Bovine casomorphin from cow’s milk is suspected to increase the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome, or crib death) based on the elevated blood levels in babies suffering acute life-threatening events and their relative inability to clear it from their systems.
Cow’s Milk Casomorphin and Crib Death , 4.8 out of 5 based on 4 ratings
This report on cows' milk induced infant apnea, thought due to the opiate-like effects of bovine casomorphin in milk, was just a single case report. It was so provocative, though, researchers immediately started testing other kids. SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome, also known as crib death, is the leading cause of death for healthy infants after one month of age. 1 in every 2000 American babies die this way. Every day 6 babies stop crying and 6 parents start
Most susceptible, are infants exposed to several postnatal factors, sleeping on their stomach, second-hand smoke, and high sleep room temperatures, but It is supposed that in some cases of SIDS, it is cows’ milk that may play a certain role. It is also suspected that b-casomorphins hold a direct responsibility for that situation.
Beta casomorphins are biologically active with, as its name suggests, effects similar to that of morphine. Penetration of b-casomorphins into the infant’s immature central nervous system may inhibit the respiratory centre in the brainstem leading to abnormal ventilatory responses, hypercapnia, which means too much carbon dioxide, hypoxia—not enough oxygen, apnoea, and death.
So what they did was study infants who had recurrent life-threatening episodes—meaning apnea, where they stop breathing, or turn blue, or become limp, etc. These are the kinds of events that place babies at high risk for SIDS.
The blood levels of bovine casomorphin in the babies with acute life threatening events averaged three times higher than healthy babies. Why? Well, there’s an enzyme that gets rid of caso-morphin, and the activity of that enzyme in the affected group was only half that of the healthy kids. And so some babies may just not be able to clear it out of their systems fast enough and are placed at risk for death.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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For an introduction to bovine casomorphin, see yesterday's video. Tomorrow I'll conclude this 3-part video series on the so-called "milk-apnea effect," with a discussion of the role this morphine-like compound may play in other conditions, including autism. Casomorphins are also mentioned in my Is Milk and Mucus A Myth? video. And as always there are also hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects.
For more context, check out my associated blog post, Cow’s Milk Casomorphin, Crib Death, and Autism.