Ask Dr. Dairy: Does Dairy Cause Inflammation?

March 23, 2017

In this series, Dr. Greg Miller, Ph.D., FACN, answers some common questions received from the health and wellness community. 

Question: Does eating dairy foods lead to inflammation?

Answer: The current scientific evidence suggests the opposite may be true. When we talk about dairy or any other foods in the context of inflammation, we are talking about low-grade chronic inflammation, which can be related to changes in the immune system and is linked to serious metabolic disorders such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

A growing body of research has demonstrated eating an adequate amount of dairy foods as part of a nutrient-rich, balanced eating plan is not linked to inflammation. For example, a study conducted among Canadian adults with low-grade systemic inflammation found short-term consumption of a combination of low- and high-fat dairy foods as part of a healthy eating plan had no adverse effects on inflammation.

Though “anti-inflammatory diets” are trendy, it’s important to remember combatting chronic inflammation involves more than individual nutrients or foods. It’s about having an overall healthful eating pattern and lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight, among other factors. The available research seems to indicate fat-free and low-fat dairy foods can be part of such a lifestyle.


If you have a question on dairy foods and health you would like me to answer in an upcoming column, please leave it in the comment section below or send me a message on Twitter @DrDairy50