Does Milk Block Antioxidants in Foods and Beverages?


  • What are antioxidants?
  • Foods commonly consumed with dairy
  • Research on anti-oxidant foods with milk
  • Does it block antioxidants?
  • Should we avoid mixing it with other foods?

What are anti-oxidants?

Those substances that prevent oxidation. If oxidation occurs in our body, it leads to the production of harmful free radicals(electron depleting molecules). These free radicals often cause damage to cells, its excessive damage may cause certain diseases such as dementia and diabetes complications.


But the function of antioxidant is to eliminate these free radicals which ultimately reduces the risk of many health related problems. These free radicals either comes from our diet or naturally produced in the body. The antioxidants include vitamin C, E, β-carotene & polyphenols that are naturally found in fruits, tea and coffee.

Food commonly consumed with dairy:

There are some foods and drinks which are commonly consumed with dairy includes:

  • Coffee & cream
  • Tea & milk
  • Berries & yogurt
  • Fruit & cream
  • Oatmeal & milk etc.

Studies on Milk and Tea:

Milk products may inhibit some anti-oxidants in certain foods such as adding milk to tea decreases its anti-oxidant capacity. This occurs because milk protein(casein) bind with antioxidants, reduce their ability to fight with free harmful radicals but some studies neglect this research.

milk and tea
Studies on Milk and Other Foods and Beverages:

There are many studies shows that coffee, chocolate and blueberries also reduces antioxidant activity when added with milk. One study found that milk reduces chocolate anti-oxidant capacity by 30% while another study found that milk eliminate the antioxidant effects of chocolate altogether.

The antioxidant capacity of different type coffee was shown to decrease when milk is added.

Another study reveals that consuming blueberries with milk reduce polyphenols absorption and also eliminate the antioxidant capacity.

Should We Avoid Milk Mixing with Other Foods?

According to some studies milk reduces antioxidant activity in foods but at some extent. For instance, if the antioxidant capacity reduces to 20%, 80% of its effect still remains, so this blend still a healthy choice. Currently, no studies examined that when consuming dairy with high-antioxidant foods effects the antioxidant capacity.


Milk block antioxidant capacity of foods at certain extent when combine with other foods.


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