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Got Milk! How about increase mucus?

Mucus is produced by goblet cells which are found inside the respiratory tract (nose, sinuses and lungs), small intestine, colon and conjunctiva. It is made of water, salts, and glycoproteins that help to trap dirt and germs.  You develop post nasal drip as mucus is moved down the throat by microscopic cells called cilia. Excessive mucus caused by allergies or infections can trigger cough, throat irritation, sore throat and hoarseness.

Some people complain when drinking milk and eating dairy products, their throat feels coated and mucus is thicker and harder to swallow. While it may feel like it, there is little data to conclude milk and soy does in fact increase mucus production. In one study looking at the relationship between milk intake and mucus production, participants infected with the common cold virus reported symptoms of increased in mucus production after drinking milk, but when their mucus production was actually measured there was no statistical difference. In another study, there was no difference in the sensation experienced between drinking soy milk and cow's milk. These feelings can occur with similar liquids of the same thickness and texture, and are not due to increased production of mucus. Symptoms of cow’s milk allergy are very different which include symptoms of anaphylaxis such as hives, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, throat/tongue swelling or a drop in blood pressure.  

Milk and other dairy products are an important source of calcium, vitamin D and other minerals needed for developing strong teeth and bones. Frozen dairy products can be soothing with a sore throat and provide calories when children might not otherwise eat.  People taking it out unnecessarily can limit their meal choices and more importantly cause nutritional deficiency such as Vitamin D deficiency and osteoporosis.

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