Should you drink milk when you have a cold or flu?

The simple answer is no.

More generous answer is that drinking milk or eating food consisting lots of fiber is not a good idea when you have an infection or need your immune system to fight for you.

To explain it better, we should know how our immune system works.  Our study that led to the development of AllerPops provides a good explanation for this purpose.

Do you want to become the few who know this God’s secret? You may read the article here,

Our immune system is like a car with an accelerator to speed it up and brakes to slow it down. Pathogens stimulate the immune system so it can protect us from infectious diseases and probiotics (friendly bacteria) slow it down when there is no infection. Like the car, our immune system is designed to be parked most of the time by the brake — our probiotics.

Our immune system operates in the gut (70%), airway (25%) and under our skin. Different probiotics live in these biological niches and send signals to pacify our immune system. The peace agreement between probiotics and the immune system is the foundation for us to live peacefully in the environment.

The main food for the gut probiotics is fiber. Milk contains oligosaccharides, fibers that are evolutionarily designed to be food for probiotics dominant in the infant’s gut. Adults usually have these bacteria at a relatively lower level. Drinking milk may promote them to grow and send more pacifying signals to your immune system surrounding the guts.

Depending on where the infection is, milk may delay your recovery. Milk may worsen your gut infection in an obvious way or contribute to your airway infection in a very mild way.

If you have severe infection or have been fighting your cold for a while, not drinking milk and not eating food with lots of fiber will help you. Luckily, if you have an infection you usually don’t have much appetite. That means your digestion capability will be reduced as well, so look for foods that are easy to digest.

Finally, here are foods to eat when you have an infection:

1.     Water.

2.     White rice porridge.

3.     Noodles.

4.     Soup.

5.     Food with less fiber, such as peanut butter and jelly white bread sandwiches.

#    More intense oral hygiene, such as tongue scraping and mouthwash, will also help. Please read other related blogs here, or

The result of eating food with less fiber will be starving (curing) your cold/flu/other infection through starving your probiotics, the brakes of your immune system.

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