Demonstration of beta-casomorphin immunoreactive materials in in vitro digests of bovine milk and in small intestine contents after bovine milk ingestion in adult humans

Peptides. 1985 Sep-Oct;6(5):825-30. doi: 10.1016/0196-9781(85)90308-0.


Healthy young volunteers ingested one liter of cows' milk; then the contents of the small intestine were aspirated through an intestinal tube at various times and assayed for the presence of bovine beta-casomorphin immunoreactive materials. Considerable amounts of beta-casomorphin-7, but no beta-casomorphin-5 and only small amounts of beta-casomorphin-4 or -6 immunoreactive materials were found. Chromatographical characterization showed that most of the beta-casomorphin-7 immunoreactive material was not identical with beta-casomorphin-7, whereas the major part of the beta-casomorphin-4 or -6 immunoreactive materials might be identical with their corresponding beta-casomorphins. Analogous results were obtained for in vitro digestion of bovine milk which had been designed as a rough imitation of the gastrointestinal digestion process. A regulatory influence of beta-casomorphins as "food hormones" on intestinal functions is suggested.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Caseins / metabolism
  • Cattle
  • Chromatography
  • Digestion*
  • Endorphins / analysis*
  • Endorphins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intestine, Small / analysis*
  • Male
  • Milk / metabolism*
  • Peptide Fragments*
  • Radioimmunoassay


  • Caseins
  • Endorphins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • beta-casomorphin 7
  • beta-casomorphin 5
  • beta-casomorphins