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A new animal study of Pharmachem Laboratories’ Lactium casein hydrolysate suggests the ingredient may promote sleep with “minimal sedative effects.”
Lactium, a patented milk casein hydrolysate from Pharmachem Laboratories (Kearny, NJ), has long been studied for its sleep-promoting properties. But recent research is providing new insight into how the ingredient promotes sleep without also inducing unwanted sedative effects.
Writing in Behavioural Brain Research, researchers gave mice an oral administration of Lactium at various concentrations (75, 150, 300, or 500 mg/kg). Then, an hour after administration, researchers examined the sedative effects of Lactium with open-field and rota-rod tests of motor coordination. Sleep-promoting effects were also measured with a pentobarbital-induced sleeping test and EEG monitoring.
Most notably, Lactium did not significantly alter the motor function or spontaneous locomotor activity of the mice, leading researchers to conclude that the casein hydrolysate has minimal or no sedative effects. Lactium did, however, enhance the sleep induced by pentobarbital sodium in mice, especially at doses of 150 mg/kg, researchers reported. And in EEG testing of rats given Lactium, another aspect of the study, the ingredient was found to promote slow-wave (delta) EEG activity-indicating sleep or relaxation.
“These results show that Lactium naturally enhances sleep without the groggy side effects that can be attributed to drugs,” said Mitch Skop, senior director of new product development for Pharmachem. “It positions Lactium as an ideal sleep aid for natural products marketers.”
Researchers also included an in vitro test in the study to further understand Lactium’s mechanism of action. In examining the ingredient’s action on intracellular chloride ion influx in human neuroblastoma cells, they found that the GABAergic neurotransmitter system is likely what mediates Lactium’s sleep-promoting effect.
“Taken together, the results of the present study suggest that [Lactium] has sleep-promoting properties which are probably mediated through the GABAA receptor-cholride ion channel complex,” researchers concluded.
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Dela PeÃ±a IJ et al., “A tryptic hydrolysate from bovine milk Î±s1-casein enhances pentobarbital-induced sleep in mice via the GABAA receptor,” Behavioural Brain Research, vol. 313 (July 2016): 184–190