Milk is known for calcium and vitamin D but a glass of milk contains many more vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health. Vitamins and minerals play a large role in key body functions. Milk is packed with the vitamins and minerals that keep help keep these functions running in tip-top shape.

Vitamins

Milk contains both water soluble and fat soluble vitamins. These water soluble vitamins include thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12, vitamin C, niacin and folate. Milk is a good source of thiamin, riboflavin and vitamin B12. Thiamin is helps convert carbohydrates into energy. Riboflavin works with other B vitamins and is important to red blood cell production and body growth. Vitamin B12 is plays a key role in brain and nervous system function. The amount of niacin in milk is relatively smallWhile milk does contain the other vitamins listed above, it is not considered a major source of these vitamins in the diet since milk contains small amount of each.

In addition to water soluble vitamins, milk is a good source of vitamin D and vitamin A. It does contain vitamins E and K but in relatively small amounts. All milk is fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption. Milk also contains Vitamin A but reduced fat (2% milk), low-fat (1% milk) and skim milk must be fortified with Vitamin A to be reach the Vitamin A content of whole milk. Vitamins A is needed for growth and development, immune system support and good vision.

Minerals

We all know milk to be a good source of calcium but milk contains other minerals too. Milk is a good source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc. Calcium and phosphorus are the two major minerals in milk and are responsible for bone growth and maintenance. Other minerals like zinc and selenium help with immune system function while potassium helps nerves and muscles run correctly as well as fluid balance.