Lattes are not an acceptable alternative to milk for calcium intake, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Monday, rejecting Internet-based wellness and health rumors.
As caffeinated beverages contain oxalic acids that bind with calcium and thereby prevent its absorption, milk should be drunk separately from coffee, tea or other caffeinated drinks, the agency cited the WHO as saying.
Therefore, milk added to coffee should not be used as a source of calcium, it said.
Photo: Huang Shu-li, Taipei Times
A balanced diet that includes milk, cheese, fish, tofu and nuts are important for adults to meet the dietary requirement of 1,000mg of calcium per day, in addition to exercise and moderate sun exposure, as it helps generate vitamin D, which aids calcium absorption, it said.
Sedentary office workers who lack exposure to sunlight, do not exercise enough and consume few dairy products are at high risk of osteoporosis, it said.
Oxalic acids’ calcium-binding properties makes drinking milk with coffee useless for improving calcium intake, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital orthopedist Lin Gau-tyan (林高田) said.
Drinking more than five cups of coffee or tea a day would hasten the loss of bone calcium, he added.
However, calcium loss is a multicausal phenomena that mostly does not relate to caffeine consumption, he said, adding that an aversion to dairy, lack of exercise and an unhealthy lifestyle are more likely to cause calcium deficiency than drinking coffee or tea.
According to Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics, 99 percent of Taiwanese have concurrent calcium deficiencies, which expose the population to heightened risks of aging-related osteoporosis.
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