DM

Washington

There's a good reason why you just can't resist reaching for another slice of Stilton. Scientists claim that cheese is as addictive as drugs because of a chemical called casein. This is found in dairy products and can trigger the brain's opioid receptors, which are responsible for addiction.

The study, by the University of Michigan, took a look at which items act as the 'drugs of the food world'. The researchers discovered pizza was one of the world's most addictive foods, largely because of its cheesy topping.

'Fat seemed to be equally predictive of problematic eating for everyone, regardless of whether they experience symptoms of 'food addiction,'' Erica Schulte, one of the study's authors, told Mic. Dr Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said that casein 'breaks apart during digestion to release a whole host of opiates called casomorphins.' Some scientists believe the influence of cheese is so potent that they refer to it as 'dairy crack'. A number of studies have revealed that casomorphins lock with opioid receptors, which are linked with the control of pain, reward and addiction in the brain.

'Casomorphins really play with the dopamine receptors and trigger that addictive element,' registered dietitian Cameron Wells told Mic .