Do You Absorb Vitamin D From Skim Milk?

Certain nutrients require a little fat for your body to absob them. Is Vitamin D one of these? Does drinking fat-free milk deprive you of Vitamin D? Nutrition Diva has the answer 

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

Do You Absorb Vitamin D From Skim Milk?

Q. Is it true that drinking fat-free milk is bad for vitamin D absorption? 

A.  I can see why you might think so. Fats are necessary for the transport and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, which include beta-carotene, D, E, and K. And as I explained in my episode on How to Get More Nutrition From Vegetables, adding a little bit of fat to a salad--such as a slice or two of avocado or some olive oil--has shown to increase the absorption of fat-soluble beta-carotene from the vegetables.

However, another study that looked specifically at vitamin D found that vitamin D was absorbed just as well from both skim milk and orange juice as it was from whole milk. So if you prefer skim milk, you don't need to worry about missing out on the vitamin D. Personally, I prefer reduced- and low-fat to completely fat-free dairy products. The small amount of fat contributes a trivial amount of calories and saturated fat but makes them better-tasting and more satisfying. 

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About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.