Mineral content of market samples of fluid whole milk

J Am Diet Assoc. 1987 Aug;87(8):1036-42.


Results from the Food and Drug Administration's Total Diet Study on the nutrient element content of fluid whole cow's milk are presented and compared with previously published values. Whole milk was collected and analyzed yearly from 1975 through 1985. Yearly and overall means were similar for all elements except iron and iodine. The iron content of milk was generally low, but several samples had high levels. The distribution of iodine in whole milk was quite wide (0.002 to 0.094 mg/100 gm). The iodine content of milk is affected by the level of iodine added to cattle feed and by the use of iodophor sanitizing solutions used by the dairy industry. Overall mean levels of the elements in milligrams per 100 gm whole milk were: sodium, 42; potassium, 134; calcium, 106; phosphorus, 83; magnesium, 9.8; iron, 0.07; zinc, 0.37; copper, 0.009; manganese, 0.004; iodine, 0.034; and selenium, 0.001. Coefficients of variation were high (67% to 117%) for iron, copper, manganese, selenium, and iodine but ranged from 18% to 26% for the other elements. An 8-fl oz serving of whole milk is an excellent source of iodine, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. It also provides some sodium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium but is not a reliable source of iron, copper, or manganese.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Iodine / analysis
  • Iron / analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk / analysis*
  • Minerals / analysis*
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • United States


  • Minerals
  • Iodine
  • Iron