Dairy Products and Phlegm

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Yesterday I went for the first time ever to an acupuncturist. I highly recommend going to one if you ever want to feel what it's like to be a just-pressed blue cheese. One of the ailments I wanted him to address was chronic sinus infections. The first question he asked when I mentioned that was, "Do you eat a lot of dairy?" How does a curd nerd who writes a cheese blog answer a question like that? Honestly, it turns out...

I did some poking around today, only to discover that the common belief that dairy consumption leads to increased phlegm production might actually be apocryphal. According to a 1990 study published in the American Review of Respiratory Disease, "Milk and dairy product intake was not associated with an increase in upper or lower respiratory tract symptoms of congestion or nasal secretion weight. A trend was observed for cough, when present, to be loose with increasing milk and dairy product intake; however, this effect was not statistically significant at the 5% level. Those who believe "milk makes mucus" or reduce milk intake with colds reported significantly more cough and congestion symptoms, but they did not produce higher levels of nasal secretions. We conclude that no statistically significant overall association can be detected between milk and dairy product intake and symptoms of mucus production in healthy adults, either asymptomatic or symptomatic, with rhinovirus infection."

Keep eating cheese, everyone!