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OPIOID versus Opiate Kratom is an OPIOID not an Opiate

An opiate, according to Wikipedia, "describes any of the narcotic opioid alkaloids found as natural products in the opium
poppy plant." So, an opiate must be an alkaloid, and must come from the poppy plant. Examples of opiates are morphine and
codeine. Heroin is a synthetic opiate made from morphine. Prolonged use of opiates causes physical dependance and
addiction. Death can occur from overdose. Abrupt abstinence from opiates causes withdrawal symptoms including agitation,
headaches, sweats, cramping, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
An opioid like Kratom, according to Wikipedia, is a "psychoactive chemical that works by binding to opioid receptors, which
are found principally in the central and peripheral nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract." So opioids are a larger class
of chemicals that include opiates. Our bodies can make their own opioids, e.g. endorphins. The effect of the opioid depends
upon its chemical structure, the actions its receptors initiate, the exposure level, the genetic makeup of an individual, and an
individual's gender, age, and biochemistry. There are clearly a number of variables to assess when determining an opioid's
effect.
Opiates and Opioids In Food
Wheat
Dr. William Davis of the Track Your Plaque site, and author of the recent "Wheat Belly," says that wheat contains an opiate
which is responsible for what he describes as wheat addiction. He identifies the protein gliadin as the opiate, and says:
"This opiate, while it binds to the opiate receptors of the brain, doesnt make us high. It makes us hungry."
- Opiate Of The Masses, April 18, 2012
From the definitions at the beginning of this post, gliadin is not an opiate because it doesn't originate from the poppy plant and
it is not technically an alkaloid, although it does contain nitrogen.
However, when the body digests gliadin, it produces a fragment peptide that, although not an opiate, can act like an opioid. It's
called gliadorphin or gluteomorphin.
Gluten, another protein in wheat (gluten is composed of gliadin and glutenin), when partially digested produces fragment
peptides that can also act as opioids, called gluten exorphins.
Dairy
There is a protein in cow's milk called casein which, when partially digested, produces a fragment peptide that acts like an
opioid, called casomorphin.
There are proteins in whey called -lactalbumin and -lactoglobulin, which, when partially digested, produce fragment
peptides that act as opioids, called -lactorphin and -lactorphin.
Meat
There is a protein in blood called hemoglobin which, when partially digested, produces a fragment peptide that acts like an
opioid, called hemorphin.
Green Plants
There is a protein in green plants, algae, and some bacteria called RuBisCO. It's an enzyme that assists in taking carbon from
the atmosphere and converting it into carbon-containing energy molecules like glucose. RuBisCO, when partially digested,
produces fragment peptides that act as opioids, called rubiscolins. The structure of 2 rubiscolins have been identified in
spinach, although RuBisCO from which rubiscolins are derived is abundant in nature.

Salt, Sugar, and Fat: The Hyperpalatable Combination


All of the opioid peptides above come from outside the body and are thought to be short-lived. In healthy people they're
broken down soon after formation and "have limited physiological activity." Also, peptides are fairly large molecules and don't
easily squeeze through a healthy, selectively permeable intestinal wall.
When it comes to food cravings, opioids that come from inside the body may be the real players. Former FDA Commissioner
and Harvard trained doctor Dr. David Kessler, in his book, The End of Overeating, says that salt, sugar, and dietary fat trigger
opioids in the brain which can contribute to overeating.
"The neurons in the brain that are stimulated by taste and other properties of highly palatable food are part of the opioid
circuitry, which is the body's primary pleasure system. The "opioids," also known as endorphins, are chemicals produced in
the brain that have rewarding effects similar to drugs such as morphine and heroine. Stimulating the opioid circuitry with food
drives us to eat."
...
In addition to their stimulating effects the opioids produced by eating high-sugar, high-fat foods can relieve pain or stress and
calm us down.
...
In a cyclical process, eating highly palatable food activates the opioid circuits, and activating these circuits increases
consumption of highly palatable food."

What I've learned:


Kratom does not contain opiates.
Many foods contain chemicals that have the potential to engage our opioid
circuitry (wheat, milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, spinach, lettuce, and other
greens), but the effect in a healthy person, if any, is probably weak and shortlived.
The body's endogenous opioids are pretty powerful.
Stimulating the brain's opioid circuitry performs a useful function.