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6 Foods That Behave Like Addictive Drugs In Your Body

By maggiemay at Oct. 5, 2014, 2:15 a.m., 22716 hits

By Dr. Joel Kahn
July 8, 2014 9:39 AM EDT

So many of my patients struggle with cravings, weight issues, and late night snack binges. Knowing that certain chemicals in foods, called exorphins, can act as addictive drugs may help to develop strategies to improve health.

You need to know a little bit about exorphins because the makers of processed food, Big Food, know all about these chemicals. In fact, they manipulate ingredients to stimulate our appetites and initiate an addictive cycle of overeating and subsequent disease states.

Knowing about these foods can help you control overeating. (And to learn more about how Big Food gets you hooked on junk foods, check out The End of Overeating by former commissioner of the FDA Dr. David Kessler and Salt, Sugar, Fat by journalist Michael Moss.)


No food group has been studied more for opioid activity than dairy, particularly milk and cheese. The protein in dairy, casein, is digested into smaller peptides and there are a family of active agents called casomorphins. The desire for cheese can be blocked by the same medicines used to reverse drug overdoses in emergency rooms!

We eat five times as much cheese as a few decades ago, often with every meal of the day. Big Food knows that dairy drives the desire for more dairy and larger sales. My patients who are trying to be vegan tell me that the hardest food to give up is cheese; weaning slowly off this food group like a drug may improve success rates.


The blood in meat contains albumin, hemoglobin and gamma globulin and all of these chemicals activate opioid receptors. When meat eaters were treated with a drug used to block opiate receptors, ham consumption fell by 10%, salami by 25% and tuna by 50%!

Wheat and rice

Gliadin is a protein in wheat that has opiate activity and is sometimes referred to as gliadorphin. There is also a protein in rice that produces similar effects. If you can't stop reaching for the bread bowl, it's most likely because of this feel-good chemical trap.

Sugar and fat

Headlines worldwide last fall reported on a study in rats showing a preference for Oreo cookies, used for their high sugar and fat content, that was similar to providing the rats cocaine and morphine. Actually, prior studies in humans had already shown the opioid like effects of mixing sugar and fat (think: donut) that could be reversed with narcotic blockers.

Over a decade ago researchers studied what happened when you gave a three-month-old baby a sugary treat while staring in their eyes. When a group of people entered the room including the adult who fed the baby sugar water, the baby scanned and focused only on the “sugar dealer,” demonstrating how early in life sugar addiction can be identified.

Sugar and fat may be the reason that chocolate is a food that has been described to have addictive potential.

So what can you do?

Avoid temptation by not having so many items at home or in the office loaded with dairy, meat, refined wheat, sugar, and fat.

Replace them with blood sugar stabilizing foods like beans, nuts, seeds, whole fruits, and whole grains.

Start the day with a healthy breakfast (with foods low in exorphins).

Rely on support from friends and family to not bring “crack” like foods over can help. As Michael Pollan said, “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

Focus on getting endorphins. A glorious sunset, tender family moments, Kirtan music, my dogs licking my face, and a challenging workout are some of the feel good things that I seek out for a natural high. Science has demonstrated that we can produce narcotic-like chemicals in our brain at these moments, called endorphins.

— Last Edited by Greentea at 2014-10-09 08:40:13 —

Posts [ 3 ] | Last post Oct. 5, 2014, 2:15 a.m.
#1 - July 9, 2014, 6 p.m.
Hans J. Kugler, PhD

Even though i have no problems with the quoted facts, an uninformed person might assume that doing something about these 6 foods will get you into a state of best possible health - - - which is definitely not so because a 7th poison - HFCS, quite different from regular sugars, causing fatty liver, and inhibiting NOS (nitric oxide synthetase) - was overlooked, and some key modalities for achieving life-long health, as defined by prof. Emanuel Cheraskin, are not included.

“Longevity studies and scientific data clearly show that true life-long health, defined as a state of homeostasis according to Cheraskin/Kugler, can be achieved by correctly applying some 50 well-defined variables, which can also be grouped together as health practices. Recently published data regarding physical activity, the #1 essential and most effective requirement for true life-long health, and telomere research has made it possible to clearly and precisely define an anti-aging protocol. However, following such a precisely defined anti-aging protocol is negated by an ever increasing number of newly evolving obstacles, including endocrine disrupters and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). While some endocrine disrupters may be prevented or reversed with special detox programs, GMOs introduce risks that appear irreversible and only correctable with stem cells.”
A4M presentation, Orlando, 2012.

Exercise accounts for at least 50% of all applicable anti-aging modalities:
In longevity studies, performed at Roosevelt University in Chicago we divided cancer-prone mice – retired breeders - into 3 groups. Group 1: Nick-named “the average business man,” was given a junk food diet high in fat and sugar, with no supplements. This group did no exercise, and their environment was slightly stressed (small, standard cages), cigarette smoke was blown through the cages, and tap water given as drinking fluid. Group 2: The control group, everything was standard. Group 3: These mice were exercised in a rotating drum 3 times per week, were given a quality diet containing antioxidants, minerals, and supplements, drank carbon filtered water, and had larger living quarters with hiding places that were rearranged each time the cages were cleaned.
The result of the study showed a nearly 100% difference in the average lifespan between the animals in group 1 and 3, while group 2 was in-between.
Repeating the study WITHOUT exercise in group 3, and average life span increases drop by 50%.
Read more about HFCS, and other studies in (e-book) LIFE-LONG HEALTH (regular $ 18.95), now available as public health education project from IAAM at $ 1.99.
Or order from Barnes&Noble:

If you don’t have a device (- like iPad, NOOK) to read an e-book, at you can download FOR FREE “Nook for PC” (for your computer). Whenever you are going somewhere - - even if it’s just to your favorite eating place - - print out a chapter, or two, and you’ll never be bored.
God Bless!

— Last Edited by Hans J. Kugler, PhD at 2014-07-09 18:08:32 —

#2 - July 11, 2014, 2:31 a.m.

this is valuable post you have share, thanks for sharing

#3 - Oct. 5, 2014, 2:15 a.m.

Most people think “sugar free” is the best alternative to regular sugar. Unfortunately artificial sweeteners are even worse than regular sugar. They make you crave the sweet stuff even more than regular sugar. Cravings for sugar and artificial sweeteners can even be stronger cravings than street drugs and pain killers.
Coconut Nectar and stevia is another option instead.