We’ve all experienced stressful times in our lives. While some stress is good, round the clock schedules, work pressure and other life demands can take their toll, with impacts on both psychological and physical fronts.
Stress has been known to affect sleep quality and performance.
Insufficient sleep can in turn increase the risk of a myriad of mental and physical health issues including depression, memory impairment, weight gain, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and certain cancers.
As such, stress management plays an important role in keeping us as healthy as possible. In the search to find effective ways to reduce stress, researchers discovered Lactium®, a natural ingredient that promotes calm and relaxation.
What is Lactium® or Alpha-s1-casein tryptic hydrolysate?
Alpha-s1-casein tryptic hydrolysate which has the brand name Lactium® is a milk protein hydrolysate. It contains a natural bioactive peptide and is made via processing proteins in milk from the Holstein breed in France.
Although it is extracted from milk, almost all lactose is removed during the processing. As such, Lactium® is a casein hydrolysate that is considered lactose-free. This natural ingredient can help you to manage your emotions and help you to relax without any harmful side effects, which is unlike many anti-anxiety drugs.
The Star reported that a staggering 9 out of 10 Malaysians suffer from at least one sleeping issue.
50% of Malaysians say that they have average sleep quality while 38% reported that they had sleeping problems once or twice a week. A little over three-quarters of those surveyed acknowledged that sleeping issues can lead to health and emotional problems.
With such a seemingly large number of Malaysians reporting sleep problems, the potential benefits of using this Lactium as a natural sleep supplement in Malaysia is indeed bountiful.
How does Lactium® work?
Alpha-s1-casein tryptic hydrolysate works by imitating the gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitters which are known for their relaxing properties and inhibiting anxiety.
They bind to the GABA receptors and together with serotonin; a hormone that helps to regulate mood and sleep; promote a sense of calmness and well-being. As such, it promotes slow delta brain waves and improves sleep quality, leading to restorative sleep.
Is Lactium® safe?
Yes, since it is a natural ingredient, Lactium® is safe, even in large doses.
In fact, it is also safe for those who are suffering from lactose intolerance, even though it is derived from milk.
There is only about 1% of lactose content in the average daily dose (150mg) of Lactium®.
This is well below the 5g/day of lactose that lactose-intolerant people can consume, and thus, should not result in any negative effects.
Lactium® also does not contain ß-lactoglobulin, which is an allergenic protein present in milk. Besides this, its hydrolysate form means that the milk proteins present in Lactium has been broken down far enough till our immune systems do not recognize it as a potential allergen, making it hypoallergenic.
What is Lactium® or casein hydrolysate used for?
Lactium is often used in stress and anxiety management as well as in natural sleep supplements. Additionally, it is also able to help with mood swings, loss of appetites, loss of libido and concentration.
Lactium® for sleep
According to a study from Korea, daily supplementation of Lactium® may help promote sleep quantity and quality. In this study, 48 participants reported increased sleep efficiency when they were given 300mg of Lactium® per day. Data from their sleep journals also indicated improvement in their sleep quality.
Another study on Alpha-s1-casein tryptic hydrolysate carried out among day-time workers in Japan found that it improved sleep quality, and decreased both sleep latency and daytime dysfunction.
This natural bioactive peptide improves sleep, reduces cortisol levels, induces relaxation, improves cognitive function without sedative effects. As such it is an effective supplement that can help people who are suffering from insomnia
Lactium® and stress
Lactium® is a natural ingredient that can help you to manage stress. A study in which 3 doses of 200mg of Alpha-s1-casein tryptic hydrolysate every 12 hours were given to participants found that it reduced increase in blood pressure, stress hormones and heart rate after a stress test was conducted.
The effects of this milk protein hydrolysate on stress were also demonstrated in a study in which 40 male volunteers were given two 200mg hydrolysate capsules or placebos.
Upon testing, participants from the treatment group had significantly lower blood pressure and lower plasma cortisol levels as compared to those who were given the placebo. Cortisol is a hormone that helps our body respond to stress.
Lactium® for anxiety
Anxiety can cause one to miss out on many things in life. For example, people who feel social anxiety may avoid going to malls or concerts so that they do not have to be in crowded areas.
Anxiety often goes hand in hand with stress, with many people experiencing anxiousness when they face stressful events. As such, it is not surprising that Lactium’s relaxing effects also work for those who struggle with anxiety.
The effects of Alpha-s1-casein tryptic hydrolysates on anxiety is evident in this study where a group of 63 female volunteers who had stress-related anxiety, sleep problems and general fatigue were given 150mg Lactium® daily for 30 days. It was found that it helped to relieve their stress-related symptoms.
Benefits of Lactium®
As seen above, Lactium can be incredibly beneficial for people who are suffering from sleep issues, stress and anxiety. Other benefits include:
- It is a natural, hypoallergenic ingredient
- It can easily be added to food and drinks or taken as a supplement
- It does not cause addiction
- It does not cause drowsiness
- It is suitable for children
- You can easily use it for times of heightened stress, such as quitting smoking
- There is virtually no side effects
Lactium® side effects
Lactium® does not present with any side effects. Because it is a natural ingredient, it is not toxic even when taken in high doses. It is hypoallergenic and does not cause addiction or sedation. This harmless, non-GMO ingredient is recognised by the FDA.
Lactium® vs melatonin
Melatonin hormone is produced by the pineal gland and works to inform our bodies when it is time to sleep and wake up.
Melatonin levels in our body usually increase in the evening when the sun is setting and levels decrease when the sun rises. Factors that influence how much melatonin your body produces include your body clock and the amount of sunlight you get daily.
Just like Lactium®, melatonin supplements are available for those who are struggling with sleep disorders such as insomnia, delayed sleep phase disorder and circadian disorders such as jet lag.
However, unlike Lactium®, melatonin may cause several short term side effects such as:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Headache / ‘heavy head’ feeling
- Stomach discomfort
- Crankiness/feeling moody
- Short-lived depression
Because it is heat-stable, water-soluble, pH-stable and doesn’t have an off-flavour, Lactium® is available in several forms such as tablets, capsules, drinks and even chewing gum.
Alpha S1-Casein Tryptic Hydrolysate is used in various supplements to help people with sleep issues, anxiety and stress, including Rilax’s natural sleep supplements that work to promote healthy and restorative sleep.
When should I take Lactium®?
It is ok to take it any time of the day, as it does not cause drowsiness. However, be sure to adhere to the recommendations and instructions on the usage leaflet to avoid potential risks, if any.
The amount to take depends very much on your symptoms as well as your emotional state. However, the following is recommended:
- 150mg per day for one month
- 300mg per day for 2 weeks
- 600mg per day for immediate action. For example, one day before taking an exam, or even during the examination day itself.
Lactium® and theanine
L-Theanine is another naturally found ingredient that helps to reduce stress, improve concentration, and promote sleep quality and efficiency. It is abundantly found in green tea leaves and does not cause dependency or lead to any adverse side effects.
Rilax’s natural sleep supplements combine Alpha S1-Casein Tryptic Hydrolysate and L-Theanine giving you a perfectly safe, natural and effective supplement that promotes relaxation and helps you to wake up feeling refreshed.
If you’re looking for natural sleeping aids in Malaysia, Rilax will help you fall asleep easier, stay asleep longer, feel less anxiety and experience deep, slow-wave sleep.
For more information on L-Theanine, read ‘L-Theanine: Health Benefits and Cognitive Function’.
If you’re struggling with stress and sleep issues, Alpha S1-Casein Tryptic Hydrolysate, or Lactium® may be your answer as it can help you relax without any sedating effects or risks to your general well being.
Nonetheless, do consult your doctor before starting to ensure that it is safe for you, as well as to rule out any underlying medical conditions that might be contributing to your difficulty in falling and staying asleep.