Sorry for getting to this one a bit late, but I just kinda found out about it now… oh well.
Yet again we are on the crazy train of people trying to prove time and time again that cheese is an addictive substances by it’s own right, with tons of websites, such as highly esteemed and prestigious newspapers (not really) such as Huffington Post, Newsy, Daily Mail, and Medical Daily, citing Casomorphine as a result. Newsy itself stating:
According to a study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, you’re addicted to cheese because of the way it’s processed.
Cheese has an ingredient called casein, which is a protein found in all milk products. When casein is digested, it releases opiates called casomorphins. Casomorphins impact the dopamine receptors and trigger the addictive element. There you have it.
Why would they mention that this is the case though? The study that all four of these newspapers cite, titled: Which Foods May Be Addictive? The Roles of Processing, Fat Content, and Glycemic Load, does not mention Casin, or even Casomorphines, anywhere in the paper. That’s probably because there is no evidence to even draw the conclusions that Beta-casomorphines found in cheese, or Rubiscolin, a morphine found in spinach, makes anybody addicted to either of these two substances.
In fact, the study isn’t even about cheese at all! So the fact that many papaers would point out cheese as a single notion of this study only means that none of these papers even opened the study on their web browser to read it. So, what does the study even say? Well, the results of the cross-sectional study published 8 months before the news found a way to make a quick buck off of it, states:
“In Study One, processed foods, higher in fat and GL, were most frequently associated with addictive-like eating behaviors. In Study Two, processing was a large, positive predictor for whether a food was associated with problematic, addictive-like eating behaviors. BMI and YFAS symptom count were small-to-moderate, positive predictors for this association. In a separate model, fat and GL were large, positive predictors of problematic food ratings. YFAS symptom count was a small, positive predictor of the relationship between GL and food ratings.”
So what does this mean? Well, it means that the study wasn’t even looking up certain chemicals in foods that might cause addiction, it was looking up whether a wide array of foods, including soda, cheesecake, and the like. It studied foods based on whether or not they were Processed, and whether they were highly sweet or fattening.
In fact, in the first study of the two mentioned by this paper ranked the amount of times people listed a food as problematic, and cheese appeared at, guess what number? 1? 4? 7? Nope, 16. It was listed under Rolls, Muffins, Cereal, and Popcorn, and listed right above Pretzels, and Plain Crackers. Study Two went a little more in-depth, asking how problematic a food was to in terms of overeating and stopping consumption. Cheese here ranked 10. Below Soda, Chocolate, Chips, and French Fries. So this study didn’t even focus on cheese, and cheese didn’t even rank very high on the list.
Like I said in my last post on this topic, can cheese be addictive because it is a high-fat calorie dense food? Yes. But so can any fried foods. And just to put this into prospective, many people who took this online survey that the studies are based off of, listed Broccoli, Cucumber, Carrots, Strawberries, and even Water as problematic. So take that with a grain of salt.
But where did the claim even come from that the study talked about Casin in dairy as a result of food addiction? Two people, Dr Neal Barnard and RD Cameron Wells from… wait for it… the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Who are they? A biased activist group that is against any use of animal products and highly promotes a vegan diet. They have not exactly been very trustworthy with the facts, and has an almost 1 million dollar financial tie to extremist Vegan activist group PETA. (Guess who is also buddies with the PCRM?)
So before you believe some story you find on some backwater pop newspaper, make sure you check the sources.