Part of the book: Phytochemicals
The main physiological role of casein, the main protein component in the milk, is to be a source of amino acids that are required for the growth of the neonate; therefore, casein is considered a highly nutritious protein. Over time, it has been revealed that casein is a protein whose physiological importance reaches levels far superior to the food field, having a wide array of biological activities including antimicrobial activities, facilitating absorption of nutrients, as well as acting as a growth factor and an immune stimulant. Here we analyze how caseins can exert numerous hematopoietic and immunomodulatory actions, their role in granulopoiesis, monocytopoiesis, and lymphopoiesis from the early stages of postnatal development seemingly throughout life, and we wonder if casein could be useful to fight pathogens resistant to antibiotics, inducing a strong immune response in immunosuppressed patients, or even be a prophylactic strategy to prevent infections.
Part of the book: Infant Feeding