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J Nutr. 2004 Apr;134(4):989S-95S.

Bioactive properties of milk proteins with particular focus on anticariogenesis.

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Food Technical Development Center, Cargill, Inc, Wayzata, MN 55391, USA.


Beyond nutrition, there is an increasing amount of data and information to demonstrate a bioactive role for dairy components in adults including a role in prevention of dental caries. Specifically, the casein fraction and hydrolysates thereof have been the focus of researchers investigating cariogenicity prevention. Tooth enamel is a polymeric substance consisting of crystalline calcium phosphate embedded in a protein matrix. Dental caries develop by acidic demineralization (calcium and phosphorus solubilization) of tooth enamel. Demineralization occurs directly (acidic food consumption) or indirectly (by fermentation products of dental plaque odontopathogenic bacteria growing on residual food particles between teeth or adhering to the plaque). Research efforts with milk derived bioactive peptides have focused on inhibition of cariogenic, plaque-forming bacteria, inhibition of tooth enamel demineralization, and subsequent enamel remineralization. Caseinophosphopeptides (CPP) and glycomacropeptide (GMP) have been patented for use in common personal hygiene products to prevent dental caries. Research has shown CPP and GMP to be growth inhibitory to the cariogenic bacteria Streptococcus mutans and other species. Additionally, CPP forms nanoclusters with amorphous calcium phosphate (AMP) at the tooth surface to provide a reservoir of calcium and phosphate ions to maintain a state of super saturation with respect to tooth enamel. This would buffer plaque pH, and also provide ions for tooth enamel remineralization. Glycosidic structures attached to GMP are important to numerous bioactive properties of the peptide including anticariogenicity. Like CPP, GMP has shown inhibitory activity to enamel demineralization and promotes tooth enamel remineralization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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