Here’s the scientific explanation why we really get addicted to cheese!
I hear all the time, from people who are making the switch to being Vegan, that cheese is the hardest thing to go without. I also hear from people that cheese is the reason someone COULDN’T become Vegan and it turns out there may be a reason for that, casomorphins.
These protein fragments from the digestion of the milk protein, casein, have an opioid effect on us. When most people think of opioids, they think of narcotics, so perhaps now you can understand why it’s so easy to feel like you NEED cheese! “Dependence can develop with ongoing administration, leading to withdrawal syndromes with abrupt discontinuation. Opioids are well known for their ability to produce a feeling of euphoria, motivating some to recreationally use opioids. But if it’s already a huge part of our diets in America, who will actually have to experience the uncomfy withdrawl? You guessed it. Those who try to kick dairy to the curb”, reports our friend at Yum Universe.
However, though some people may love it, they may actually be allergic; as casein breaks down in our stomach- producing casomorphin- it acts as a histamine releaser. It is estimated that 70% of the worldwide population is allergic. But if you asked my doctor, he’d tell you every human on the planet is after the age of two.
So why does it have that opioid effect on us? Because of the process. To make one pound of cheese, you need ten pounds of milk. When the milk is turned into cheese, most of the water is removed which in turn leaves behind concentrated casein(and fat). Therefore, highly concentrated dairy products- CHEESE- have high levels of opiates. And opiates make us feel good.
More from Yum Universe:
“Dr. Neal Barnard, founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), explains that, ‘It appears that the opiates from mother’s milk produce a calming effect on the infant and, in fact, may be responsible for a good measure of the mother-infant bond. No, it’s not all lullabies and cooing. Psychological bonds always have a physical underpinning. Like it or not, mother’s milk has a drug-like effect on the baby’s brain that ensures that the baby will bond with Mom and continue to nurse and get the nutrients all babies need. Like heroin or codeine, casomorphins slow intestinal movements and have a decided antidiarrheal effect. The opiate effect may be why adults often find that cheese can be constipating, just as opiate painkillers are.’”
So, if we look at cheese, and other dairy products as opiates, then safety becomes an issue. There is some discussion about whether or not too many casomorphins cross the intestinal wall, and therefore get into the blood stream crossing the blood-brain barrier, and whether or not that could have health impacts on unborn babies- (think Autism, etc) but much more research is needed and what’s been done so far, is conflicting.
The biggest question isn’t whether or not casomorphins have potentially dangerous health effects, it’s does dairy in and of itself do harm; and the answer is yes. From Yum Universe, “It’s the sugar (lactose), animal protein and the saturated fat content (which triggers IGF-1 in the body, and is the reason it is now being strongly linked to several cancers) that make it so bad for you.”
I won’t ever tell people not to do something, everyone needs to make the choices that are best for them, but I will make suggestions. Here’s one: don’t eat cheese, there are so many good substitutions out there these days!
Source: Yum Universe