Ever wonder if your love of cheese is borderline addiction?

It might not be pure hyperbole. “If you love cheese so much and joke that you think you might be addicted — well, you probably are,” the Boston Globe’s The Next Great Generation said.

The primary protein in milk is casein. When the human body digests casein, it produces casomorphins, which have an opiate-like effect on humans. Because cheese is denser than, for example, milk, the casein is more heavily concentrated, meaning that eating cheese produces a larger amount of casomorphins in the body compared to eating other dairy products.

Not to mention, research going back to the ’80s also found that cheese contains tiny amounts of morphine, which scientists say might help calm calves and help them bond with their mothers.

While cheese is high in calories and fat, its calcium does help build strong bones and teeth. These days, Americans eat about 33 pounds of cheese a year, three times the rate of 1970.

If you’re not convinced cheese has addictive qualities, even the founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine refers to it as”dairy crack.”

Image: BurgTender/Creative Commons