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EFSA Scientific Report (2009) 231, 1-107


Review of the potential health impact of β-casomorphins and related peptides 1
Report of the DATEX Working Group on β-casomorphins
(Question N° EFSA-Q-2008-379)

Issued on 29 January 2009

WORKING GROUP MEMBERS Ivano De Noni, Richard J. FitzGerald, Hannu J. T. Korhonen, Yves Le Roux, Chris T. Livesey, Inga Thorsdottir, Daniel Tomé, Renger Witkamp.


For citation purposes: Scientific Report of EFSA prepared by a DATEX Working Group on the

potential health impact of β-casomorphins and related peptides. EFSA Scientific Report (2009) 231, 1-107

© European Food Safety Authority, 2009

Review of the potential health impact of β-casomorphins and related peptides

Proteins are a very diverse family of large organic compounds involved in many important biological processes. Following their enzymatic hydrolysis during food processing or digestion, proteins may release fragments from their primary amino acid sequence. These fragments are called peptides, and many of them are known to be physiologically active. The possible beneficial effects of bioactive peptides have attracted increasing interest in recent years. On the other hand, there are also reports suggesting that some food-derived peptides might adversely affect human health. Among these, β-casomorphin-7 (BCM7), a peptide sequence present in the milk protein β-casein, has been suggested to contribute to an increased risk for certain non-communicable diseases, such as autism, cardiovascular diseases and type I diabetes. Some literature reports have proposed possible mechanistic explanations for such associations Recognising the alleged negative effect of BCM7 on human health, EFSA deemed it necessary to perform a comprehensive review of the published scientific literature in

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