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Dairy and Inflammation

Dairy doesn’t drive up inflammation, a review study suggests.

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Cup of milk to show the link between dairy and inflammation

Inflammation is a player in a variety of chronic conditions, so people tend to pay attention to all the internet chatter about dairy and inflammation.

But a systematic review shows consuming milk and its ilk appears not to stoke the flame and may even have beneficial effects on inflammation in the body.

For the study review on in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers analyzed 27 trials that focused on dairy products’ effect on inflammatory markers—items such as C-reactive protein that are a tip-off to higher inflammation. Dairy consumption included milk, yogurt, cheese, and proteins from milk including casein and whey.

None of these studies suggested that consuming dairy increases inflammation. In fact, some of the studies included in the review reported a reduction in at least one biomarker of inflammation. You have to wonder, though, if the same results would hold true if the focus was on dairy that includes high amounts of added sugar like chocolate milk and most flavored yogurts.

See also: Inflammation: Obesity, Diabetes, Aging and Exercise


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Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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