Are you the type that’s usually glued to the cheese board at parties and family gatherings? Devouring all the delicious cheeses? Well, there may be a scientific explanation for your cheese lust.
Researchers at the University of Michigan recently announced that cheese contains the same chemical found in addictive drugs. The chemical can trigger the brain’s opioid receptors, producing a feeling of euphoria linked to those of hard drug addiction.
Scientists studying dairy products found that in milk, casein has a minuscule dosage. But producing a pound of cheese requires about 10 pounds of milk — with addictive casein coagulating the solid milk fats and separating them from the liquids. As a result the super-strength chemical becomes concentrated when in solid dairy form, so you’ll get a higher hit of addictive casein by tucking into a cheese sandwich than you will in your morning bowl of cereal.
Study author Erica Schulte says: “If properties of some foods are associated with addictive eating for some people, this may impact nutrition guidelines, as well as public policy initiatives such as marketing these foods to children.”
Nicole Avena, a co-author on the study, says: “This is a first step towards identifying specific foods, and properties of foods, which can trigger this addictive response.
“This could help change the way we approach obesity treatment. It may not be a simple matter of ‘cutting back’ on certain foods, but rather, adopting methods used to curtail smoking, drinking and drug use.”
Well, that explains a lot!