According to a 2015 study published in the US and the National Library of Medicine, certain food have addictive properties. It also revealed that these foods might have characteristics similar to illicit drugs. But did you know that cheese has a morphine-like compound?
Casomorphin, a morphine-like compound found in cheese, makes them highly addictive. This compound is an opioid peptide derived from the digestion of milk protein.
Why is Cheese So Addictive?
A cheese pizza’s melty, stretchy consistency and savory flavor can make it difficult to say no to an extra slice of pie. But it’s not just the look and taste of cheese that’s to blame for your insatiable cheese cravings.
Casein is to blame, a protein found in cow’s milk that gives it its white color. When the body digests casein, it converts the milk protein into casomorphins, which are smaller, morphine-like compounds.
These opiates attach to the same brain receptors that heroin and morphine attach to, But unlike heroin and morphine, of course, the opiates found in cheese aren’t illegal. “[These opiates] are not strong enough to get you arrested, but they are just strong enough to keep you coming back for more,Dr. Neal Barnard, founding president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
Casomorphins, also found in human breast milk, encourage baby cows to continue feeding. Although casomorphin levels are relatively low in unprocessed cow’s milk, the addictive qualities of these mild opiates are amplified when cow’s milk is fermented to make cheese. (Source: Live Kindly)
Is This a Good or Bad Addiction?
One cup of cow’s milk has about six grams of casein protein. This number rises to more than 40 grams per cup when milk is processed into cheese. Casein-derived morphine-like compounds can also cross the blood-brain barrier and cause dopamine release. Dopamine is a feel-good hormone that induces pleasure, reward, and enjoyment.
Cheese’s high-fat content can also increase its addictive qualities. According to Susan Levin, MS, RD, CSSD, PCRM’s director of nutrition education, cheese products are the leading source of saturated fat in the American diet.
It’s the type of bad fat responsible for raising blood pressure and cholesterol levels and increasing the risk for heart disease, certain types of cancer, and Alzheimer’s diseaseSusan Levin, Director of Nutrition Education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
She also stated that cheese had been linked to other health issues. Asthma, allergies, digestion issues, and other issues are among them.
PCRM wants the FDA to require cheese producers to include warning labels on their products, similar to those found on cigarette packs, to alert consumers to the potential health risks of cheese.
Men who consume the most cheese have the worst sperm counts, the worst sperm motility, the worst sperm morphology, meaning the shape and the movement and just the absolute number of sperm is less the more cheese you eatDr. Neal Barnard, founding president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
Casein is one of the most relevant chemical carcinogens ever identified, according to Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a world-renowned biochemist, and plant-based nutritional scientist. (Source: Live Kindly)
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