Kids should drink no more than 2 glasses of milk daily

Kid drinking milk

Milk is an important source of vitamin D and calcium in children's diets.

But drinking more than two glasses a day could deplete iron stores in their bodies, raising the risk for anemia, a new study suggests.

When researchers looked at daily milk intake as it related to iron and vitamin D levels in about 1,300 preschoolers, they found that drinking 2 cups of milk a day seemed optimal for most children, says lead researcher and pediatrician Jonathon L. Maguire, MD, of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

Drinking 3 cups or more of milk was associated with slightly lower ferritin levels in the blood, but the levels were still within the normal range for most children. Ferritin levels indicate how much iron is stored in the body.

The more milk the children drank, the lower their ferritin levels tended to be.

"Milk is an important source of nutrition for young children, but the message to parents is that too much of a good thing may come with a trade-off," Maguire says.

The study was recently published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

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