It’s common to hear sites like PETA, or Natural News, or whatnot, repeat this claim ad nauseam. “milk is the leading cause of allergies in children” you hear them say, claiming that milk consumption is linked with asthma (and a wide list of other ailments, including Autism).
But what is the evidence behind this claim? Well, quack science and quotes by “Natural” toting “alternative medicine” quack scientists. Quoting from a book entitled “Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing” is not wonderful evidence for anything and just makes the movement this is quoted for look bad. But what does the science actually say?
“Current evidence does not directly link milk consumption and asthma.” says one study which showed that BELIEVING that milk causes allergic symptoms, causes allergic symptoms. Another study from 1998 showed that milk does not exasperate allergies either. Another study done in 1990 said the same thing.
Now if you already have a milk allergy, you can get asthma from the consumption of milk, but as of yet, there is no evidence showing that milk in and of itself causes asthma, or a worsening of asthma, in people who do not have milk allergies. In fact, a Cross-sectional Multi-centre study spanning almost 15,000 children in Europe showed that drinking farm milk, otherwise known as Raw Milk, was beneficial to preventing the onset of allergies. But then again, the study does not mention if they accounted for the fact that kids who drink the most farm milk are more likely to live in or around farms, and exposure to allergens causes resistance, and thus alleviates allergies. It’s hard to grow an immunity if you are not exposed.
Another theory is that drinking milk increases mucus and phlegm production, thus causing athsma. As of this date, that is known as a medical myth, and no evidence exists that supports it.
So in short, ilk CAN cause athsma if you are already allergic to milk proteins, but that is all. It does not cause asthma, and probably doesn’t even cure them.