Why Lindsey Vonn Is Putting Cheese on Her Bum Shin

Olympic skier's alternative approach likely just a placebo
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2010 11:16 AM CST
Why Lindsey Vonn Is Putting Cheese on Her Bum Shin
Lindsey Vonn of the United States grimaces after completing Women's downhill training at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, Monday, Feb. 15, 2010.   (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

Lindsey Vonn will apparently try anything when it comes to treating her potentially Olympics-ending injury—even "cheese therapy." The skier is reportedly wrapping her bruised shin in topfen, an Austrian cheese that can—supposedly—reduce swelling. But Jessica Dweck is skeptical, writing that the alternative approach will “probably not” work in Slate's Explainer column.

The highly acidic soft cheese could possibly stop harmful bacteria from growing on the skin’s surface, but the chances of it affecting deeper tissue like muscle are slim. And though dairy chemists say topfen might have natural anti-inflammatory properties, it would most likely need to be eaten in order to gain any positive effects. The most likely benefit? The cool, mildly pain-relieving feel of the cheese on Vonn’s injury—or the placebo effect.
(More Lindsey Vonn stories.)

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