Science Buzz

Cheese as addictive as drugs

Slice of cheese pizza

Can’t stop yourself from having just one more bite of cheese? That’s because it’s actually addictive! Researchers from the University of Michigan investigating which items serve as the “drugs” of the food world, discovered pizza headed the “addictive” list because of its cheesy, fatty topping. They discovered that the chemical casein found in dairy products was to blame for these addictive properties. Casein breaks apart during digestion to release a opiates called casomorphins. Studies have shown that casomorphins interact with opioid receptors, which are involved in controlling pain, reward and addiction in the brain. The same parts of the brain are stimulated while under the influence of addictive drugs like crack cocaine and heroin. Casomorphins play with the dopamine receptors and trigger that addictive element