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11 Almond Milk Side Effects

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Almonds are the richest source of several essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc., that may help your body stay healthy and active.

Similarly, almond milk is one such vegan milk that may offer numerous health benefits to keep the metabolism high.

Hence, it would be best to consider consuming such beverages in your diet. But, with multiple benefits, the drink comes with a few side effects that could turn dangerous for some people.

Therefore, this article has collectively listed some of the common side effects observed due to almond milk consumption.

Almond Milk Side Effects

List of Almond Milk Side Effects

  1. May Cause Digestive Problems

    Almond milk is a highly nutritious beverage with several health benefits. But, consuming almond milk in excess may cause multiple stomach problems.

    Some experts say excessive almond consumption may lead to health issues like nausea, irregular bowel movements, stomach discomfort, dysentery, etc.

    They believe high almond milk consumption may boost your body with a high amount of essential nutrients resulting in such stomach conditions.

    Commercially, several almond milk manufacturers prefer using an additive called carrageenan. But, research[1] has shown the compound may lead to gastrointestinal distress in consumers.

    Though carrageenan is a natural plan-based compound extracted from red seaweed, it may cause digestive issues.

    Some research suggests that the carbohydrate addition to almond milk would make it indigestible.

  2. May Be Problematic For People With Tree Nut Allergies

    You may develop an allergy to certain substances in which your immune system may react abnormally to the unknown substance.

    Similarly, some people may have allergies to nuts, especially nuts grown on trees. Here, the almond is a tree nut that may cause several severe allergic reactions in consumers.

    Research[2] shows that tree nuts like almonds may cause several moderate to fatal allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).

    Generally, the allergic reactions linked to almonds are hives, runny nose, nausea, lip swelling, skin itching, rashes, tightening of the throat, etc.

    But, the severity of allergic reactions may lead to difficult or noisy breathing, persistent cough, regular collapse, etc.

    You may observe these symptoms within two hours of almond milk consumption. Hence, it would help if you rush to the hospital or consult any doctor for further necessary actions in such cases.

  3. May Cause Abdominal Pain and Bloating

    Digesting milk isn’t an easy task for every individual. You may know that some people resist the consumption of milk.

    Do you know why? Some people prefer not to drink milk due to a condition known as lactose intolerance.

    In such situations, the person isn’t able to digest lactose (a sugar) primarily found in milk which causes abdominal pain and further complications.

    When you consume almond milk, it passes through the gastrointestinal tract for digestion. During the process, the milk irritates the stomach lining, which causes abdominal pain.

    It may worsen bloating and discomfort in some people, while a few may experience nausea-like symptoms.

    On the other hand, some companies use compounds like soy lecithin, guar gum, etc., that may cause digestive issues[3] like irritable bowel syndrome.

  4. May Elevate Blood Sugar Level

    Almond milk is a healthy beverage with multiple benefits. The drink contains numerous vitamins and minerals essential for various metabolic activities in the body.

    The naturally or unsweetened form of almond milk does not contain any added sugars or carbohydrates, hence, it is excellent and safe for diabetic and healthy consumers.

    But, commercially prepared almond milk may contain sugar or carbs to enhance the flavor.

    The sweetened almond milk may have a similar nutritional value, but the sugar content would make it unsafe for diabetic or sugar-sensitive consumers.

    Hence, consuming sweetened almond milk or sweetened beverages may cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels, which could harm several diabetic individuals, as per this study[4].

  5. May Be Harmful To Thyroid Gland

    Multiple studies have revealed that switching from cow to almond milk may cause thyroid issues.

    Almond milk consumption may lead to decreased thyroid hormone production in healthy individuals and hypothyroidism patients.

    The paper[5] shows that iodine is an essential micronutrient that helps the well-being of the thyroid gland and its functions. Moreover, the crucial element also works as an effective disinfectant in the body.

    Hence, scarcity of iodine in the body may lead to reduced thyroid hormone production and other metabolic activities.

    Almond milk supplies a comparatively lower amount of iodine to the body resulting in a reduced thyroid function, as per the study[6] conducted on different milk alternatives.

    Moreover, immediate switching from cow milk to almond milk may cause a significant drop in iodine levels resulting in a harmful impact on thyroid health.

  6. May Not Suit Babies And Children

    Some parents prefer switching from breastmilk to almond milk at the infant stage of their baby. But, it’s never a great idea to do so, as breast milk is sufficient for an infant to grow and meet its nutritional needs.

    Some experts[7] suggest that replacing breast milk with almond milk may lead to malnutrition and weakness in the baby.

    Moreover, at the infant stage, the baby isn’t ready to digest multiple vitamins, amino acids, and minerals like an adult, hence, feeding them almond milk may cause digestive issues.

    Here, mothers may prefer a smooth transition as the baby grows, like switching slowly from breast milk to cow milk and then almond milk.

    A notice issued by the FDA[8] mentioned that children consuming almond milk may not observe significant benefits.

    Moreover, almond milk may cause further complications at a later stage in their life. But, it isn’t a proven fact, hence, additional studies are required.

  7. May Cause Health Issues During Pregnancy

    Consuming almond milk during pregnancy may cause several health issues and complications.

    Some research has shown that women drinking almond milk during pregnancy may experience an accumulation of fat that could lead to obesity.

    Hence, obesity in a pregnant lady may lead to several other unwanted health conditions like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, etc.

    The sweetened or commercially manufactured almond milk may increase the blood sugar level during pregnancy.

    Almond milk is a low-calorie beverage whose consumption may not meet the immediate calorie requirements[9].

    Hence, consuming almond milk may lead to fatigue and low energy in pregnant women. Therefore, a pregnant lady must consider consulting a dietician before including almond milk in the diet.

  8. May Show Cold-Like Symptoms

    Almond milk might be a great drink to empower your body with sufficient essential nutrients. But, you must consume it carefully if you get any cold-like symptoms like coughing, sneezing, running nose, etc.

    Several experts suggest that almond milk may cause the production of phlegm, a thick and sticky mucus-like substance dripping down the throat.

    The production of phlegm could be a symptom of cough and cold. Generally, the cold-like symptoms are prominently visible in people with almond allergies.

    But, healthy people may also experience cold-like symptoms due to almond milk consumption.

    Hence, if the symptom persists every time you consume almond milk, you should immediately stop drinking it and contact any healthcare expert for the best advice.

  9. May Cause Some Skin Conditions

    Generally, you may find almonds cause[10] skin problems like rashes, itching, eczema, hives, etc., in people with existing nut allergies.

    But, the condition may also occur in healthy individuals due to some naturally existing compounds. The skin problems due to almond milk aren’t permanent as they may vanish within a day.

    However, this condition may occur within 10-60 minutes of almond oil consumption. Some studies have also shown that almond milk consumption may cause acne in some people.

    At the same time, some extended studies have revealed that non-dairy milk may primarily cause acne in people with oily skin.

    But, you may consume almond oil in limited quantities to get other health benefits.

  10. May Lead To Breathing Problems

    Drinking almond milk may cause some breathing and respiratory problems in the consumers.

    Several people have reported difficulty breathing after drinking almond milk due to multiple obstructions in the respiratory pathway.

    The common issues faced after drinking almond milk are wheezing, stuffy and runny nose, chest congestion, etc.

    In a few instances, almond milk may cause blockage in the lungs, resulting in an inability to breathe properly. The condition may last up to a few hours, but it may turn fatal if left unnoticed.

    Almond milk could harm[11] asthma patients as it may cause severe complications with the existing condition. Hence, asthma patients must consult any expert before adding almond milk to the diet.

  11. May Cause Migraine

    Almond milk may enhance migraine conditions in several people. Some surveys have revealed that people consuming almond milk with existing migraine issues have worsened their situation.

    Almond milk contains an amino acid called tyrosine, the primary cause of triggering or elevating migraine issues in people.

    But, consuming tyrosine in limited amounts may not cause significant problems in people as it has several essential roles in human metabolism.

    Hence, you should not excessively drink almond milk to avoid increased tyrosine concentration in the body. Moreover, you must consult doctors before consuming almond milk if you have migraine issues.

Conclusion

A bunch of health benefits of almond milk masks some of the common side effects of the drink. But, you must be aware of such side effects for the safe consumption of the beloved beverage.

You must go through the above-mentioned possible side effects of almond milk for proper intake. Moreover, it would be best to control your almond milk intake to avoid adverse effects.

References/Sources

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. J K TobacmanReview of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments. Environ Health Perspect. 2001 Oct; 109(10): 983–994. doi: 10.1289/ehp.01109983
  2. Tamar Weinberger and Scott Sicherer Current perspectives on tree nut allergy: a review J Asthma Allergy. 2018; 11: 41–51.Published online 2018 Mar 26. doi: 10.2147/JAA.S141636
  3. D. Partridge, K. A. Lloyd, J. M. Rhodes, et al. Food additives: Assessing the impact of exposure to permitted emulsifiers on bowel and metabolic health – introducing the FADiets study Nutr Bull. 2019 Dec; 44(4): 329–349.Published online 2019 Nov 25. doi: 10.1111/nbu.12408
  4. Tung-Sung Tseng, Wei-Ting Lin, Gabrielle V Gonzalez, et al. Sugar intake from sweetened beverages and diabetes: A narrative review World J Diabetes. 2021 Sep 15; 12(9): 1530–1538.Published online 2021 Sep 15. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v12.i9.1530
  5. Hye Rim Chung Iodine and thyroid function Ann Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Mar; 19(1): 8–12.Published online 2014 Mar 31. doi: 10.6065/apem.2014.19.1.8
  6. Kathryn Vance, Amir Makhmudov, Robert L. Jones, et al. Re: “Iodine Content in Milk Alternatives” by Ma et al. (Thyroid 2016;26:1308–1310) Thyroid. 2017 May; 27(5): 748–749.Published online 2017 Apr 14. doi: 10.1089/thy.2017.0056
  7. Alison Stuebe The Risks of Not Breastfeeding for Mothers and Infants Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Fall; 2(4): 222–231.
  8. Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on modernizing standards of identity and the use of dairy names for plant-based substitutes Content current as of:
    09/27/2018 Available from: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/statement-fda-commissioner-scott-gottlieb-md-modernizing-standards-identity-and-use-dairy-names
  9. Giorgia Sebastiani, Ana Herranz Barbero, Cristina Borrás-Novell, et al. The Effects of Vegetarian and Vegan Diet during Pregnancy on the Health of Mothers and Offspring Nutrients. 2019 Mar; 11(3): 557.Published online 2019 Mar 6. doi: 10.3390/nu11030557
  10. Nut allergies Reviewed on: 06-04-2022 Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/nut-allergies
  11. Mário Bezerra, Miguel Ribeiro, and Gilberto Igrejas An Updated Overview of Almond Allergens Nutrients. 2021 Aug; 13(8): 2578.Published online 2021 Jul 27. doi: 10.3390/nu13082578

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