellar casein is that it is not soluble and therefore less desirable to the food industry. To solve this problem, caseinates are made by reacting micellar casein with alkalis like sodium hydroxide and calcium hydroxide to make sodium caseinate and calcium caseinate respectively. As you would expect, this treatment with alkalis affect the quality and biological value of the caseinates, making them of lesser quality to Micellar Casein.

Fig 2. The Casein micelle
In a recent study done in Denmark (Reitelseder et al., 2011), the researchers found no difference between whey and calcium caseinate in terms of release of amino acids into the blood stream (Fig. 3).  Calcium caseinate, as distinguished from micellar casein, is soluble (and is thus used in numerous food processes), and so digestion rates of this form of casein are not likely to be overtly different from those of whey, as explained by Prof. Phillips, a well-known scientific expert in protein (Phillips, 2011)
Fig 3: Caseinate released amino acids into blood at the same rate as Whey protein
(Reitelseder et al., 2011)
The above, however, does not mean that you should ditch your caseinate into the bin. Caseinate is still a good source of protein of relatively lower cost compared to its micellar counterpart. But be careful of supplement companies trying to pass caseinate as micellar casein because we are talking about two different qualities of protein here. Some companies selling caseinates are honest, clearly telling users that they are selling caseinates. Micellar casein is much more expensive than caseinates and if your goal is to get a true slow-release protein, then micellar is worth your buck. If you are not able to afford micellar casein, milk is nature’s blend of whey and micellar casein (if you don't mind the lactose carbs). Future articles will deal with other aspects of Casein protein.
The good old Casilan 90 is a Calcium Caseinate product


1. Phillips SM. A comparison of whey to caseinate. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 300: E610, 2011.

2. Reitelseder S, Agergaard J, Doessing S, Helmark IC, Lund P, Kristensen NB, Frystyk JF, Flyvbjerg A, Schjerling P, van Hall G, Kjaer M, Holm L. Whey and casein labeled with L-[1-13C]leucine and muscle protein synthesis: effect of resistance exercise and protein ingestion. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 300: E231–E242, 2011.

3. Tang JE, Moore DR, Kujbida GW, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM. Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men. J Appl Physiol 107: 987–992, 2009.

Join us for discussions on our facebook group
Free advice & daily bodybuilding talk
Your #1 Bodybuilding destination in Mauritius 

My Bio: I am a Mauritian originally from Roche Bois, Port Louis and now based in Cape Town, South Africa where I am busy with my postgraduate studies in molecular biology of exercise. My research, supervised by Prof. Edward Ojuka and Dr. Tertius Kohn, looks at the influence of nutrition and exercise in gene expression in muscle, research which is relevant and applicable to exercising individuals, sports persons and diabetic individuals. The knowledge that I share with you stems from my 18 years of experience in bodybuilding and 8 years (and counting) of university education in the field. I have also published work in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism (2012, 2014), International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (2013) and co-authored two book chapters on exercise and diabetes. I also presented my research work at the 2012 International Sports and Exercise Nutrition Conference (UK). I am grateful to each and everyone at the UCT Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine. "Knowledge without sharing is worth nothing"
©,2013, Veeraj Goyaram, Bodybuilding Mauritius. Any reprinting in any type of media is prohibited.
Disclaimer: The Content on this site is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. BODYBUILDING MAURITIUS is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties.  Correspondence:

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou sir very informative, it's a pity micellar casein is not used more often in blended proteins etc...