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Casein: The Disturbing Connection Between This Dairy Protein and Your Health


Milk, cheese, and butter are some of the top three foods many people have a hard time giving up when transitioning to a healthy, plant-based diet. Even though the plant-based milk industry is now booming, thanks to all the varieties of options that we have, many people still do use dairy milk, cheese, and butter without abandon. But is this a coincidence? Is cheese pizza really something magical or is it addictive for so many people because of something else?

Considering cheese actually has a horrible smell and is rather gross when you consider how it’s made, there aren’t any magical properties behind cheese (or other dairy products) that make them anything special. The reason why they’re so addicting is largely due to a certain type of protein dairy products contain.

Meet Milk Protein: Whey and Casein

shutterstock_363238592Africa Studio/Shutterstock

There are two types of protein found in dairy products: casein and whey protein. Thirty-eight percent of the solid matter in milk is made of protein. Of that total protein, 80 percent is casein and 20 percent is whey. Cheese is made mostly of casein, where most of the liquid whey found in milk has been filtered or strained out. But all dairy products contain casein, not just cheese. The difference between whey and casein is how they’re digested and how they react in the body. Whey protein is digested quickly and absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream, which causes an increase in insulin quickly. This process stimulates IGF-1 (insulin growth factor) which has been found to create new cancer cells and proliferate cancer cell growth. Yikes!

Casein: Your Brain and Body’s Worst Nightmare


Casein is very different from whey, though just as detrimental to your health. Casein breaks down more slowly and in the process, also wreaks havoc on your health.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, says through his studies he has found casein to be the most relevant cancer promoter ever discovered.  Because casein digests so slowly, natural morphine-like substances in casein known as casomorphins, act like opiates in the body as they enter the bloodstream. Just minutes after you eat a dairy-based food, the casein protein begins to break down. This releases the drug-like casomorphins, which attach to opiate receptors in the brain, and cause severe addictions to dairy products (hence the reason they keep people coming back for more.) Casomorphins trigger such an addictive response that they’ve been compared to heroine in terms of their strength to cause food addictions and mood disorders.

Casein’s slow digestion rate also puts great strain on the digestive system. Dr. Frank Lipman (an Integrative and Functional Medical expert), explains that the body has an extremely difficult time breaking down casein. Dr. Lipman says that common symptoms of dairy sensitivity due to casein are: excess mucus production, respiratory problems and digestive problems like constipation, gas, bloating, and/or diarrhea. Dairy intolerance is also known to cause skin issues like acne, rashes, and redness or irritation. Skip the casein and try eating more of these Inexpensive Vegan Foods That Brighten Your Skin instead!

Morphine in Milk- What the Dairy Industry Doesn’t Advertise on Their Products

If you still think a harmless glass of milk, a cup of yogurt, or a small serving of cheese isn’t potentially dangerous, think again. Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D. (founder of the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, a.k.a PCRM) found that in various studies, when dairy products were removed from the diet, cheese was the hardest food for people to give up. Dr. Barnard credits this finding to cheese being the most concentrated source of casein of all dairy products. PCRM has also discovered that milk actually contains morphine, which can clearly be seen when milk is inspected under a microscope. Morphine is not added to cow’s milk; cows actually produce these opiate-like chemicals on their own.

Beware of the Sneaky Place Casein Lurks (Hint, It’s Not Just Dairy!)

The Trouble With Casein is that it’s not just found in dairy products. In fact, this dangerous ingredient is often used in other foods, even those that are marketed as a vegan food. Casein is used in food for its scientific properties to thicken and congeal foods and likely for its addictive properties to sell more products. Some brands of veggie cheeses, non-dairy yogurts, non-dairy, and non-dairy creamers contain casein for these very reasons. Casein is also found in some other non-food items such as: paint, adhesives, glues, fabrics, textiles, and plastics. Can you believe that? Items in your home and your clothes could even contain this toxic protein naturally found in dairy!

How to Spot Casein on a Label:

You’ll find casein listed as either of the following: casein, caseinates, calcium caseinate, potassium caseinate and sodium caseinate. Read labels thoroughly and buy products that are 100 percent vegan to be sure you’re not consuming this ingredient. If you have a question about the ingredients in your food or household product, you may also want to contact the manufacturer to inquire about it more thoroughly.

Other Problems With Dairy and Your Health

As you can see, it’s no wonder that gooey cheese pizza or bowl of dairy milk ice cream is so hard for many people to give up, but addiction isn’t the only problem dairy causes. Dairy has also been linked to brain fog and depression, which creates even more havoc to the brain and body. Lactose, a milk sugar found in dairy, is also one of the number one allergies people have in the United States.

You Don’t Need Casein or Dairy to be Healthy or HappyRaw Cashew Almond Cheese b

Believe it or not, life does go on without dairy milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, sour cream, and butter. In fact, it gets better! Plant-based foods come with just as many satisfying properties as dairy foods do, yet they contain no morphine or other nasty chemicals found in dairy foods. Check out these 10 Reasons to Ditch Dairy if you’re still on the fence.

Here are some healthy options to buy instead of dairy products:

As you can see, there are plenty of dairy replacements to choose from to avoid casein, though you’ll still need to read labels to be sure. You can use these delicious plant-based options to recreate fabulous dishes in your recipes and change your health in the process.

Need recipes? We’ve got plenty of dairy-free options to choose from!

BONUS Recommendation: Download the Food Monster Appcoconut-milk-and-cookies-1200x750


If you enjoy articles and recipes like these and want more, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App. For those that don’t have it, it’s a brilliant food app available for both Android and iPhone. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to cut out or reduce allergens like meat, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, grains, and more find awesome recipes, cooking tips, articles, product recommendations and how-tos. The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions.

The Food Monster app has over 8k recipes and 500 are free. To access the rest, you have to pay a subscription fee but it’s totally worth it because not only do you get instant access to 8k+ recipes, you get 10 NEW recipes every day! You can also make meal plans, add bookmarks, read feature stories, and browse recipes across hundreds of categories like diet, cuisine, meal type, occasion, ingredient, popular, seasonal, and so much more!

 Image Source: Carly Lesser & Art Drauglis/Flickr

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68 comments on “Casein: The Disturbing Connection Between This Dairy Protein and Your Health”

Click to add comment
13 Days ago

This is hilarious and I quote "Casomorphins trigger such an addictive response that they’ve been compared to heroine in terms of their strength to cause food addictions and mood disorders."

Are you serious??? I experience zero of the above and can take or leave dairy as and when I see fit.

I\'m not attacking plant based diets though, I AM attacking preposterous claims!

dr nutz
1 Months Ago

now if you cick on the box to the LEFt we\'ll discuss climate change

Helen Paterson
2 Months Ago

If milk is so goddam awful why do health fascists insist on calling vegetable juice by the same name? Milk comes from mammals, not nuts!

09 May 2017

Coconut milk was always called... coconut milk.

5 Months Ago

Your article is citing zero sources and you make outrageous statements. I would bet my money you are referring to China Study by T. Colin Campbell where he asserts the same claims: that casein causes cancer growth. The experiment from which Campbell concluded this included having lab rats fed with a diet high in aflatoxins which are carcinogenic. He split the rats into two groups - one he fed casein and the other he didn\'t. The group he fed casein did develop tumors. And you know what happened to the other group? They fucking DIED. LONG BEFORE THE CASEIN FED GROUP.

It\'s worth noting that dr. Campbell was a biased vegan who used his book and his creds to spread his own propaganda, much like this article.

The truth of the matter is that casein is a highly nutritive protein that is a basis for almost all athletes\' diets.

Bryan D
25 Mar 2017

thank you :) i appreciate this

Roy Walker
14 Apr 2017

What a load of plant-eating biased rubbish, unbelievable, No baby animal has ever eating "nut milks" in the history of the world. Neither has any grown animal eaten ao drank "nut milk" products, in the history of the world.Just biased plant eating bogan lies and rubbish, without a single proven scientific study. Pedal your shit to your own kind,I came here for real information, not biased plant-eater rubbish, this so shits me , mis-information GRRRRR.

01 Jun 2017

if milk is so good, why so many FUCKING allergies? Number 1 fucking allergen in the world. common sense says: AVOID BIG TIME

26 Jun 2017

MILES: People have so many wired food allergies because of our use/ and consumption of aluminum. Women who are pregnant that are prescribed anti-acid medication for heart burn are 60% more likely to give birth to a baby with food allergies because there is aluminium in anti-acid medication. Not to mention the aluminum in vaccines- that is on the CDC website if you don\'t believe me. I\'m sure cave men thousands of years ago avoided gluten and dairy because it upset their tummies....NO

Milk allergies: The main stream, big corp milk production, is awful for you and should be avoided at all cost. That is probably why its the number one food allergy in the world because RAW milk is not available. They have made it illegal in most of the united states to purchase or consume RAW milk. That is absolutely the craziest thing ever when the government is telling you what you can and cant eat. And its because big milk industry lined someones pockets to get the bill passed so no local farmers could sell you RAW milk without a Doctors note. If its so bad for you then why would a doctor prescribe you raw cows milk?

There was one incidence where the FBI came in and raided this poor Amish guy in PA for selling raw milk ice cream to the public, they took all of his equipment and treated him like a criminal. UNBELIEVABLE!!

If you can find a local RAW milk provider (you would need to purchase what is called a "cow share" for it to be legal), or just milk your own, it would be worth the money and time to get. Raw milk has all kinds of good bacteria in it for your gut and is easier to digest then pasteurized milk. I agree you should sick with a plant based diet and limit your intake of dairy and meat -but i believe having some RAW milk cheese every now and then is not bad for you.

5 Months Ago

Seriously? I was just drinking a glass of milk while reading this, now you cause me to induce vomiting. God dammit, internet.

5 Months Ago

"Oh look at me, I\'m a long time vegan because I\'m a lefty virtue signaller, so I\'ll talk shit and invent pseudo science arguments against any type of food that isn\'t a vegetable."

You are stup1d beyond belief....

8 Months Ago

Hi, Heather, I\'m sure you mean well although it\'s misinformation like this that makes me want to do public talks even more as I was looking for a reference to post about cassein pros and cons in my dvelopmental nutrition clinical nutrition/functional medicine grad program! It\'s ridiculous how so many young ladies get online and regurgitate nonsense telling people to never eat animal foods again when in reality these are the exact foods that melt excess fat, improve immunity, optimally absorb vitamins and minerals, and take brain health and cognition to a whole notha level! You\'re only telling 1/2 the story because we live in a world of quick hit media and people read a lot instead of doing real "evidence based along with experimental education as I\'m a food scientist, nutritionist, and fat loss expert! I;ve been at this thing a long time and am very good at turning information overload into simple, doable change. If you\'d like to chat further and let help you clear some things up, I\'d be happy to connect with you later on. I really enjoy educating even many health professionals who come to me with challenging clients concerns. You can find me at the email above(business email) or Facebook.com/GabrielWigington.

God bless,


14 Jan 2017

Hey Gabe! I am a nutritionist who has a vegan client who is on the fence about casein, she used this article as a "reference" to show me why casein is horrible... I\'d love to pick your brain for your functional medicine approach to casein! Please contact me if you get this :o)
Thank you!

john the real Greek
1 Years Ago

You people in Usa allow two multibillion fractions to tell you what to do..The whole grain Counsil fraction and the animal based fraction-meat,dairy,fish,poultry etc-....i believe both fractions are making good points regarding their enemy, gluten makes you sluggish,foggy and the more you eat the more you want it.The same applies to casein,the more you eat the more you want it..And dont tell me there is NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT ADDICTIVE CLAIMS,HEEEEEEY how about real life????want a paradigm??here it is: why is it that we dont crave to wake up in the morning EVERY Day and eat melons,apples or veggies?They are not addictive!!Why are we having cheese,coffee,gluten grain,sugar or anything cocoa related???? I live in Greece,Thessaloniki and i have a friend from ALbania,this guy needs about 15-20 kilograms of goat cheess per MONTH, ooohhh come on,dont tell me there is no addiction here!!!He even eats macaroni almost every day and drinks 2-3 cups of coffee per day!!!i never seen him ordering 1 kilogram cherries,prunes or oranges and eating them within minutes (thats what i actually do)....despite the fact that people in usa believe Greece lives behind the Moon,let me tell you that our doctors Eftimiadis and Petru long before the age of William Davis or Perlmutter (1970 and 1930 respectively) already knew that Wheat has addictive properties and that one substance (unknown at that time) is very tricky for the digestive system-gluten- and promoted a vegan diet BASED ON FRUITS MOSTLY AND Veggies in place 2,with low amounts of legumes and ALWAYS SOAKED overnight nuts and seeds.Thank you for your time and remember to be always suspicious when someone is advertising,because money is a great motive in our days,if not the only motive on which war-religion-advertising-companies-doctors are based on..its simple as that.I am sure one day all those Institutions will fall,and the time is coming closer because man WILL INHABIT OTHER PLANETS during the next 100-200 years or sooner (yes we all are going to be under the dust by then or even reborn somewhere else).............

28 Apr 2017

I love you John the Real Greek!

2 Years Ago

This article made me cringe....at how bad it is. Absolutely none of this is true with backed evidence from credible sources. Yes, there is morphine, but you would consume enough cheese to stuff yourself before you ever felt the slightest effect from the morphine.

2 Years Ago

Beta-casomorphin-7 is only problematic in A1 dairy cattle. The opiate is present in A2 but is not readily released. At the 67th amino acid chain proline was replaced by histidine in the genetically mutated, now termed, A1 dairy cattle. The problem is that histidine apparently breaks down during digestion and releases the opiate while proline does not break down and binds tight to bcm-7.

I have a genetic sensitivity to casein protein and it has caused me MANY issues before diagnosed. But plant based foods cause many many sensitivities as well. My husband reacts to pinto beans and my grandson reacts to gluten (same symptoms as what dairy causes in me). About 30% of our food supply have these lectin proteins (like casein and gluten) most of which are from plants --- legumes and nightshade plants being some of the worst.

Pure butter, being a fat, should not have enough, if any, protein in it to cause a problem except for the most sensitive or those consuming mass amounts.


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