Cheese Is As Addictive As Drugs

Scientists call it 'dairy crack'

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by Emma Spedding |
Published on

Do you love cheese? Like, love cheese? Do you consider yourself a cheese addict? Well you're not alone, because according to scientists cheese is addictive. So addictive that they call it ‘dairy crack’. That's right, there's a medical reason why you always want another slice of pizza and consistently opt for macaroni cheese over a salad. (Don't worry, us too.)

The Yale Food Addiction Scale (FAS) – designed to measure a person’s proclivity towards certain foods - found that cheese is particularly addictive as it, like all dairy products, can trigger the brain’s opioid receptors which are linked to addiction.

According to Dr. Neal Barnard, founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, your brain reads a protein in cheese - casein - as an addictive substance. When the body tries to break down the casein, which is a bead-like string of amino acids, ‘the beads don’t entirely separate. Some of them stay attached in strings of four, five, or seven amino acids.’

This broken down casein is called casomorphins, and Dr Barnard says: ‘These protein fragments can attach to the opiate receptors in your brain. As the name implies, casomorphins are casein-derived morphine-like compounds.’

If this is bringing back bad memories of GCSE biology, it basically means cheese is addictive like heroin or morphine. Cheese has high salt and fat content and is known to give you funky dreams, but there's no risk of throwing away your future for another hit of camembert.

So shall we just use this as an excuse to order a cheese board after every meal?

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