Truth or Myth: dairy increases mucus?Register Today!
- by RNsRWe Apr 19, '08I heard all my life that if you have a cold, you should avoid dairy products because they increase mucus production. That if you're already 'phlegmmy' you shouldn't have any dairy.
And then an acquaintance tells me that that's all horse-poo, that the latest research indicates all that is either a myth or old wives' tale, or whatever. I only listened because he's quite the track and field athlete, and seems he'd know if dairy did increase the secretions; he swears by all dairy products and doesn't avoid them when sick and never had an issue with extra mucus production.
Anyone know for sure, not just what they believe because they were told this? What's a reliable source to find out if it's FACT, or CR*P? Would love to know!
- Apr 19, '08 by FireStarterRNMy mother always told me this. Recently one of our doctors told me the same. Not sure if it's true.
I know that milk products taste yucky when I have a cold. I think it makes mucous, that's my personal opinion.Last edit by FireStarterRN on Apr 19, '08
- Apr 19, '08 by czyjaQuote from RNsRWeThis one is a CR*P.Anyone know for sure, not just what they believe because they were told this? What's a reliable source to find out if it's FACT, or CR*P? Would love to know!
Wuthrich et al report in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition that "milk consumption does not lead to mucus production of occurrrence of asthma."
There may be many reason why a person might wish to avoid milk - high calories, lactose intolerance. But mucus production it bunk. Sadly this myth continues to be propagated by many alternative medicine practitioners.
- Apr 19, '08 by Becca608Seems to me that we were taught last year that dairy products do not cause phlegm to form, but can make present phlegm thicken. Here is a supporting link:
Others advise against this practice:
This is a chicken-egg argument with dime thrown in (food allergies). I think it will be debated for a long time. Personal experience has taught me that dairy does not cause phlegm, but it does make it worse. And sour cream makes it the absolute worst. If I have no phlegm from asthma or GERD, dairy does not bother me.
- Apr 19, '08 by perfectbluebuildingsI agree with the previous poster... it doesn't increase mucous production but does make mucous thicker. I have experienced this myself when I have a cold, as well as, with many patients at work with RSV who do better in the worst stages of it taking Pedialyte instead of their formula.
- Apr 19, '08 by RNsRWeSo, although it does NOT increase mucus production, the warning away from the dairy products might be warranted in that it thickens secretions. Which, to the average person, is equivalent (we know it's not the same, but you get the layman's general idea).
If someone's already congested and snotty, chances are they aren't going to want to have thicker secretions (even if there's not more of it). I'd like to look into it further, and will read the link about the thickening "00000" posted, but can't just this minute.
If anyone else has anything factual to add, it'd be appreciated. I know the personal anecdotes, would really just like to have that definitive, evidence-based stuff to throw out at my patients when needed. Thanks!
- Apr 19, '08 by czyjaQuote from RNsRWeThe paper I cited above suggests that mucus is not increased nor is it thickened. They did, however, find that dairy can make mucus whiter in color. Because the mucus is more visible pt's think there is more and/or thicker. This makes sense.So, although it does NOT increase mucus production, the warning away from the dairy products might be warranted in that it thickens secretions...
If anyone else has anything factual to add, it'd be appreciated...would really just like to have that definitive, evidence-based stuff to throw out at my patients when needed. Thanks!
I hate to move off topic (well not really) but the misinformation spread by some (and I repeat some, not all) alternative practitioners contravenes logic. Food is largely broken down to a molecular level by digestion. So if the fats, proteins, and sugars contained in milk are broken down how could they affect the body differently than a steak? To my knowledge the only thing "different" about milk is that it has lactose.
Another one I come across a lot her in Cali is the from the colonic irrigation advocates. They suggest that meat somehow gets "stuck" in the colon, remaining there for "years." Colonoscopy has long shown this to be false, yet the myth persists. And folks spend a lot of money lavaging their gut - silly IMHO. There are many sound reasons for not eating meat - having it stick in your colon is not one of them.
- Apr 19, '08 by etfI looked this one up. I googled "milk vs mucus, milk and mucus".
Milk is thicker than water thereby giving mucus a thicker sensation but does not make mucus thicker.