Food-derived bioactive peptides represent health-enhancing components that play a regulatory function in the human body beyond their normal basic nutritional effects.
Milk-derived peptides are the most extensively studied of all food-derived peptides. These bioactive peptides, usually between 3-20 amino acid residues, are encrypted within the milk protein primary sequence. Their biological activity is latent until they are released from the inactive protein sequence during milk digestion in the gastrointestinal tract, through fermentation in dairy products or through protein hydrolysis by enzymes.
The health benefits of bioactive peptides derived from milk proteins have been widely reported, including hypocholesterolemic, antithrombotic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory opioid, mineral absorption, antihypertensive and anti-cancer.
With the advance of dairy protein separation techniques, protein fractions enriched with specific health properties may now be isolated and produced to provide a natural way to maintain optimal health.