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Question
Posted by: jen-jen | 2009/07/01

low fat dairy &  calcium absorption

Dear Doc , I read the following excerpt from cholesterol and health.com : " The number six spot belongs to butter. Butter is an important part of a nutritious diet, that helps boost the immune system, and contains nutrients that build strong bones and teeth. Skim milk contains calcium, but it is the milk-fat in whole milk and butter that contains the nutrients that put that calcium where it needs to go." 
What is your opinion?I drink only skim milk &  try to reduce my milk fat wherever possible. I never eat butter. Is it true that milk fat aids the absorption of calcium?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Jen-Jen
I must say that I am a bit puzzled by these statements on cholesterol and calcium absorption. I cannot understand where they get their statement that "butter is an important part of a nutritious diet, that helps boost the immune system, and contains nutrients that build strong bones and teeth." Butter contains fat, water and trace amounts of milk which is left over after separation of the butter fat. Butter does not contain sufficient calcium to make a significant contribution to bone health (only 24 mg per 100g compared to low-fat milk which contain 208 mg calcium/100 ml). According to the Website of Milk SA (www.dairy.co.za), low-fat and fat-free milk, yoghurt, and cottage cheese contain highly biologically available calcium that is easily absorbed. The calcium from dairy and other sources, plus vitamin D which we make in our own bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight and vitamin K2 which is found in green, leafy vegetables help us to build strong bones and teeth and also ensure that the calcium we absorb is deposited in the skeleton and teeth and not in our arteries.
Best regards
DietDoc

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