How Cheese Is Like a Drug

By Mike Pomranz |

Good news, cheese addicts! Your addiction to cheese is a real scientific thing! Turns out a protein found in dairy products literally releases opiates.

Recent research has renewed discussions over what one doctor calls “dairy crack.” Apparently, a protein in milk products called “casein” releases an opiate known as “casomorphins.” “Casomorphins attach to the brain's opiate receptors to cause a calming effect in much the same way heroin and morphine do,” Dr. Neal Barnard, a Vegetarian Times columnist, was quoted as saying.

But it doesn’t stop there. “In fact, since cheese is processed to express out all the liquid, it's an incredibly concentrated source of casomorphins,” Barnard continued. “You might call it dairy crack.” 

Cheese’s nefarious similarities to morphine addiction have come to light after researchers discovered earlier this year that pizza topped a list of most addictive foods. The study led to increased speculation that cheese might be part of the cause. Though depending on what toppings you include, don’t rule out sausage as part of the reason pizza is so addictive. Sure, I’m not a doctor, but I call sausage “pork ketamine” because too much always leaves me in a dissociative state on the couch.

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