Myth Or Truth: Can Milk and Malt Mix Increase Your Blood Level?

Published by Dr Gigi on

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There is an age old belief that consuming a mixture of malt and evaporated milk can increase an individual’s blood level. No one knows where this idea came from and there is no scientific evidence to support this belief.

This myth has been inadvertently propagated and encouraged by many uninformed friends, family and neighbors that continue to prescribe the mix, even though its effectiveness is unfounded and not medically proven.

It also does not help and is even more confusing to the public when some healthcare workers, even  at blood donation centers, offer or prescribe the mix to blood donors after each session of donation.

The truth is that evaporated milk and malt mix do not act as blood enhancers/tonic individually or together. However, because the mix is high in fat, sugar and carbs, it is a good source of energy. This surge in energy after consumption may mislead a person to think it has blood enhancing effects.

What is Anemia?

Anemia in simple terms, means low level of healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin (a component of red blood cells) in the blood. Hemoglobin in red blood cells carry oxygen to different parts of the body.

Individuals with anemia experience persistent weakness, dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, pale skin, heart enlargement and if untreated may die from heart failure.

In all cases, there is low level of red blood cells, however, the cause and course of treatment may be different, therefore, it is important to know the specific type to ensure proper and timely treatment.

Among the different types of anemia, the two that people often attempt to treat with malt and milk mix is either iron deficiency or folic acid deficiency anemia.1,3

Is Malt And Milk Mix A Blood Tonic?

An effective blood tonic must contain therapeutic amounts of iron and vitamins (Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid) and neither malt nor milk contains these essential elements.2,3,4,5,6

Let’s take a look at nutrition facts for both 

Nutrition Facts For Evaporated Milk

*16 tablespoons is equivalent to 1 cup

Evaporated milk: Each cup contains about 24 g of fat, (16 g of which is saturated fat), 64 mg of cholesterol, 24 g of carbohydrate (sugars), 16 g of protein, calcium (64% of DV) and low amount of vitamin A. Saturated fats are highly unhealthy because they increase a person’s risk of heart disease and is highly discouraged in people with high cholesterol, hypertension, stroke among others.7,8,9

Malt beverage: The typical malt beverage contains water, added sugars, malted barley, malted sorghum, sorghum, color (E150C), hops, natural flavorings and Foam Stabilizer. Some malt companies may  fortify them with low amounts of calcium, Vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, B6 and C. However none is known to contain folic acid or iron.10,11

Based on the analysis of the constituents, neither malt beverage nor evaporated milk alone or as a mix contains folic acid nor iron, both of which are necessary for blood production. As such they should never be taken as blood tonic.

Treatment For Anemia

To know if you indeed have anemia, visit your doctor. They will order some basic diagnostic tests like complete blood cell count (CBC), iron studies among other test. Once you have been diagnosed with anemia, your doctor will recommend the most appropriate treatment, typically supplements containing iron, in its ferrous form, folic acid and vitamin C and B12.12,13,14,15.

To enhance the absorption into the body, take the iron supplement with a half a glass of orange juice or vitamin C.16,17,18,19.

Is Milk or Malt Mix Bad Then?

The straight answer is no. It is not bad to consume either or together as a mix. They both will give you energy. However, people with high cholesterol, heart disease and people on weight loss diet should note that it is high in calories from fats and carbs.

In conclusion, there is no medical evidence, either anecdotal or scientific to support the myth that malt and milk mix can increase blood production by the body.


Categories: FitnessFoodMenWomen

Dr Gigi

Dr Gigi is a medical doctor, an avid researcher and founder of HeLP. She is a healthy life enthusiast. She is passionate about finding better and healthier alternatives and helping to improve people's quality of life. She started Healthy Life Pantry (HeLP) with aims to provide simplified research based and proven health information, delivered by seasoned health care professionals.

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