a glass of dairy milk

Does Dairy Cause Inflammation?

Your choice of foods can have an impact on your health. While different foods provide different nutrition, some of them also can increase risks of diseases. Many food items including dairy cause inflammation of varying degrees.

The link between dairy and inflammation is interesting. Some ingredients in dairy can increase inflammation and others provide health benefits to reduce risks of certain diseases.

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is one of a defense mechanism to facilitate the healing process in the body.

It is a body’s response to an intruder such as a bacteria, virus or other unwanted organism which causes infection or an irritant that may cause injury to remove it to keep the body healthy.

While inflammation in such cases is very helpful, inflammation can also be damaging in some cases.

Chronic inflammation of any kind is certainly not good as it can cause chronic health problems.

Our body, sometimes, can perceive its own cells as harmful intruders and begins to respond. This leads to autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and many other conditions.

Chronic unwanted inflammation is the worst enemy of your good health.

Certain foods can cause inflammations so they can be avoided. But when they also have health benefits then it becomes difficult to completely avoid them.

So, what about milk, yogurt, cheese and a vast range of other dairy products ?

Well, dairy products do cause inflammation and their intensities vary from product to product.

But the real question is...

Does Dairy Cause Inflammation in Everyone?

Before we get into an answer let us see what dairy does to your health.

Some researchers have found that drinking milk and eating yogurt can lower the risk of gout. (1) Good!

In fact most of us grew up hearing that milk has calcium and vitamin D and is good for your bones. Yogurt has probiotics and is good for your gut.

But then…

Other research indicates that people who consume dairy and have osteoporosis will have higher risks of hip surgery (2) than those who don’t consume dairy. Bad!

Researchers have also found a link between milk consumption and acne and eczema.

Is all that because of inflammations? Yes.

There is much more supporting data for and against dairy which confuses about whether you should be eating dairy or not?

The issue becomes even more interesting as the new research indicates that dairy isn’t inflammatory in everyone.

Let us take a close look.

We already know that most foods can be allergic in certain circumstances to some people. Allergies and sensitivities to milk are common.

Some people can be allergic to gluten and milk proteins casein and whey.

Lactose intolerance from milk products is widely prevailing at both very young and old oge, though It is more prevalent in Asia than western world.

All kinds of allergic reactions are inflammatory responses of the body to heal the attack of allergens.

So what components of dairy cause inflammation?

Unfortunately, a little is known about what elements of dairy products might be helpful versus harmful.

What is known so far is that if you are allergic to milk then all dairy products can cause inflammations in varying degrees.

Scientists have found evidence that these inflammations from dairy can lead to acne and eczema.

On the other end if you don't have these allergies then dairy doesn’t seem to be inflammatory.

A recent 2017 review of 52 clinical studies, (3) concluded that dairy generally has inflammation in people with known allergies or intolerances, otherwise it is non-inflammatory.

Some studies have shown positive results for those who regularly consume cheese and fermented milk. These people were found at lower risks of heart disease, (4) heart attack and stroke as compared to those who didn’t consume above dairy regularly.

Should You Consume Dairy or Not?

If we go by the majority of research on dairy then you should consume dairy regularly as milk is beneficial for bone health as well as for cardiovascular health.
Low fat milk and fermented milk such as yogurt and cheese are generally good overall options for consumption. They provide sufficient calcium and other nutrients without the fat.
For those who cannot consume dairy due to allergies or inflammations should consume other calcium-rich foods.


Dairy is good for most people and even beneficial, but it may cause inflammation in those people who are allergic to milk proteins. Consult your doctor if you have any doubts about the impact of dairy on you.


1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2000819/

2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408398.2019.1590800

3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26287637/

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4703621/