ask our dietitian your question todaymilk, soy milk, almond milk and rice milk


Milk comes in many varieties, most boast of a high RDA of calcium and vitamin contents of A and D.  Are the added vitamins in the milk clones as good as the natural vitamins in dairy milk? –Jay W. 


Great question!  Yes, the replacements are as good as the natural contents, with a slight difference.  Guidelines from the Dairy Practices Council indicate that vitamin concentrates from supply companies contribute Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and Vitamin A (palmitate) used in milk fortification.  These synthetic vitamins may be identical to those originally present in the milk, but with a very small amount of carrier liquid such as corn oil, water, polysorbate 80, propylene glycol or glycerol monooleate.

Background:  Since Vitamins A and D are fat-based, some or all are removed with the fat in reduced fat, low-fat and skim/nonfat milk.  These are replaced to previous levels, a process called fortification.  Optionally, whole milk may also be enriched with extra Vitamin D.  The FDA’s most recent standards in 1998 outline levels for fortified milks.  – Debbie J., MS, RD

References: professional papers DPC53 and DRI

Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition? Ask our dietitian by submitting your question to or simply ask it in the COMMENTS section below.

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Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.



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