Influences of casein hydrolysate ingestion on cerebral activity, autonomic nerve activity, and anxiety

J Physiol Anthropol. 2010;29(3):103-8. doi: 10.2114/jpa2.29.103.


This study examined the influences of the oral ingestion of casein hydrolysate from bovine milk at rest physiologically and psychologically. Eleven male university students were given a casein hydrolysate drink (H) or a maltitol drink as a control (C) in a crossover study. Just before and one hour after ingestion of each drink, the total-hemoglobin (tHb) concentrations at ten points of the prefrontal cortex to evaluate cerebral activity, and heart rate variability (HRV) to evaluate autonomic nerve activity through spectral analysis were measured as physiological indicators. The Japanese version of the State--Trait Anxiety Inventory--state anxiety (STAI-s) score was also used, as a psychological indicator. In comparison between H and C ingestion, a significant difference is observed only in tHb concentrations at one of ten points. At this point, the change in tHb concentration was lower after H ingestion compared to C ingestion. And in comparison between before and after ingestion of each drink, a significant increase in tHb concentration at two points after C ingestion, a significant increase in parasympathetic activity and decrease in sympathetic activity after H ingestion, and a significant decrease in STAI-s score in H ingestion were observed. These results suggest that ingestion of the casein hydrolysate may keep prefrontal cortex activity stable while maltitol ingestion partially increases the activity. Moreover, there is a possibility that casein hydrolysate might decrease sympathetic activity, increase parasympathetic activity, and lower anxiety. We conclude that the bovine milk casein hydrolysate may have more relaxing effects than maltitol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Anxiety / metabolism
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Autonomic Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Caseins / administration & dosage
  • Cattle
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Heart Rate / drug effects*
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maltose / administration & dosage
  • Maltose / analogs & derivatives
  • Milk
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Sugar Alcohols / administration & dosage


  • Caseins
  • Hemoglobins
  • Sugar Alcohols
  • casein hydrolysate
  • Maltose
  • maltitol