As you may know from my previous blog entries I have the autoimmune disease celiac which is an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat. I am very sensitive to ingesting gluten in any of its myriad forms so I am very careful of what I eat. You know the saying, "You are what you eat."
You can imagine that with this sensitivity to gluten and the fact that gluten is found in a wide variety of food stuffs, I do a lot of research into the chemical make-up of food. Wikipedia is a great resource for all sorts of information including the chemical make-up of food. Recently I discovered a correlation between gluten and casein. This could explain my problems with dairy foods that I figured out recently.
Check out this very interesting information that I compiled about a major component of milk, the protein casein:
Casein (from Latin caseus, "cheese") is the name for a family of related phosphoproteins. These proteins are commonly found in mammalian milk, making up 80% of the proteins in cow milk and between 60% and 65% of the proteins in human milk. Casein has a wide variety of uses, from being a major component of cheese, to use as a food additive, to a binder for safety matches. As a food source, casein supplies amino acids; carbohydrates; and two inorganic elements, calcium and phosphorus.
Casein is relatively hydrophobic, making it poorly soluble in water. Special proteases are protein-breaking enzymes needed to break down the milk protein casein.
Uses of Casein· Casein paint is a fast-drying, water-soluble medium used by artists. Casein paint has been used since ancient Egyptian times as a form of tempera paint.
· Casein-based glues were popular for woodworking, including for aircraft, as late as the de Havilland Mosquito.
· Cheese is typically made when milk is acidified and then coagulated by the addition of rennet, a proteolytic enzyme typically obtained from the stomachs of calves. The solids are separated and pressed into final form.
· Some of the earliest plastics were based on casein. In particular, galalith was well-known for use in buttons. Fiber can be made from extruded casein. Lanital, a fabric made from casein fiber products, was particularly popular in Italy during the 1930s.
Potential Negative Impacts of Casein on Health
Gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet - Casein has a molecular structure quite similar to that of gluten. Thus, some gluten-free diets are combined with casein-free diets and referred to as a gluten-free, casein-free diet. Casein is often listed as sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate or milk protein. These are often found in energy bars, drinks, and packaged goods. NOTE: Since 1999, the website, www.GFCFDiet.com has been assisting parents & individuals with information about The "GFCF Diet".
A person may have a true allergy to dairy due to any of the numerous proteins or other substances in dairy. Lactose comes from the gut lining. Anything that disrupts the gut lining (inflammation, yeast, leaky gut, etc) may disrupt the production and release of lactase into the intestines. Then there is no enzyme to break down the lactose sugar properly...and you get an adverse reaction. NOTE: leaky gut results from celiac disease, so this may be another reason to avoid dairy if you have celiac.
Cancer - Colin Campbell's The China Study (2005), a book about one of the largest nutritional studies ever conducted, describes a direct correlation between casein administered to rats and the promotion of cancer cell growth when exposed to carcinogens.
Autism - Casein has been documented to break down to produce the peptide casomorphin, an opioid that appears to act primarily as a histamine releaser. Some research indicates that this casomorphine aggravates the symptoms of autism. A 2006 review of seven studies indicated that, although benefits were seen in all studies from the introduction of elimination diets (e.g., casein-free or gluten-free) in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders