Milk Consumption Low in Iran

Milk Consumption Low in Iran
Milk Consumption Low in Iran

Drinking at least two to four glasses of milk a day is necessary to meet the body’s nutritional needs, while milk consumption among Iranians is far lower, said Dr. Hossein Rastegar, head of laboratories at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “Each glass of milk is equivalent to 35 grams of other dairy products such as cheese or yogurt,” he added.

At the national conference on milk health, he said measures taken to improve nutritional intake include: milk enrichment with Vitamin D, promotion of milk consumption among school children, organizing pro-biotic dairy products and implementation of monitoring and sampling of dairy products to prevent spurious milk content, reported Iran Newspaper.

Adulteration of milk and other dairy products can occur in several different ways.  Sometimes the milk is boiled; then its natural fat removed and replaced with saturated vegetable oil such as palm oil which is much cheaper (but harmful to health).

At present, use of palm oil in dairy products has been banned and prevented due to strict monitoring and continuous sampling.

Diluting milk with water is another form of adulteration, followed by adding contaminants to increase milk concentration including Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP). At times, some brands of cheese labeled to be produced from sheep milk, are actually made from a combination of sheep and cow milk. This is also a fraudulent practice.

However, continuous sampling of different dairy products in the market taken up by the FDA helps in monitoring and controlling spurious dairy products. During the past year the controls have become stricter, he noted.


He also said sources of milk production can become contaminated, through forage given to farm animals.

There are several toxins in milk of cows fed with forage contaminated with pesticides and mildewed bread, including aflatoxin poisoning. Therefore the agriculture jihad ministry should ensure that bovine feed is not contaminated,” Rastegar said.

No animal species is immune to the acute toxic effects of aflatoxins; however, adult humans have a high tolerance for aflatoxin exposure and rarely succumb to acute aflatoxicosis. Chronic exposure also leads to a high risk of developing liver cancer.

Medical research indicates that a regular diet including aromatic vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, celery and parsley, may reduce the carcinogenic effects of aflatoxin.

Rastegar also said since many people suffer from Vitamin D deficiency, the health ministry has plans to enrich milk with the vitamin to promote public health as its deficiency can increase the risk of non-communicable diseases including different kinds of cancers, diabetes type 1, osteoporosis, MS and Immune dysregulation and autoimmunity disorders.