Have you ever had a cut or a scrape and wondered how you could heal faster? A new study suggests that the answer might be in your milk!
Yes, you heard right, cow’s milk. Researchers at a university called UCL have discovered that a protein found in milk, known as casein, can help wounds heal faster when used in bandages.
What is Casein?
Casein is a protein that’s found in the milk of all mammals, but it’s most common in cow’s milk, making up about 80% of it. In the past ten years or so, people have started to take more interest in casein.
They found that it has many helpful qualities. It can fight germs, help our bodies fight off damage from harmful substances, and lower inflammation. It’s also a great source of protein, so it’s often used as a dietary supplement.
How Did They Do the Study?
In the study, the researchers mixed pure casein with a type of bandage material called polycaprolactone (PCL).
They used a method that was invented at their university in 2013 to turn this mix into fibers. These fibers were then used to create bandages infused with casein.
They tested these new bandages on rats. The rats all had small identical skin cuts. They split the rats into three groups.
One group had their cuts treated with the new casein-infused bandages, another with normal PCL bandages, and the third group had no bandages at all.
What Did They Find?
They checked the wounds at different times – after three, seven, ten, and 14 days. They did this by taking pictures of the wounds, measuring them, and also looking at them under a microscope.
After 14 days, they found that the cuts treated with casein-infused bandages had healed a lot more.
The wounds were just 5.2% of their original size, compared to 31.1% for the normal bandage group and 45.6% for the untreated group.
They also found that the casein bandages didn’t have any harmful effects, and that there was less immune-related activity around the wounds treated with them.
What Does This Mean?
Dr. Jubair Ahmed, the lead researcher of the study, was really excited by these results. He said, “Natural materials have some amazing properties, many of which are unknown.
We knew that casein was supposed to have healing benefits, and our results suggest that it has a lot of potential for use in things like wound dressings.
We need to do more research to make sure that casein dressings are safe and effective for people, but these first findings are promising.”
The great thing about casein is that it’s a leftover product when you make skimmed milk. This means that if it gets approved for treatment in humans, it would be a cheap and plentiful resource.
However, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Natural substances can vary a lot, so we need to make sure that casein can be produced in a consistent and safe way for treatment.
Professor Mohan Edirisinghe, another researcher in the study, said, “So far, the research suggests that casein can help wounds heal, but we don’t really understand why.
It could be because it fights germs and lowers inflammation. The next step will be to understand what’s really going on before we can think about testing it on humans.”
If you care about nutrition, please read studies about berry that can prevent cancer, diabetes, and obesity, and natural blood pressure controllers: 12 foods that lower blood pressure.
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about diet to fight diabetic eye damage, and results showing these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.
The study was published in the Journal of The Royal Society Interface.
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