How do dairy products affect the development of inflammation? (Image: pilipphoto / Stock.Adobe.com)
Influence of dairy products on inflammation
Dairy products are often considered an anti-inflammatory food, but recent research suggests the opposite may be the case. Milk, cheese, and yogurt even seem to protect against inflammation in some cases.
Dairy products appear to protect against inflammation rather than promote it, according to a new study involving nutrition researchers at the National Dairy Council. The study was published in the English-language journal “Journal of the American College of Nutrition”.
27 studies were evaluated
In the systematic review study, the results of 27 randomized controlled studies were assessed, which examined the influence of dairy products and milk protein on inflammation in the body. Of the 19 studies that analyzed the effects of dairy products on the body, ten reported no effect on inflammation and eight reported a reduction of at least one biomarker of inflammation.
Does Consuming Milk Protein Cause Inflammation?
Of the eight studies that exclusively looked at the link between milk protein intake and inflammation, none reported such a link, the researchers point out. Yet dairy products are often associated with inflammation, primarily due to the saturated fat and lactose in these foods.
The researchers point out that the new study is the third systematic review article in the past three years to show that dairy products have a neutral to beneficial effect on inflammation.
Health Benefits of Milk
Milk contains nine essential nutrients including vitamin D, calcium and potassium, all of which help maintain healthy bones. Additionally, consumption of dairy products has been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. It is believed that these diseases are all caused, at least in part, by chronic inflammation.
What foods cause inflammation?
A diet consisting mainly of plant-based foods seems to be the key to fighting inflammation. On the other hand, processed foods such as meat products and snacks with high levels of added sugar and refined grains can contribute to chronic inflammation if eaten regularly and for long periods of time. Dairy products have also been suspected here, but this has not been confirmed and they actually appear to be anti-inflammatory. (as)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of specialized medical literature, medical directives and ongoing studies and has been verified by healthcare professionals.
Kristin M. Nieman, Barbara D. Anderson, Christopher J. Cifelli: The Effects of Dairy Product and Dairy Protein Intake on Inflammation: A Systematic Review of the Literature, in Journal of the American College of Nutrition (published September 1, 2020), Journal of the American College of Nutrition
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.