Milk Does Cause A Cold To Be Worse

October 30, 2018

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For centuries, people have thought that drinking milk or eating dairy products when they have a cold worsens symptoms by increasing mucus in the nose and throat. Now there's proof. Nearly a thousand years ago a 12th-century physician wrote that milk caused ‘a stuffing in the head’ and further backed up in 1946 when Dr Benjamin Spock advocated that children with chest problems avoid milk. However there was really very little scientific proof of those claims, until now. Research has shown for the first time that drinking milk does appear to make symptoms worse, at least for those dealing with a lot of mucus. Mucus is produced by cells within the nose, sinuses and lungs, and consists of water, salt and proteins that are packed with antibacterial enzymes, which traps dirt and kills germs.  However too much mucus, usually triggered by infections or allergies, can mean it continually drips down the back of the throat (known as post-nasal drip). This excess can lead to a cough, sore throat and a husky voice. Scientist recruited people who had complained of increased mucus secretions. They were all put on a dairy-free diet, with no milk, cheese, or butter for six days. All the volunteers experienced a reduction in mucus levels in the first two dairy-free days. From day three, half drank 12 fl. oz. of full-fat cow’s milk a day for the remaining four days, while the rest drank 12 fl. oz. of soy milk. Both milks were flavored, so patients did not know which they were drinking. By day seven, the group of people who were drinking whole milk reported mucus levels back to where they were before the test while those who drank the soy milk stayed low. One theory for milk’s apparent effect on mucus is that it contains beta-casein A1, a protein that activates the genes responsible for mucus production. However there are some physicians that are concerned that children not drinking enough milk are losing out on valuable calcium.  In any case, discuss with your doctor if you should restrict milk from your child if they are suffering a cold and/or excessive mucus.

SOURCE: Daily Mail

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