Science & Mathematics » Biology » Why does cow's milk make people cough/more phlegmy?

Why does cow's milk make people cough/more phlegmy?

(Could be other milks too but I have little experience with them.)

Most if not all of us in the western world have experienced coughing or gunk in our trachea/throats after drinking milk. In my case (and a few others I know) if I already have a cold a glass of milk can turn a little tickle into an hour or so of hacking and coughing.

Lots of pediatricians see babies and children with constant ear infections get well when they go off of milk.

What is the **mechanism** that makes this happen? Does it thicken phlegm? Cause you to produce more, or produce it in different places in your respiratory tract?

I found one site that claims a study showing this effect does not exist (but then fails give a reference!) I admit this is anecdotal, but it is SO pervasive that I think it is anecdotal in the same way that "diet can impact acne in puberty" is anecdotal.

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