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This Doctor Says Cheese Can Be as Addictive as Morphine


There’s a reason why you can’t resist a plate of melted Brie.

Who among us can resist a platter of high-quality cheese and crackers? Throw in some fig jam and cornichons and you’ve got yourself a perfect lunch. But according to one doctor, cheese is actually a pretty addictive substance. Dr. Neal Barnard, founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, explained to Thrillist that cheese has "morphine-like compounds" called casomorphins.

"In cheese, we get massive concentrations of fat and salt, which our highly evolved brains continue to love. Combine this with the opioid-like casomorphins, and cheese suddenly goes from 'very delicious' to 'obscenely tempting,’” Dr. Barnard tells Thrillist.

Here’s the science of the matter: Casein, the culprit protein doesn’t fully break down in our bodies, instead forming a chain of five to seven amino acids known as the casomorphins that attach themselves to our brain’s opiate receptors. Translation? It’s really hard for us to turn down cheese because it can be as addictive as drugs.

The reason why you don’t see cheese junkies walking around the streets with bloodshot eyes looking for their next fix of feta is because unlike cocaine or morphine, cheese is actually a nutritious substance made from fat, which is something our body innately craves.


Casomorphin and Addiction to Cheese? Here’s Why.

Casomorphins, or in the case of cow’s milk, beta-casomorphins, are a form of opioid found in milk. For instance, 80% of cow’s milk protein is casein. After eating milk, casein breaks down in the stomach to produce a peptide opiate, casomorphin.

The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphin is that it has an opioid effect.

The long-term health effects of a diet that is high in casomorphins are not completely clear, but there are some disturbing signs.

The question is how much gets out of your gut and into your bloodstream, where casomorphins can reach other parts of your body and bind with opiate receptors, hence causing problems.

They have been linked to brain disorders in the central nervous system, type I diabetes, postpartum psychosis, the formation of LDL cholesterol, food allergies, respiratory and circulatory disorders, sleep apnea, and autism.


Casomorphin and Addiction to Cheese? Here’s Why.

Casomorphins, or in the case of cow’s milk, beta-casomorphins, are a form of opioid found in milk. For instance, 80% of cow’s milk protein is casein. After eating milk, casein breaks down in the stomach to produce a peptide opiate, casomorphin.

The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphin is that it has an opioid effect.

The long-term health effects of a diet that is high in casomorphins are not completely clear, but there are some disturbing signs.

The question is how much gets out of your gut and into your bloodstream, where casomorphins can reach other parts of your body and bind with opiate receptors, hence causing problems.

They have been linked to brain disorders in the central nervous system, type I diabetes, postpartum psychosis, the formation of LDL cholesterol, food allergies, respiratory and circulatory disorders, sleep apnea, and autism.


Casomorphin and Addiction to Cheese? Here’s Why.

Casomorphins, or in the case of cow’s milk, beta-casomorphins, are a form of opioid found in milk. For instance, 80% of cow’s milk protein is casein. After eating milk, casein breaks down in the stomach to produce a peptide opiate, casomorphin.

The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphin is that it has an opioid effect.

The long-term health effects of a diet that is high in casomorphins are not completely clear, but there are some disturbing signs.

The question is how much gets out of your gut and into your bloodstream, where casomorphins can reach other parts of your body and bind with opiate receptors, hence causing problems.

They have been linked to brain disorders in the central nervous system, type I diabetes, postpartum psychosis, the formation of LDL cholesterol, food allergies, respiratory and circulatory disorders, sleep apnea, and autism.


Casomorphin and Addiction to Cheese? Here’s Why.

Casomorphins, or in the case of cow’s milk, beta-casomorphins, are a form of opioid found in milk. For instance, 80% of cow’s milk protein is casein. After eating milk, casein breaks down in the stomach to produce a peptide opiate, casomorphin.

The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphin is that it has an opioid effect.

The long-term health effects of a diet that is high in casomorphins are not completely clear, but there are some disturbing signs.

The question is how much gets out of your gut and into your bloodstream, where casomorphins can reach other parts of your body and bind with opiate receptors, hence causing problems.

They have been linked to brain disorders in the central nervous system, type I diabetes, postpartum psychosis, the formation of LDL cholesterol, food allergies, respiratory and circulatory disorders, sleep apnea, and autism.


Casomorphin and Addiction to Cheese? Here’s Why.

Casomorphins, or in the case of cow’s milk, beta-casomorphins, are a form of opioid found in milk. For instance, 80% of cow’s milk protein is casein. After eating milk, casein breaks down in the stomach to produce a peptide opiate, casomorphin.

The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphin is that it has an opioid effect.

The long-term health effects of a diet that is high in casomorphins are not completely clear, but there are some disturbing signs.

The question is how much gets out of your gut and into your bloodstream, where casomorphins can reach other parts of your body and bind with opiate receptors, hence causing problems.

They have been linked to brain disorders in the central nervous system, type I diabetes, postpartum psychosis, the formation of LDL cholesterol, food allergies, respiratory and circulatory disorders, sleep apnea, and autism.


Casomorphin and Addiction to Cheese? Here’s Why.

Casomorphins, or in the case of cow’s milk, beta-casomorphins, are a form of opioid found in milk. For instance, 80% of cow’s milk protein is casein. After eating milk, casein breaks down in the stomach to produce a peptide opiate, casomorphin.

The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphin is that it has an opioid effect.

The long-term health effects of a diet that is high in casomorphins are not completely clear, but there are some disturbing signs.

The question is how much gets out of your gut and into your bloodstream, where casomorphins can reach other parts of your body and bind with opiate receptors, hence causing problems.

They have been linked to brain disorders in the central nervous system, type I diabetes, postpartum psychosis, the formation of LDL cholesterol, food allergies, respiratory and circulatory disorders, sleep apnea, and autism.


Casomorphin and Addiction to Cheese? Here’s Why.

Casomorphins, or in the case of cow’s milk, beta-casomorphins, are a form of opioid found in milk. For instance, 80% of cow’s milk protein is casein. After eating milk, casein breaks down in the stomach to produce a peptide opiate, casomorphin.

The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphin is that it has an opioid effect.

The long-term health effects of a diet that is high in casomorphins are not completely clear, but there are some disturbing signs.

The question is how much gets out of your gut and into your bloodstream, where casomorphins can reach other parts of your body and bind with opiate receptors, hence causing problems.

They have been linked to brain disorders in the central nervous system, type I diabetes, postpartum psychosis, the formation of LDL cholesterol, food allergies, respiratory and circulatory disorders, sleep apnea, and autism.


Casomorphin and Addiction to Cheese? Here’s Why.

Casomorphins, or in the case of cow’s milk, beta-casomorphins, are a form of opioid found in milk. For instance, 80% of cow’s milk protein is casein. After eating milk, casein breaks down in the stomach to produce a peptide opiate, casomorphin.

The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphin is that it has an opioid effect.

The long-term health effects of a diet that is high in casomorphins are not completely clear, but there are some disturbing signs.

The question is how much gets out of your gut and into your bloodstream, where casomorphins can reach other parts of your body and bind with opiate receptors, hence causing problems.

They have been linked to brain disorders in the central nervous system, type I diabetes, postpartum psychosis, the formation of LDL cholesterol, food allergies, respiratory and circulatory disorders, sleep apnea, and autism.


Casomorphin and Addiction to Cheese? Here’s Why.

Casomorphins, or in the case of cow’s milk, beta-casomorphins, are a form of opioid found in milk. For instance, 80% of cow’s milk protein is casein. After eating milk, casein breaks down in the stomach to produce a peptide opiate, casomorphin.

The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphin is that it has an opioid effect.

The long-term health effects of a diet that is high in casomorphins are not completely clear, but there are some disturbing signs.

The question is how much gets out of your gut and into your bloodstream, where casomorphins can reach other parts of your body and bind with opiate receptors, hence causing problems.

They have been linked to brain disorders in the central nervous system, type I diabetes, postpartum psychosis, the formation of LDL cholesterol, food allergies, respiratory and circulatory disorders, sleep apnea, and autism.


Casomorphin and Addiction to Cheese? Here’s Why.

Casomorphins, or in the case of cow’s milk, beta-casomorphins, are a form of opioid found in milk. For instance, 80% of cow’s milk protein is casein. After eating milk, casein breaks down in the stomach to produce a peptide opiate, casomorphin.

The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphin is that it has an opioid effect.

The long-term health effects of a diet that is high in casomorphins are not completely clear, but there are some disturbing signs.

The question is how much gets out of your gut and into your bloodstream, where casomorphins can reach other parts of your body and bind with opiate receptors, hence causing problems.

They have been linked to brain disorders in the central nervous system, type I diabetes, postpartum psychosis, the formation of LDL cholesterol, food allergies, respiratory and circulatory disorders, sleep apnea, and autism.


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