(NEW YORK) — If you’ve ever found yourself losing some self control when it comes to eating pizza or nachos, or other cheesy stuff, believe it or not, it’s not your fault — the stuff’s literally addictive.
Scientists at the University of Michigan discovered that when a chemical called casein, which is found in all dairy products, is digested, it releases opiates into the body.
Cheese contains a concentrated dose of casein, which ups the addictive factors of the gooey stuff, notes Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. He notes, “a whole host of opiates called casomorphins” are surged into the bloodstream.
The same properties are found in other high-fat, highly processed food, such as French fries, registered dietitian Cameron Wells notes.
“[Casomorphins] really play with the dopamine receptors and trigger that addictive element,” Wells says.
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