BEACON TRANSCRIPT – If you have unexplainable urges for dairy products, you should know cheese is addictive like cocaine, new study explains why in a recent scientific paper in the Public Library of Science. Similar to other fat products, cheese has the ability to activate the reward regions in our brain and cause people to eat increasingly larger quantities of dairies.
Researchers from the University of Michigan have heard of people having difficulties when trying to quit eating cheese. They have later on, found out there is an explanation for that, namely, the properties that dairy products have, as well as the maturation process they have to go through cause people to develop a sort of addiction for these products.
Investigators conducted two large surveys to determine the most addictive products in young individuals’ diets. For this purpose, they have initially gathered a large group of 120 undergraduates and asked them to answer the questions of the Yale Food Addiction Scale questionnaire. The study was, later on, recreated on an even larger group of participants, namely 384 subjects. The latter have been selected with the help of Amazon MTurk.
Participants were offered 35 nutritionally rich products an asked to grade them based on their ability to induce addictions. Due to the collected data, researchers have concluded that the most addictive products are usually those that contain lots of fats.
Surprisingly, cheese has been described by most participants as a highly addictive product. Investigators have closely looked at the factors causing people to eat more dairy products. They have discovered that cheese contains a special product named casein, which has opium-like effects on the human body.
During digestion, casein disintegrates and turns into casomorphins, a substance that has more or less the same effects as crack. It is not just cheese that triggers addictive eating, scientists have added; the same effect was noticed among all products with high fat content, which explains why many people love eating pizza.
For those of you, who may not be familiar with casomorphins and their effects on the body, researchers have stated that these substances can control pain by simply accessing the reward region in humans’ brains. Because it can influence our dopamine receptors, investigators have labeled cheese as a “dairy crack.
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