The Truth About… Milk and Congestion

Allergy season is here with a vengeance and if you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies you’re willing to try just about anything to clear up that stuffy head.

But contrary to what your mom (and 5th grade choir teacher) may have told you, milk, yogurt and other dairy products do not increase mucus production. Study after study has concluded that there’s no connection between dairy products and phlegm. That said, people who believe milk increases mucus production generally report more congestion symptoms after drinking milk. Scientists chalk that up to the viscous consistency of milk. The myth supposedly dates back to “Treatise on Asthma,” a book written by Moses Maimonides in the Middle Ages. Interestingly, Maimonides also wrote about treating a cold with chicken soup–an enduring home remedy that has proven scientifically meaningful.