My Experience With Beta-Casomorphin 7

How Environmental Factors Could Act As  Triggers For Visual Snow

The Human Brain Is Vulnerable To Environmental Influences.

A key gathering from a recent review on visual snow of which the significance may have been overlooked is that there appears to be a common onset in adolescence (my personal experience as well). This suggests that visual snow could in some cases be a developmental disorder of the GABAergic system.

The brain goes through several phases of maturation and varying plasticity, during which neural synchrony and functioning is determined.  Interneurons responsible for GABAergic inhibition are maturing during these periods and this maturation can be pathologically disrupted through a variety of mechanisms to create a cortical hyperexcitability, and altered neuronal oscillations. The specific nature and location of an interneuron dysfunction can lead to particular neural circuit abnormalities and is hypothesised to be involved in disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, Tourette’s syndrome, and epilepsy.

Parvalbumin expressing interneurons in the brain, responsible for inhibition and network oscillations, and with a direct role in visual perception, mature particularly slowly and this protracted maturation leaves them vulnerable before adulthood. Synaptic reorganization, hormonal changes, and environmental stresses can combine to interfere with this maturation, alter plasticity and eventually create a unique neuronal imbalance. Adolescence is in this sense a period which threatens itself.

If BCM7 is as hypothesised a possible trigger for visual snow then there is a broad range of aforementioned possible changes resulting from BCM7 which may start a cascade of events leading up to a specific interneuron insult in visual snow. For example oxidative stress is being considered as a primary catalyst of this process in schizophrenia.

    • Neuromodulation + Hormone effects
    • Oxidative stress
    • Inflammation
    • Immune activation
  • Epigenetic changes
Beta casomorphin 7 goes through a direct route to the brain via the gut and may exert an opioid effect to which some may be more sensitive. Alternatively the opioid peptide can contribute to oxidative stress, inflammation, epigenetic changes, immunomodulation and affect areas outside the brain to facilitate the direct pathway or disrupt neural circuits through more indirect non-opioid means.
Beta-casomorphin 7 may contribute to visual snow through opioid effects along a direct route to the brain or through more indirect contributory mechanisms such as epigenetic changes, inflammation and immunomodulation. Along the way various factors could determine how much of the opioid and non-opioid effects “filter through”. These effects are not necessarily unique to BCM7.

The progression of these changes may appear asymptomatic because at the neuronal level there is a certain level of resistance during maturation. Regarding other non-visual symptoms opioid peptides mask their own effects.

In this case an accelerated version of this progressive process could be seen in the very young if they are formula fed, whereas later adult onsets are in general probably indicative of extra environmental or age related triggers. This is hypothesised to be the case in late onset schizophrenia, which is generally believed to have less “negative” symptoms (e.g. depression) but more “positive” symptoms (e.g. hallucinations) and this too may be similar with later onsets of visual snow.

The differentiating factor for a susceptibility towards visual snow specifically is probably genetic but epigenetic changes linked with environmental factors may provide clues to this.

Risk Factors

In line with this hypothesis, certain people would be at greater risk from BCM7 according to five key factors. Variations in these may affect their visual snow severity and age of onset.

A1 Beta-Casein Sensitivity

Sensitivity can be commonly mistaken for lactose intolerance or may appear asymptomatic as discussed. Specific cow breeds, but also processing and fermentation processes may affect BCM7 content, there is less known about BCM7 from cheese for example. Aside from opioid peptides, bovine dairy has other bioactive compounds such as amines, mycotoxins, hormones, somatic cells , interleukins, which are more controlled but are also additional risks to general health.

Opioid Sensitivity

Example contributory factors: Variations in opioid receptor genes can increase their expression and our sensitivity to opioids – e.g. CSNK1E. Variations in receptor density (opioid, GABA, dopamine etc.) Gene mutations e.g. DRD4, EAAT3. Protein Kinase A, Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase, mitigate some of the epigenetic effects of BCM7.

Permissive Gut Factors

Example contributory factors: Antibiotics and other medication. Diet. Allergies. Poorly functioning vagus nerve – caused by e.g. muscular and posture imbalances (why neck stretches may help). A weakened immune system. Chronic inflammation. Dysbiosis of gut bacteria. Oxidative stress. Enzyme deficiency – e.g. peptidase, DPPIV. Hormonal imbalances.

Brain Plasticity

Secondary Environmental Stresses + Pre-existing Medical Conditions

E.g. Pollution, emotional stress, genetic diseases

Written and researched by Neil Salata, with help and input from Nina Salata M.D – both have visual snow

DISCLAIMER: This website contains the opinions and ideas of its authors. It is intended to provide helpful and informative material. Readers should consult their doctor before implementing any suggestions. The authors specifically disclaim all responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of reading this material.

1 thought on “My Experience With Beta-Casomorphin 7”

  1. Thank you so much for this information! My daughter is 12 and just got this rare disease Oct 2017, it’s getting worse week by week so anything helps. We are starting this dairy free diet plan to see if it gives her benefit. Thank you again !

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