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Studying Alberta’s milk

Studying Alberta’s milk

The province’s milk has low levels of common minerals and heavy metals, a new study shows

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Alberta’s dairy farmers are producing a product that’s safe to drink based on international standards, a recent University of Alberta (U of A) study shows.

Dr. Burim Ametaj, a nutritional immunobiologist with the U of A, tested 156 milk samples from 26 Alberta dairy farms “to determine the concentrations of 20 minerals (including calcium, iron and lead) in the whole raw milk from Holstein dairy cows,” the study said.

The findings confirmed mineral concentrations in a 300-millilitre glass of whole milk.

Ametaj compared the results of his tests to standardized intake charts from organizations like the World Health Organization and the European Food Safety Authority.

Health Canada has information on maximum mineral intake levels, but nothing to use as a minimum risk reference.

“Now we know what we are getting,” Ametaj said in a U of A release on Jan. 17. “The good news is the minerals are below minimum risk levels, so we are drinking safe milk. We couldn’t say this before (because) we just didn’t know.”

Though the study examined whole raw milk, the milk sold by retailers had similar levels, he said.

Having this published information could help multiple industries like dairy processing and food counselling.

“Milk and dairy are part of our diets, so we need to know how much we are getting in minerals per day, and also if there are any toxic levels,” he said in the release. has reached out to Ametaj, and Alberta Milk, who helped fund the study, for comment.


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