A group of scientists from the University of Michigan discovered that cheese contains a chemical substance found in known addictive drugs.
The scientists used the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS), which measures people’s dependency on specific types of food, for their study.
They asked 120 student to answer the questions given by the YFAS on 35 food products, then they conducted another test including 384 other products.
In the findings, cheese has topped the summit of the scale.
Researchers found that the casein protein, which transforms into casomorphins after its digestion, produces the effects of opioids. In cheese, the presence of casein is concentrated, as it is in the case for casomorphins, which stimulates opioid receptors responsible for addiction in the brain. According to researchers, cheese is a concentrated source of casomorphins.
At the same time, a research study in Russia revealed that the type of casomorphins found in cow's milk may have a negative effect on infant growth.
The term opioid refers to morphine-like effects that include signs of anesthesia, sleep induction, and depression.
What makes things worse is the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol found in cheese, which may lead to heart disease. An ounce of cheese contains a high amount of saturated fat. The moderate consumption of cheese protects people against heart disease.