Does putting chocolate in milk decrease calcium absorption?

Is it true that putting chocolate in milk decreases the calcium the body absorbs from the milk? I think a lot of people would like to know it this is true.


Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

Dear Brenda,

It is not true that chocolate in chocolate milk decreases the amount of calcium the body absorbs. It is commonly believed that the chocolate in chocolate milk binds with the calcium in milk, making it unavailable for absorption. Chocolate does contain oxalic acid (a chemical that does bind calcium in many plants, such as spinach) which tends to combine with calcium to form calcium oxalate. However, milk contains much more calcium than chocolate contains oxalate so there's plenty of free calcium left over. In fact, only about 6 mgs. of calcium is tied up, out of the 250 or so milligrams in the milk.

So, if your children are drinking chocolate milk, that is just fine. It is important for every child to get an adequate amount of calcium to help keep their bones strong and help them grow, so if they will only drink chocolate milk, don't discourage will be good for their bones.

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