The Checkup: Why You Might Want to Give Up Milk

New York Times writer Mark Bittman is on a crusade to spread the word: Milk might be doing more harm than good for your health.

• I usually don’t reserve this space in my morning Checkup posts for opinion pieces, but this series of two, by New York Times foodie Mark Bittman, was too interesting to pass up. It all started earlier this month when Bittman used his column inches to talk about a little food experiment he’d been running on himself. Bittman, a lifelong heartburn sufferer, decided three months ago to give up dairy in hopes that it might ease his heart burn troubles. “Twenty-four hours later, my heartburn was gone,” he wrote. “Never, it seems, to return.” Not surprisingly, the column elicited a huge response, with readers—he says 1,300 of them—writing to say they’d dropped milk, too, and saw all manner of ailments vanish, from migraines to IBS to chronic sinus infections and more. Interesting. Interesting to me, I think, because I’ve long wondered if a milk intolerance—or some other food intolerance—could be to blame for my frequent headaches and, to be perfectly honest, digestive issues. A pediatrician recommended that I quit milk when I was younger, so I’ve largely laid off the liquid stuff. But I still get dairy in the form of cheese and other milk-laden products. (No yogurt or ice cream, though—I know for a fact my body hates those foods.) But maybe I should try cutting out cheese and things, too, to see what it does. Or perhaps I should try quitting that other other known food pest, gluten. What do you think? Have you cut out certain foods only to find your chronic ailments suddenly alleviated? What food experiments have you run on yourself? I’d love to hear your stories.

• Other things you might consider quitting? Drinks that mix alcohol with caffeine. This study found it can lead to some, um, unsavory behavior.

• Super-awesome technology alert: an “eye writer” that allows people who have lost the ability to move their arms to write with their eyes.