Sunday, January 13, 2013

Food that Numb your Brain

Our brains have opioid receptors, and when activated cause a opium type of effect. Chemicals that activate it range from Morphine, Heroin, Dopamine and more[1]. This causes a reduction in your perception of pain, in your response to pain and increases your ability to withstand pain. Side effects are relaxation, depression of breathing, constipation, strong feeling of euphoria and dependance[2].

It appears that certain food we consume form small chains of proteins when digested in the gut, that have opioid properties. Wheat, Milk and Sugar.

All three of these staple foods are recently new in our human body's diet. As a species, we have a 2.5 million years of nutritional evolution through natural selection. Only 10,000-12,000 years ago we began agricultural practices that advocate consumption of cereal grains and legumes, domesticating livestock for milk and extracting refined sugar. These were in our diet for less then 1% of our evolution, and moreover, vegetable oils and processed foods are even more recent additions spanning only 100 years.

About Wheat
Gluten is a known issue, correlated with formation of Celiac disease. However, many don't know about gluten's constituent, gliadin (a prolamin), that breaks down in the gut into a 7 amino acid chain called Gliadorphin or Gluteomorphin. It has opioid properties and has been shown to activate 3 areas in the brain associated with reward center and opium sensation[3]

About Milk
Beta-casein is a hidden issue from the public, and has been correlated with the formation of Autism, Schizophrenia[4] and Child Diabetes[5]

About 5,000 years ago there was a mutation in livestock breeds, especially Holstein cows, that changed the Beta-casein amino chain slightly. A change in one amino acid had made the protein weaker in a section of its chain, that consequently while digesting in the gut it breaks down into a 7 amino acid peptide called β-casomorphin-7 (BCM7). This has opioid properties as well, but compared to Gliadorphin, BCM7 has been shown to activate 45 areas in the brain associated with opium[3].

That is 15 times more potent then the Opiate compound derived from wheat!

About Sugar
Sugar has been shown to be toxic in the blood stream, that is why Insulin is secreted, to mitigate the toxic effect by opening cells to receive the sugar (like glucose) or convert it into fat for storage in fat cells. Glucose has been shown to accelerate LDL oxidation[6].

Glucose has been shown to to activate opioid receptors in the brain when taken in excess[7]. It has been observed that animals can become sugar-dependent with withdrawal symptoms[8][9] as well as humans[10]
Refined sugar, like table sugar (i.e. sucrose), is easily taken up by the gut as it is a simple sugar. However, complex carbohydrates found in grains are also sugars, but require the work of digestion to break them down into simple sugars. Only then can they be absorbed into the blood stream. That is why bread and pasta can cause an insulin response. Whole grains slow the absorption of the sugars because of the fiber that the digestive enzymes have to break down as well.

What to make for all this?
Our brains has opioid receptors that are triggered by certain foods, which we're not adapted to handle. Excessive consumption of these foods cause a narcotic withdrawal, just like heroin and cocaine.

This has harmed our children early on in life and is harming adults still today. It numbs your brain, reduces your capacity to care and get involved. It keeps you sedated and slows your attention to detail. 

Adopting agriculture has hurt our body's capabilities, by introducing chemicals that reduces our sensation to our own body's messages (e.g. pain). We run better on an ancestral diet, a paleolithic diet, which gives us high amounts of fat and protein. Fat being the preferred fuel of your brain and heart, as well as a major building block of your brain and nerve cells. 

If wheat, milk and sugar activate opioid receptors and are associated with withdrawal symptoms and dependency, I would like to classify them as a potent drug source. Would you?

Your responsibility
I researched this and came to the conclusion of eliminating them from my diet, for the exact reasons I shared with you above. It is your responsibility to take action for yourself, as no one else experiences your life but you. I see through my eyes, and so they are my eyes to take care of.

Be aware, that you might neglect to take responsibility for your brain cells and organ cells because you are drugged up on grains, milk and sugar.

[1]  Annu Rev Biochem. 2004;73:953-90. Opioid receptors. Waldhoer M, Bartlett SE, Whistler JL. Source  Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center, University of California, San Francisco, Emeryville, California 94608, USA.
[2] Psychiatr Med. 1985;3(4):445-60. Brain mechanisms of drug reward and euphoria. Wise RA, Bozarth MA. Source  Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Montreal, P.Q., Canada.
[3] Findings in normal rats following administration of gliadorphin-7 (GD-7) | Zhongjie Sun,     Robert CadeCorresponding author contact information, E-mail the corresponding author      Departments of Medicine and Physiology, University of Florida, P.O. Box 100204, HSC, Gainesville, FL 32610-0204, USA
[4] A Peptide Found in Schizophrenia and Autism Causes Behavioral Changes in Rats | Zhongjie Sun | University of Florida, USA | Autism March 1999 vol. 3 no. 1 85-95
[5] The role of beta-casein variants in the induction of insulin-dependent diabetes in the non-obese diabetic mouse and humans Elliot, R.B.; Wasmuth, H.E.; Bibby, N.J. (University of Auckland (New Zealand). School of Medicine. Dept. of Paediatrics); Hill, J.P. | Milk protein polymorphism, Palmerston North (New Zealand), Feb 1997
[6] Free Radic Res. 2002 May;36(5):521-9. Glucose accelerates copper- and ceruloplasmin-induced oxidation of low-density lipoprotein and whole serum. Leoni V, Albertini R, Passi A, Abuja PM, Borroni P, D'Eril GM, De Luca G. Source  Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, Varese, Italy.
[7] Neuroreport. 2001 Nov 16;12(16):3549-52. Excessive sugar intake alters binding to dopamine and mu-opioid receptors in the brain. Colantuoni C, Schwenker J, McCarthy J, Rada P, Ladenheim B, Cadet JL, Schwartz GJ, Moran TH, Hoebel BG. Source  Department of Psychology, Green Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.
[8] Obes Res. 2002 Jun;10(6):478-88. Evidence that intermittent, excessive sugar intake causes endogenous opioid dependence. Colantuoni C, Rada P, McCarthy J, Patten C, Avena NM, Chadeayne A, Hoebel BG. Source  Department of Psychology, Princeton University, New Jersey 08544, USA.
[9] Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2008;32(1):20-39. Epub 2007 May 18. Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Avena NM, Rada P, Hoebel BG. Source  Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA.
[10] J Opioid Manag. 2010 Nov-Dec;6(6):445-52. The relationship between opioid and sugar intake: review of evidence and clinical applications. Mysels DJ, Sullivan MA. Source  Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School, Somerville, Massachusetts, USA.


  1. Great Post.
    This info is so underrated. Thank U for sharing this.
    I am gluten/dairy free but when U say grains in the article, I understand 'all grains'...
    Are rice and millet and quinoa and corn ALSO activating opioids receptors?
    Is it all grains or only gluten containing grains?
    Love the blog... great work.

    1. Thank you :)

      All grains contain 'storage proteins' just like gluten. The underlying issue is incomplete digestion, because the probiotic bacteria are not present to keep the gut healthy and productive. Because of the absence in these beneficial organisms, we experience harm by these food. Gliadin and beta-casein need to be broken down into amino acids, but end up breaking down not enough and operate like opiates. After a healing diet, like the GAPS diet by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, it has been observed that people can return to eating grains. This is just because the gut has been healed and a thick biofilm of probiotic bacteria has been established.
      Rice, Millet, Quinoa and Corn are considered lesser harmful then wheat... however, please keep in mind that all seeds in nature (including nuts and seeds) come with a protection mechanism that ensures the survival of the next generation. These are toxins like Lectins and Phytic acid, that can be removed partially or completely (depending) by soaking the seeds in lukewarm water for 24 hours. This gives them sprouting conditions and they release their toxins while enhance their nutrient availability and quality. I soak nuts and seeds prior to going to sleep and at the morning I rinse and eat a bunch in my morning meal. You can accelerate the germination by adding sea salt or/and lemon. Warm water always helps the soaking.

      Happy you found my work.


  2. Only Towels eat Gluten !