Fortified milk is milk that is enriched with vitamins. Most fortified milk contains vitamins A and D. Milk is fortified at a concentration of about 100 IUs per eight ounce cup. Here are some of the benefits of fortified milk.
Fortified Milk Contains Vitamin D
Fortified milk contains vitamin D, a vitamin essential for the growth and support of strong, healthy bones. Without vitamin D, your body can’t absorb calcium, the mineral it needs to make strong bones.
While it’s true that our bodies can make vitamin D with brief exposure to sunlight (about 15 minutes each day on the face and hands), many people don’t get enough vitamin D because they don’t get enough exposure to sunlight. If the climate is too dark and cloudy, if you don’t spend a lot of time outside, or if you use sunblock and other protective measures against sunburn and skin cancer, you might be at risk for a vitamin D deficiency. Most adults need about 200 IU of vitamin D each day.
Vitamin D occurs naturally in oily fish, like herring, halibut and salmon, and in eggs. Natural sources of vitamin D are high in fat, and may contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess. Without regular exposure to sunlight, it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D from dietary sources. That’s where fortified milk comes in.
Fortified Milk Strengthens Your Bones
Fortified milk can be a vital source of vitamin D for those living in cloudy climates or who are homebound. Fortified milk helps your body absorb the calcium it needs to build strong, healthy bones. Drinking fortified milk may reduce your risk of bone fracture.
Fortified milk also reduces the incidence of rickets in children. Rickets is a disease in which the bones soften due to vitamin D deficiency. The bones then become prone to deformity and fractures. Rickets is common among children, especially in developing countries where fortified milk is not used.
Fortified Milk Contains Vitamin A
Fortified milk often contains vitamin A, which is necessary for vision health. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to inflammation of the eyes and can even cause blindness.
You don’t need large amounts of vitamin A, and it’s possible to consume too much vitamin A. Symptoms of vitamin A over-consumption include blurred vision, nausea and discoloration of the palms and soles of the feet. If vitamin A toxicity becomes severe, it can cause hair loss and enlargement of the liver and spleen; it can stunt growth in children and contribute to birth defects and bone fractures.
Because vitamin A can be toxic if taken in large amounts, it’s best to get this vitamin from your diet. Vitamin A is present in egg yolks and beef livers, as well as orange vegetables like carrots, yams, pumpkins and apricots. It’s also present in broccoli, collard greens and spinach. Fortified milk provides an easy way to get the necessary amounts of vitamin A without overdoing it.