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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, the 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 heroin 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!

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!


 Lead image source: Carly Lesser & Art Drauglis/Flickr

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

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18 Days ago

correct: "26 percent of children"

18 Days ago

Casein from a cow can be bad, not from a sheep or goat. About 26% of children who wasn\'t breast-fed develop an allergic disease known as cow milk protein allergy. Those children do not tolerate soy derivatives, what plenty of vegetarian/vegan parents do not know. Those children react better to sheep or goat milk as the casein alpha S1 and S2 from goat and sheep have different structure. Did you know, that goat milk has a protein composition similar to that of breast milk?

Zonulin and gliadin are another proteins causing trouble by some people. Did you know that you can trigger plenty of inflammation in your body thanks to pizza, bread and pasta?

Did you know that by eating nuts every single day you can develop allergy? Read about cross allergies, it\'s interesting.

Each person is different. Each person needs different food. Please, after you read this blog, make your own research and observe your body. There is only one rule, which is true for every one: eat when you are really hungry, not when you think you are hungry.
All the best!

1 Months Ago

Before slandering a genuine effort to help people make informed decisions about what should not go into their mouths please watch the following....not the first few minutes but the entire documentaries ... you owe it to your body.
I have followed a vegan plant based diet for the past 5 months. This I did as a desperate attempt to help me breathe....I suffered from debilitating asthma...doctors meds did very little in helping me...my quality of life was non existant.
My new lifestyle diet has literally saved my life. I can breathe without thinking about it. I go to sleep at night not wondering if I am still going to be alive in the morning.
I am a walking testament of \'WE ARE WHAT WE EAT\'. We all have the choice of deciding what goes into our months. My choice is to not eat dead animals, drink or eat pus filled milk and cheese products. Please watch the documentaries before commenting.

4 Months Ago

I have at least two problems with this article. 1) People who have problems with the milk sugar, Lactose, are NOT allergic to it, they are "Intolerant" of the lactose, hence the condition "lactose intolerance." Food "Allergies" are extremely rare. People are not innately allergic to something that keeps us alive. Any time someone like you feels the need to lie about something, then the entire article should be in question. 2) Casein is FOUND IN HUMAN BREAST MILK. So that\'s now poison too??? Get real!

4 Months Ago

Everyone I know from China eats a lot of meat (they chop it up bones and all). The China study has been proven to be terribly flawed. Diabetes in China is much higher than USA even though obesity is not as bad. The Chinese diet is very high in carbohydrates from rice.

I have not researched casein, but due to the fermentation and enzyme reactions, cheese and milk are significantly different.

5 Months Ago

uh, we are omnivores...lettuce, tomato and pickles usually go on a burger. Stop making people feel bad about what they eat. Its a choice...get over it

5 Months Ago

All the morons out here reading this then saying fake news. Why do you read this site then? Casein is BAD for the body and the ones here saying fake news or lies are meat eaters, correct? Why do people that are carnivores (sorry that\'s what you are) bother with these sites just to put all the scientific evidence down? Go do something else and BBQ that dead flesh that you love to consume, and don\'t forget your big slices of casein cheese while your at it!

15 Jun 2018

No, casein is fine for you, in the context of a full omnivorous diet. The China Study is horribly dishonest. A carnivore is on a meat primary diet, humans are omnivores, we eat vegetation, meat, and a multitude of other things. BBQ is delicious. So is cheese. Veganism is unsustainable without supplements, not to mention that if you\'ve ever used something with plastic, or adhesive you\'ve used animal products. Why are you so hostile to meat eating? It happens quite often in nature.

08 Oct 2018

Funny, because casein protein is what is literally SAVING me while having gestational diabetes. The ONLY thing that has kept my fasting numbers in check and allowed me to sleep at all at night is casein protein. In fact, I have recommended casein to many people I know who have trouble sleeping or morning blood sugar issues. Just because you want to believe something is bad because it fits your personal agenda, doesn\'t mean it\'s actually bad at all, sorry to break it to you.

5 Months Ago

This article is preposterous. I imagine that your "knowledge" is based on feelings and surface research though and not actual science, so should I really be surprised? Stop spreading garbage information like this to the public. Some people are dense enough to believe it.

08 May 2018

Sorry but this is true

7 Months Ago

"The disturbing connection between the internet and junk science". This page made me laugh.

Lee Hales
8 Months Ago

Hi thanks for info i have quoted you in my blog based on your findings, www.ethicallyecolimited.com


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