Should Kids Avoid Milk During Colds?

Ariana Taylor

Just two weeks ago when my kids had colds, my neighbor told me, “Well, just don’t give them milk or cheese. It will just make it harder for them to breathe.” I nodded, having heard this many times before. Then I started to think about it. Was this common knowledge based in fact? I had to find out.
Should Kids Avoid Milk During ColdsPhoto by samer daboul from Pexels

After some digging, I found that I wasn’t the only one who was looking to see if this was an old wives’ tale. Several studies have been done to see consuming dairy products was linked to respiratory mucus production.

Mommy Myth: Drinking Milk Creates More Respiratory Mucus.

The Studies

There was a 1991 study that tested asthmatics’ versus healthy individuals’ affects to milk. The participants were given whole milk, skim milk, or water, and then their reactions were observed. No one had reactions to the skim milk or water, but a few of the asthmatics had reactions to the whole milk. This seemed to give some credence to the myth.

As a follow up to the last study, research was done in 1998 to test 20 people with asthma and their reactions to milk. Half of the participants said prior to the study that their asthma became worse when ingesting milk products, and half said they had no reaction. All were first tested for milk allergies, as that would give a false positive. They were then given a drink but no one knew if they were drinking milk or a placebo. It was found that there was no noticeable effect with cow’s milk to anyone’s asthma, even if they had originally thought they were negatively affected. So, that seems to say that milk doesn’t affect the respiratory system.

Studies continue to be done on the subject. One tested how quickly milk absorbs and if that can cause problems with respiratory mucus. Another looked for a correlation between mucus in the gut and mucus in the respiratory tract. None of those have shown conclusive evidence that milk causes more mucus.

The Truth

So, of all of the studies done, the evidence seems to say there is no link between milk and respiratory mucus problems. This seems especially so if the participant does not have asthma.

It seems that this common knowledge is a myth after all. And my kids were happy to once again be allowed their beloved cheese even when they had colds.

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Ariana Taylor a health, fitness expert and personal trainer, life coach, blogger, my mission is to cut through the sound in the health and fitness industry and to empower women to create supportable solutions for mental health, happiness, and self-as

Los Angeles County, CA

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