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Casomorphins—breakdown merchandise of casein, a milk protein, with opiate-like exercise—could assist clarify why autism signs typically enhance with a dairy-free food regimen.

In my final video collection on autism and food regimen, I talked about the advantages of broccoli sprouts, however essentially the most generally studied dietary and dietary interventions for autism and food regimen contain variations of gluten-free and casein-free diets. Why?

In the Nineteen Eighties, a staff of revered Norwegian researchers reported a peculiar discovering. They had been evaluating the urine of kids with and with out autism within the hopes of teasing out any variations that would result in hints to the reason for autism. As you may see at 0:42 in my video Autism and Casein from Cow’s Milk, a urine profile reveals spikes for every of the varied parts. Normally, the urine’s peptides area is fairly quiet. Peptides are like small items of proteins, and, usually, we shouldn’t be peeing out a lot protein. But, within the urine profiles from kids with autism, there have been all kinds of peptide spikes.

This distinction raised a query: “Can the pathophysiology”—that’s, the dysfunction—“of autism be explained by the nature of the discovered urine peptides?” But, first: “Where do the peptides come from?” They didn’t know, however there was a clue: Most of the mother and father of children with autism reported that their kids’s dysfunction acquired worse once they had been uncovered to cow’s milk. In truth, two proteins—gluten, a protein in wheat, and casein, a protein in milk—break down not solely into peptides, but in addition into exorphins.

Exorphins, opioid peptides derived from meals proteins, “are called exorphins because of their exogenous [that is, from outside of the body] origin and morphine-like activity,” versus endorphins, that are morphine-like compounds we produce inside our our bodies. Perhaps a few of these meals peptides symbolize a brand new class of hormones?

Well, is that what the children had been peeing out? Apparently so, as a few of these peptides had opioid exercise. Maybe the researchers had been on to one thing. 

Two forms of opioids have been discovered in milk: casomorphins, “in view of their morphine-like activity and their origin—they represent fragments of the milk protein β-casein,” and the precise opiate, morphine. There seems to be precise morphine in milk. This can’t simply be a coincidence. “It is difficult to believe that these, or other types of opioids found in the milk, can be devoid of physiological, or nutritional, significance.” If you consider it, it makes whole sense. “Morphine and the opioid peptides may also have an important role in the mother-infant bonding mechanism, because the infants may be ‘addicted’ to their own mother’s milk.” But, what concerning the milk of one other species?

“Human milk is markedly different from that of other mammalian species” in that it has the bottom casein content material. Further, human casein is a markedly totally different protein when it comes to its sequence of amino-acid constructing blocks.

As you may see at 3:40 in my video, human breastmilk has about 15 occasions much less casein than cow’s milk and differs in its amino acid sequence by about half, so it breaks down into peptides otherwise. “Twenty-one peptides were identified from cow casein proteins,” together with a number of casomorphins, in comparison with solely 5 lively peptides recognized in human milk and only one casomorphin. What’s extra, “those [casomorphins] from bovine casein are more potent than β-casomorphins from human milk.” At 4:08 in my video, you may see a graph of opioid exercise, the place decrease means stronger. Bovine casomorphin was proven to be considerably stronger than the weak opioid peptide from gluten, a substance extra akin to the casomorphin from human breastmilk.

Indeed, while you expose human nerve tissue to bovine casomorphin, it acts extra like morphine than the casomorphin from human breastmilk when it comes to epigenetic adjustments, adjustments in gene expression, not solely offering “a molecular rationale for the recommendation of breastfeeding vs. [cows’ milk] formula feeding,” but in addition offering a doable clarification why “casein-free, gluten-free diets have been reported to mitigate some of the inflammatory gastrointestinal and behavioral traits associated with autism…” 

“What is good for the goose may be good for the gander, but what is good for the cow could be harmful to the human.” 


This article discusses the primary video in a collection on the function of gluten- and dairy-free diets within the therapy of autism. Stay tuned for the opposite 5 movies on this six-part collection: 

My earlier collection on autism explored the wonderful story of broccoli sprouts put to the take a look at for the therapy of autistic boys. See: 

Keep abreast of all of my movies on autism right here.

You can also be concerned with these movies on milk and youngster and toddler well being:

In well being, 

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t but, you may subscribe to my free movies right here and watch my stay displays: