Mon, Jun 19, 2017 - Page 3 News List

FDA dispels myths about milk consumption

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Drinking milk tea prepared with fresh milk would not increase the risk of developing kidney stones, but might reduce calcium absorption, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.

More people are choosing fresh milk tea over traditional milk tea made with creamers, mosty in pursuit of better health, but rumors have been spreading through social media that drinking fresh milk tea would increase the risk of developing kidney stones, the Food and Drug Administration said.

The FDA used its online food “mythbuster” Web page to address the concern.

Rumor has it that tea contains oxalic acid and milk contains calcium, and when the two substances are combined, calcium oxalate stones — the most common type of kidney stone — might result, the agency said.

However, while calcium and oxalic acid can bind in the intestines to become insoluble and indigestible calcium oxalate, most of it is discharged along with stool and will not remain in the body, the Food and Drug Administration said.

Kidney stones can occur in the forms of calcium stones (composed of calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate), uric acid stones, infectious stones and cystine stones, it said.

The FDA added that the main causes of kidney stone formation are genetics, not drinking enough water, eating too many foods that are high in sodium or purine, and long-term use of drugs and supplements, such as calcium and vitamin C supplements.

Drinking fresh milk tea would not increase the risk of kidney stones, but eating too much food high in oxalic acid could reduce absorption of minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium, so if people want to increase their calcium intake, they should avoid eating high-calcium food along with high-oxalic acid food, the agency said.

Tea, beer, strawberries, grapes, chocolate, spinach, celery, leaf mustard, leek, almonds and cashew nuts are a few examples of foods high in oxalic acid, it added.

The FDA’s Web site also addressed a common misconception that taking medication with milk would be better for the stomach.

Milk contains calcium, iron, magnesium and other minerals, which could form insoluble salts, reducing the effects of certain types of drugs, it said.

Enteric-coated tablets (designed to be resistant to stomach acid and dissolve when they reach the small intestine) may dissolve earlier when taken along with milk, the agency said, adding that people should also avoid taking drugs with tea, coffee, juice, alcohol, soy milk or other beverages and that medicines are best washed down with water.

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