FAB RESEARCH COMMENT:
Gluten (a protein found in wheat and other grains) and casein (one of the major proteins in milk) are both found abundantly in modern, western-type diets. When digested, both are broken down into smaller fragments known as peptides - some of which have been shown to activate the same signalling pathways as opioid drugs such as morphine.
Research and clinical observations have long suggested that for some people, consumption of gluten and casein might contribute to physical and/or mental symptoms associated with various conditions, including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia - although direct evidence for so-called 'opioid theories' of either autism or schizophrenia remains limited, and precise mechanisms unknown.
This new study suggests one possible mechanism for such effects, as it shows that opioid peptides derived from either gluten or the form of casein found in cows' milk (known as A1 beta-casein) can limit the ability of cells to absorb an amino acid (cysteine) that is needed to make a key substance within the body called glutathione, important for antioxidant defences.
Find the related research article here:
See also details of the FAB Research conference where Dr Trivedi presented these and other findings
Questioning Answers blogspot discussion of the research paper can be found here