Scientists have named the main disadvantage of all milk substitutes

© RIA Novosti / Ilona GolovinomycesScientists have named the main disadvantage of all milk substitutes© RIA Novosti / Ilona Golovina

Analogues milk from soy, rice, and other plant materials have one common drawback – they contain very little iodine, almost two orders of magnitude smaller than required dietary standards, say scientists in an article published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

«Cows milk is the main source of iodine for the inhabitants of Northern countries of Europe. A glass of «alternative» milk contains only two micrograms of iodine, whereas an adult should consume about 150 micrograms of this substance per day. For pregnant women this figure is even higher – about 200 micrograms of iodine a day,» explains Margaret Rayman (Margaret Rayman) University of Surrey (UK).

In recent years, manufacturers of sweets and various food products have created a few dozen vegetable analogues of cow’s milk similar to it in taste, consistency and, presumably, the nutrient profiles. In addition to soy milk, there are also analogs of almond, rice, coconut meat, and various infant formulas from plant material.

This «milk» is popular not only among vegans but also people suffering from lactose intolerance, allergies or not wanting to get extra calories. In General, these drinks are now considered safe, but their nutritional value has not yet been studied by scientists.

Reiman and her colleagues decided to fill this gap, examining the chemical composition of the 47 brands of artificial milk that are popular today in the UK, and comparing the content of various vitamins, fats and minerals in them and present the milk of cows.

As it turned out, they all had one common drawback – in «vegetable milk» is almost completely absent iodine, one of the most important minerals for thyroid health and teeth. On average, almost all brands of these products contained about 50 times less iodine than conventional milk.

Why is it important? As a rule, inhabitants of Britain and other countries in Northern Europe, including Russia, receive a large part of iodine with milk and other dairy products. Buying vegetable substitutes for milk, people might think that they can be used as a substitute of milk, including for the production of vitamins and iodine.

As noted by Reiman, it turns out that this is not so – to ensure yourself with the right amount of iodine the person would have to drink not one, but 75 cups soy or almond milk. According to her, that the doctors in the preparation of dietary recommendations for pregnant women and nursing mothers, whose body critically needs sufficient amounts of iodine for normal development of the child.