Ask Dr. Dairy: Does Dairy Cause Inflammation?
In this series, Dr. Greg Miller, Ph.D., FACN, answers some common questions received from the health and wellness community.
Question: Does eating dairy cause inflammation?
Answer: The current scientific evidence suggests the opposite may be true. While acute inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection, when we talk about dairy or any other foods in the context of inflammation, we are talking about low-grade chronic inflammation, which can be related to changes in the immune system. These changes can impact the body in a number of ways and are most specifically linked to serious metabolic disorders such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.
While an emerging area of science, a growing body of research has shown that eating the recommended amounts of dairy foods as part of a nutrient-rich, balanced eating plan is not linked to inflammation. For example, a study conducted among Canadian adults with low-grade systemic inflammation found short-term consumption of low- and high-fat dairy foods as part of a healthy eating plan had no adverse effects on inflammation.
Though “anti-inflammatory diets” are trendy, it’s important to remember that combatting chronic inflammation involves more than individual nutrients or foods. Maintaining health is about having an overall healthful eating pattern and lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight, among other factors. The available research seems to indicate fat-free and low-fat dairy foods can be part of such a lifestyle.
If you have a question on dairy foods and health you would like me to answer in an upcoming column, please leave it in the comment section below or send me a message on Twitter @DrDairy50.