Compiled Research Regarding Addiction to Grain/Sugars/Dairy

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 10, 2012 at 9:45 PM

I'm really interested in finding information on these. If I am understanding correctly, the breakdown of some of the proteins in certain grains and dairy can cause a reaction in the opioid receptors (info from just one article), and that in rats, when fed a large amount of sugar solution, and then had that solution taken away, they experienced withdrawal symptoms. They also appeared to have less dopamine receptors and more opioid receptors.

Anyways, what I'm looking for is any good studies/articles/podcasts people have come across on this subject. I've mentioned in other places that I suffer from bulimia-- I go through periods of binging and then purging. I understand and have been working on the EMOTIONAL side of it, but am trying to help people around me understand that there could be a chemical dependency on my "drug of choice" (which is typically grains, some dairy, and lots of sugar, even fruit). Fats are often included in my binges, but only as a sort of "compliment" to the sugary food. Never alone.

I think one of their major problems is they believe my interest in "paleo" is fueled by my ED. And you know, I had to take a real step back and look at whether it was about control or not. And at first, perhaps it was. But through my counseling and self-reflection, I've come to the point where I just want to be DONE with this. This cycle of restricting, binging, calorie counting, the guilt. I want to be healthy, and I believe in the research I've seen. I feel like THIS is what is healthy. I'm so tired of treating my body like sh**.

Thank you in advance.



on July 10, 2012
at 10:25 PM

this may be of some help too - http://jackkruse.com/primal-cpc-2-eating-disorder-etiology/



on July 10, 2012
at 10:24 PM

I know someone will once again Q why I am recommending DBT for eating disorders but it works and is being used - a LOT. "Over the past several years, the DBT model of therapy has been adapted to treat a broader range of mental health disorders, including: mood disorders (depression & bipolar), anxiety disorders (posttraumatic stress, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder), eating disorders, substance abuse, self-harm in teens, and couples and relationship conflict" www.expressivehearts.com



on July 10, 2012
at 10:15 PM

The Skills taught in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) would be very helpful to you I think.

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3 Answers


on July 10, 2012
at 10:36 PM

No plug intended but we published a paper on the potential opiate-like effects of grains and dairy produce a few years back with autism in mind: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12223079 if this is any use. That and the work of Fukudome and colleagues on the gluten exorphins: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1309704 and Teschemacher on the casomorphins: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/511111

I have to say we were perhaps a little naive insofar as not realising important issues attached to gut hyperpermeability such as bacterial transloction and the all important knock-on immune effects when molecules are 'recognised' by the immune system and a response mounted.

Sorry, can't help with the fats/sugar side of things.


on July 10, 2012
at 10:12 PM

Kenzie my understanding is that this only happens when you have a Leaky Gut.

Dr Natasha Campbell talks about this a lot in her book: Gut and Psychology Syndrome

GAPS Diet www.gapsdiet.com

Heal thy gut....



on September 13, 2012
at 01:52 PM

Now I can't tell you for sure, but I am a binge eater/ bulimic...and I've only "gone paleo" for three days...

ALL of my binges are carb / fat/ sugar based (cakes, pastries, biscuits etc) making me feel utterly terrible, wiped out, lethargic, bloated, sick. I have binged EVERY DAY for 9 weeks...which was up from maybe 5x per week.

I have "gone paleo" to see if quitting sugar (obviously having it fuels cravings/binge urges) will help me. I have been very strict the last three days, protein and veg only. No sugar substitutes, only one piece of fruit...no dairy, grains etc I have had the urge to binge...for 10 minutes, ONCE....which is up from every single time I ate...and in between eating (even getting up at 5am to binge).

I have noticed my hunger signals, but rather than making me want to binge...I've been able to ignore them, and my full signals don't make me want to binge ....they make me want to stop eating...

I know its only day three...and SUPER early days....but I feel TOTALLY different, like I'm not being controlled by this binge monster that escapes the cupboard....

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