Dairy is one of those big bad wolves, along with gluten, that tends to get villainized. Many people cut it out of their diets without really understanding how it affects them. Historically, the biggest argument against eating dairy has been that it’s inflammatory, and we know that chronic inflammation is linked to most chronic conditions with which nearly 125 million Americans are living with. But here’s the thing—dairy isn’t inflammatory in everyone, newer research shows.
Milking the nutritional truth out of the research around dairy is, ironically, harder than you’d think. We’re diving into exactly what you need to know about the effects of dairy on the body and the connection between dairy and inflammation.
Does dairy cause inflammation?
If you have a dairy allergy, lactose intolerance, IBS, SIBO, gluten intolerance or intestinal permeability, there is evidence that dairy can promote an inflammatory response when consumed. Additionally, research supports that there is a positive link between milk consumption and the occurrence of acne and potentially eczema. For Parsley Health members with any of these conditions, we usually recommend following a dairy free diet to help alleviate symptoms.
However, overall research does not support the notion that dairy is inflammatory for people who do not have any of these conditions.
In fact, a 2017 review that evaluated 52 clinical studies, concluded that dairy generally has anti-inflammatory effects, except in people with known allergies or intolerances.
Additional studies have found that people who regularly consumed cheese and fermented milk products were actually at lower risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes (all diseases that have been linked to increased levels of chronic inflammation).
For Parsley Health members that do not have known allergies or intolerances, that doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all on dairy, though.
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