Fact CheckHealth

Experts say the combination of malt and milk does not increase blood volume

Claim: Social media users have claimed continually over the years that the combination of milk and malt increases blood volume.

There are no studies to back up the claim that malt and milk combination increases blood volume. Professional nutritionists have also refuted this claim. 

Full Text

It is a popular belief that the combination of malt and milk increases blood volume. As such, internet users have shared such information on the internet. For example, in 2017, a member of Nairaland shared that the combination of malt and milk increase blood volume

Similarly in 2020, Zikoko, a popular blog in Nigeria, shared some of the homemade means Nigerian mothers use to increase their children’s blood volume. Malt and milk combination came first on the supposed list.

The screenshot of the claim on Zikoko

In 2021, another news website shared that the combination gives blood. The website shared that hospitals give blood donors the combination to increase their blood volume.

Meanwhile, in a popular Nollywood movie starring Odunlade Adekola and Olaniyi Afonja, the former made a similar claim in the movie which could have added to the prominence of milk and malt combination as a blood tonic.

Screenshot of the movie scene with a similar claim

How true is this? Does the combination of malt and milk increase blood volume?

Verification

DUBAWA first conducted a keyword search which led to some of the reports highlighted above. This shows this claim is popular but our research on this claim did not yield any result. 

We, therefore, sought the opinion of experts on the issue.

Experts Opinion

A Professor of Public Health Nutrition at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Beatrice Ogunba, revealed to Punch that there is no scientific evidence to the assertion made by some Nigerians that combining malt and milk boosts blood volume.

Adedeji Moses, a clinical nutritionist who is the  Lead Director of Adedamz Nutrition Consult, also revealed to DUBAWA that the combination of malt and milk does not, in any way, increase blood volume in the body.

“Though it has been seen in many hospitals after people have donated their blood, milk 

and malt, or the combination of both were given to blood to donors. So, people believe they were given those items to replenish and boost the blood they have donated.”

Mr Adedeji noted that people can take the combination and still be short of blood.

 “This can happen if the individual is not consuming food sources that are rich in iron, copper, folate and vitamin C,” he said.

The clinical nutritionist explained that though milk contains calcium, vitamin D and other important nutrients which are good for the development of healthy bones, it is also a good source of protein.

Malt, on the other hand, is a good energy source. 

“They are packed with important vitamins and proteins. It alleviates stress, improves digestion and also improves heart health by lowering bad cholesterol in the body. But it must be known that either milk or malt or a combination of both cannot boost or produce blood,” the nutritionist added.

Emmanuel Oyebamiji, a dietitian-nutritionist at University College Hospital, Ibadan logo

University College Hospital, Ibadan, also said that milk and malt combination does not provide the body with blood.

“Though milk is rich in calcium and iron, not all milk is rich in that, don’t forget we have different types of milk,” he said.

Conclusion

This claim is false as we could not find studies to back it up and professional nutritionists say the combination does not increase blood volume. 

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