1)To most people today, especially in the more developed countries, the term milk is synonomous with cow milk, as if cows alone possess a singular ability to produce mammary secretions. Perhaps nowhere has the feeling been more prevalent than in the US, where over 10 million cows are maintained to provide an abundant, clean source of nourishment and refreshment to our country, producing more than 125 billion pounds of milk annually.
Yet on a world wide basis, there are more people who drink the milk of goats than from any other single animal. Over 440 million goats (world wide) produce an estimated 4.8 million tons of milk that is predominantly consumed locally, or processed into various types of cheeses. 2)Here in the US, which historically has been one of the staunchest denigrators of the ''stinking'' goat, there are approximately a million dairy goats actively producing milk.
Most of the upsurge in goat popularity has been the result of a growing trend towards attaining some measure of selfsufficiency on the part of many people, for both economic and aesthetic purposes. A goat will eat little, occupy a small area and produce enough milk for the average family (a good milker will produce about a gallon a day); whereas the prospect of maintaining a cow in a surburban backyard is usually more than the homeowner is willing or able to cope with.
Hence the growing popularity of the ''poor man's cow''. 3)As the interest in dairy goats and their products continues to rise, it is apparent that many misconceptions, discrepancies and exaggerated claims are being perpetuated. A comparison of cow and goat milk seems to be in order, so that some prejudices against goat milk may be erased. Also, while goat milk is somewhat unique, it is certainly not a magical elixir.
4)One of the primary misconceptions concerning goat milk is that it has a peculiar ''goaty'' odor or taste to it. This effect is produced by the presence of the buck, whose scent glands are rather odoriferous and may indeed cause the ''goaty'' type of milk people object to if he is present among the herd, especially at milking time. Does, however, do not have the powerful odor of the buck and milk produced in the absence of a buck should bear no objectionable odor.
5)Diet also plays a large role in the palatability of goat milk, as well as cow milk. While cows are usually rather closely regulated as to what they may eat and when, goats are often allowed to consume a great variety of materials at any time, including browsing. This kind of feeding may allow a certain ''off'' taste or smell to be transferred to the milk, just as cows may produce a ''garlicky'' milk from some spring pastures.
What holds true for the cow also holds for the goat; i.e. what comes out is based on what goes in! If goats and cows are similarly managed, the smell and taste of both milks are quite comparable. 6)Goat milk is similar to cow milk, in its basic composition. In average, cow milk contains about 12.2 0ry matter (3.2DE9E:0001rotein, 3.6 fat, 4.7lactose and 0.7mineral matter). Goat milk contains about 12.
1 dry matter (3.40001:0000rotein, 3.8 377794337129920800000000.000000at, matter). These figures are only averages of course, as there are considerable differences between breeds, and among individuals of a breed. There are 6 breeds of dairy cows in the US, and 6 breeds of dairy goats producing milk. 7)The Saanen is best known as the Holstein of the goat world, producing a high quantity of milk with somewhat low fat levels.
At the other extreme is the Jersey of the goat world, the Nubian. This breed produces a lesser amount of milk with a high fat content. The Toggenburg, LaMancha, Oberhasli and Alpine fall somewhere in between. 8)However, there are also differences that give goat's milk a place for special purposes. In summary:++++MISSING DATA++++ 9)Allergies appear to be more common than formerly thought, especially in very young children.
In an allergic type reaction, the symptoms are produced by histamines, which are stored in body cells. Histamines are released when triggered by a local stimulus. Antibody-antigen type reactions that manage to find an anchorage on cell walls trigger a release of histamine and produce the allergic symptoms. Such a release brings on a congestion of the capillaries and a flooding of the intracellular spaces by the lymphatic glands.
The stimulation of local nerve endings also occurs. People who display an allergic reaction are usually more sensitive to the release of a given amount of histamine and also tend to produce greater numbers of antibodies to certain proteins. 10)Some of the so called ''sudden deaths'' of infants seem to be related to allergic type responses, resulting in anaphylactic shock. About 60f the infants in the US suffer allergic responses to cow's milk.
Of this number, however about only 14(of the 6) react to bovine serum present in cow milk. Most infants are allergic to various constituents of cow milk which may also be present in goat milk. Individuals who are allergic to bovine serum in cow milk will undergo also an allergic reaction to a variety of dairy products that are made with cow milk. 11)Other types of digestive upsets can result from milk due to a lack of the lactosedigesting enzyme.
While the presence of lactase is universal in infants (up to 3 years), the presence of this enzyme in adults is somewhat irregular and genetically determined. 12) FatOne of the more significant differences from cow milk is found in the composition and structure of fat in goat milk. The average size of goat milk fat globules is about 2 micrometers, as compared to 21/2 - 31/2 micrometers for cow milk fat.
These smaller sized fat globules provide a better dispersion, and a more homogeneous mixture of fat in the milk. Research indicates that there is more involved to the creaming ability of milk than merely physical size of the fat globules. It appears that their clustering is favored by the presence of an agglutinin in milk which is lacking in goat milk, therefore creating a poor creaming ability, especially at lower temperatures.
13)The natural homogenization of goat milk is, from a human health standpoint, much better than the mechanically homogenized cow milk product. It appears that when fat globules are forcibly broken up by mechanical means, it allows an enzyme associated with milk fat, known as xanthine oxidase to become free and penetrate the intestinal wall. Once xanthine oxidase gets through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream, it is capable of creating scar damage to the heart and arteries, which in turn may stimulate the body to release cholestrol into the blood in an attempt to lay a protective fatty material on the scarred areas.
This can lead to arteriosclerosis. It should be noted that this effect is not a problem with natural (unhomogenized) cow milk. In unhomogenized milk this enzyme is normally excreted from the body without much absorption. 14)Another significant difference from cow milk is the higher amount of shorter-chain fatty acids in the milk fat of goats. 15)Furthermore, glycerol ethers are much higher in goat then in cow milk which appears to be important for the nutrition of the nursing newborn.
Goat milk also has lower contents of orotic acid which can be significant in the prevention of fatty liver syndrome. However, the membranes around fat globules in goat milk are more fragile which may be related to their greater susceptibility to develop off-flavors than cow milk. 16) ProteinThe protein composition of cow and goat milk is fairly similar, although the typical major alpha-s-1- casein in cow milk is absent in goat milk and the formation of casein curd under rennin action is different.
The quality of curd is judged on two criteria: 1. Curd tension - a measure of the hardness or softness of the curd. The softer the material, the more easily digestible it is. This tension is largely a breed characteristic. Holsteins generally have the softest curd in the bovine family. Cow range = 15-200 g, avg = 70 g. Goats range = 10-70 g, avg = 36 g. 2. Relative size of flakes - formed by the addition of strong acid to milk, causing curd flakes to precipitate.
It can be seen that goat milk forms finer flakes more rapidly than cow milk, which tends to form large lumps and more slowly. This test tends to duplicate reactions that occurs in the stomach, and demonstrates why goat milk is more easily and rapidly digested. 17) VitaminsGoat milk has greater amounts of vitamin A than cow milk. Also, goats convert all carotenes into vitamine A, creating a white type of milk.
18)Vitamin B levels are a result of rumen synthesis in goats and cows, and are somewhat independent of diet. Goat milk is higher in B levels especially riboflavin, but vitamin B6 and B12 are higher in cow milk. Niacin levels are also higher in goat milk. 19)The milk levels of vitamin C and D are low and roughly the same for cows and goats. 20) LactoseCow milk is higher in lactose levels, although the difference is minor.
21) Ash (Minerals) and BufferingGoat milk is higher in minerals, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, chlorine and maganese; but it is lower in sodium, iron, sulphur, zinc and molybdenum. 22) Ash (Minerals) and BufferingCow and goat milk is slightly on the acid side, with a pH range of 6.4-6.7. The principal buffering components of milk are proteins and phosphates. The good buffering capability of goat milk appears to make it ideal for treatment of gastric ulcers.
23) ConclusionGoat milk has also less of certain enzymes, ribonuclease, alkaline phosphatase, lipase and xanthine oxidase. Thus, some differences exist but their nutritional significances in human nutrition have yet to be researched and documented. The goat probably will never replace the cow for commercial production of milk, but there seems to be a great potential for diligent efforts in practice and research to improve production and marketing of goat milk and its products.
The value of goat milk as an alternative food for children and sick people, because it is easier digested, extends also to feeding animals, young dogs, foals, even calves. Experience in the field indicates that calves can consume large quantities of goat milk while similar amounts of cow milk may result in scouring calves. Goat milk can, therefore, have a value not only for growing veal but also for raising valuable dairy replacement heifers, which will benefit from the high milk intake and show superior growth.
See Also: Milking Equipment For Cows
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If you’re a regular Dr. Axe reader, you might have noticed that, even though it’s one of the most popular drinks out there, I’m not a big advocate of cow milk. For example, is milk helping or hurting your bones? Also, this dairy drink can be a challenge for our bodies to digest. For some people, it’s even more inflammatory than gluten. But I don’t stay away from milk altogether. In fact, goat milk is one of my favorites drinks.
Read on to learn why this drink is far superior than its cow counterpart. Goat Milk Nutrition Will Surprise You While it’s not very popular in the Western world, goat milk is actually one of the most widely consumed milk drinks in the rest of the world and with good reason — it tastes great and it’s chock-full of nutrients. Just check out all that one glass of goat milk has to offer. (1) Calories: 168 Saturated Fat: 6.
5 grams / 33 percent DV* Carbohydrates: 11 grams / 4 percent DV Protein: 10.9 grams / 4 percent DV Cholesterol: 27 milligrams / 9 percent DV Sugars: 11 grams Sodium: 12 milligrams / 5 percent DV Minerals Calcium: 327 milligrams / 33 percent DV Phosphorous: 271 milligrams / 27 percent DV Magnesium: 34.2 milligrams / 9 percent DV Potassium: 498 milligrams / 14 percent DV Copper: 0.1 milligrams / 6 percent DV Zinc: 0.
7 milligrams / 5 percent DV Vitamins *Recommended Daily Value Goat Milk Benefits 1. It’s easier to digest. While the fat content of cow and goat milk is similar, the fat globules in goat milk are smaller, making it easier for your body to digest. (2) Once it reaches your stomach, the protein in goat milk forms a softer curd than cow milk — only about 2 percent of goat milk is curd, compared to about 10 percent in cow milk — helping your body digest it with less irritation than cow milk.
Goat milk is also lower in lactose, or milk sugars, than cow milk. Because many people aren’t as lactose intolerant as they believe — or simply have trouble digesting cow milk and aren’t actually allergic to lactose — goat milk can be a viable option. (3) 2. It has fewer allergenic proteins and causes less inflammation. Most people who are intolerant of cow milk are actually sensitive to one of the proteins found in it, A1 casein, and lack the ability to digest A1.
Additionally, cow milk is the number one allergy among children and can persist throughout adulthood. That’s because it contains more than 20 different allergens (including A1 casein) that can cause allergic reactions — often confused for seasonal allergy symptoms — which can range from hives and runny noses to abdominal cramping and colic in babies. (4, 5) So what’s the big deal with A1 casein? This protein is highly inflammatory for some people, and inflammation is at the root of most diseases.
A1 casein can contribute to gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s, leaky gut and colitis — and some less obvious problems, like acne, autoimmune diseases and skin issues like eczema. (6, 7, 8) While there are some cows who don’t produce A1 casein, namely Jersey and Guernsey cows, the majority of bovines in the U.S., Western Europe and Australia are Holstein and Fresian, which are A1 casein producers.
On the contrary, milk that contains mostly or exclusively A2 casein produces none of these inflammatory effects. Goat milk contains only A2 casein, making it, protein-wise, the closest milk to human breast milk. (9) In fact, one study suggests that goat milk, when used as the first protein after breastfeeding, is less allergenic for babies than cow milk. (10) 3. It’s high in calcium and fatty acids but low in cholesterol.
While cow milk is often touted as one of the main calcium-rich foods, there’s no need to worry about not getting enough of calcium when switching to goat milk. It’s actually richer in the mineral, with about 33 percent of the daily recommended value versus 28 percent in cow milk. Goat milk also has high levels medium-chain fatty acids — 30–35 percent as opposed to 15–20 percent in cow milk.
These fatty acids provide an energy boost that isn’t stored as body fat, help lower cholesterol, and can even help treat conditions like coronary diseases and intestinal disorders. (11, 12, 13) But wait, there’s more! Goat milk helps increase “good” cholesterol levels while reducing the bad ones. In fact, it’s got healing properties similar to olive oil and is recommended for keeping high cholesterol in check.
(14) 4. It keeps skin looking good. The fatty acids and triglycerides found in goat milk not only keep your insides running smoothly, but they help you look great on the outside, too. Their moisturizing qualities help keep skin baby soft. Goat milk also has high levels of vitamin A, which can improve your complexion, fight acne and improve overall skin health. In fact, it should be considered one of the home remedies for acne.
The lactic acid found in goat milk helps rid your body of dead skin cells and brighten skin tone; no more pasty face! (15) Because goat milk has a pH level similar to humans, it’s absorbed by the skin with less irritation and helps keep bacteria at bay (goodbye, pimples!). 5. It absorbs nutrients and minerals better than cows’ milk. Moo-ve over, cows. While goat and cow milk might rank similarly for mineral content, goat milk might still be the winner.
That’s because early studies have found that nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous were more easily digested and used by the body in goat milk than cow milk. Because of the bioavailability of these minerals, goat milk also looks promising for treatment of nutritional deficiencies like anemia and bone demineralization. (16) In addition, it can help address all-too-common iron deficiency and magnesium deficiency.
In fact, researchers suggest that goat milk should be consumed regularly by individuals with malabsorption issues, anemia, osteoporosis or prolonged treatments with iron supplements. Regularly consuming goat milk enhances the body’s ability to use iron and boosts regeneration of hemoglobin, making it a safe and natural way to treat osteoporosis and combat anemia. Its high levels of zinc and selenium also help prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
Goat Milk vs. Cow Milk So how does goat milk stack up against cow milk? Take a peek at our cheat sheet: Goat Milk Pros:When you look at how your digestive system works, you can see how a gut problem like leaky gut can so easily crop up. Fortunately, goat milk is easily digestible by the body, making it a great option for those with gastrointestinal problems. Goat milk is also better tolerated by those with lactose issues and doesn’t cause inflammation the way cow milk can.
It’s also a great option for children once they’ve moved past breastfeeding, as it contains fewer allergens than cow milk. Cons:Because it’s not as common, goat milk can be substantially more expensive than cow milk, causing sticker shock at the onset. Raw goat milk, the best for you, can be difficult to find outside of health food stores and farmers markets. The taste and smell might not also be pleasing to everyone, particularly those raised with cow milk.
Cow Milk Pros:Regular cow milk is cheap and can be found everywhere. If you manage to get your hands on A2 casein cows’ milk from Jersey and Guernsey cows, you can enjoy many of the benefits enjoyed by goat milk drinkers, an excellent option for those who just can’t get used to the taste of goat milk. For people who can’t give up their cow milk, I highly recommend raw milk over pasteurized milk.
The raw milk benefits include skin health, fewer allergies and weight loss. Cons:A2 cow milk is difficult to come by in many areas and usually has the price tag to prove it. And whether it’s A1 or A2, cow milk is still more difficult for the body to digest, taking hours versus about 30 minutes with goat milk. For those with cow milk allergies — and this is a big group — this type of milk just isn’t an option.
If you have any gastrointestinal issues, leaky gut or irritable bowel syndrome, you might want to keep away from cow milk anyway. If you want to find out if you have such a problem, take my leaky gut test to find out. But What About Sheep’s Milk? There is another animal contender on the milk block — sheep. This creamy milk is quite similar to goats’ milk; in fact, in many cases, it’s healthier.
One cup of sheep milk contains more calcium, carbohydrates and protein than its goat counterpart. Sheep milk is also higher in many vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, vitamin C, folate and magnesium than both goat and cow milk. (17) Like goats’ milk, sheep’s milk is easily digestible by the body, thanks to small fat globules that make it easier on your digestive tract. It contains similar levels of short- and medium-chain fatty acids as goat milk, so it’s less irritating.
And those who can’t get used to the taste of goat milk might prefer sheep milk; it’s less tangy. (18, 19, 20) So why isn’t everyone gulping down sheep milk? Its high fat content is a turnoff for many. While the fats are mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (i.e. good-for-you fats), one cup contains almost double the amount as cow and goat milk, a concern for those watching their fat intake.
Sheep milk is much harder to find as well. While goat milk is slowly making its way onto supermarket shelves, your best bet for buying sheep milk is still your local farmers’ market. If you are able to buy it, you can freeze sheep milk and unfreeze as needed; the flavor will remain the same. Can’t get your hands on sheep milk? Eat your cheese! Some of the most popular Mediterranean types, like feta, Rocquefort, Manchego, Pecorino Romano and ricotta are all made from the animal.
Sheep yogurt is also becoming more popular; keep your eyes peeled for that in stores. What’s the Right Type of Goat Milk for You? If you’re ready to add goat milk to your family’s diet, you have several options. For the optimal benefits, I recommend drinking raw goat milk. You can usually find this at your local farmers’ market or at health food stores. Similar to raw milk benefits from a cow, drinking raw goat milk ensures you get the most benefits of this nutritious drink.
If raw goat milk isn’t available in your area, there are other options available, mainly in fermented products. These increase good bacteria to keep you healthy and support nutrient absorption in the gut. One of my favorite fermented products is kefir and kefir benefits are pretty widespread, including helping leaky gut and boosting immunity. Indeed, this milk drink can boost your body’s immunity against disease, build bone density, protect against allergies and even improve lactose intolerance.
Be sure to purchase goat milk kefir to get goat’s great benefits, as cow and sheep versions are sold as well. Drink kefir solo or add it to your favorite dishes that call for yogurt. If liquid goat milk isn’t your thing, fermented goat milk yogurt might be a good substitute. The probiotics benefits present in goat milk yogurt help support healthy digestion, lower your risk of diabetes, support weight and fat loss, and reduce high blood pressure.
Try it with fruit or granola for a healthy breakfast or snack. Soft, raw goat cheeses are also packed with probiotics and available in all 50 states. Spread it on a cracker or nibble it solo to get all the health benefits in a tasty way. Cooking With Goat Milk Are you ready to take the goat milk plunge and incorporate it into your diet? If you’re nervous about the flavor for drinking it straight, start with chilled goat milk, which has a less pronounced “goaty” flavor.
When you’re ready to start using goat milk in your favorite recipes, there are few things to keep in mind. Goat milk can essentially be used as a replacement for cow milk in any recipe. However, when it’s heated or processed in any way, there is a distinct “goat” flavor. Those who are long-time fans of the milk might not mind, but it could be a turnoff for newbies. Goats’ milk is especially tasty in dessert recipes, as it gives your favorite sweets a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
It’s also great in smoothies: combine your favorite fruits and leafy greens, throw in a dash of goat milk and blend. Looking for some recipes that use goats’ milk? Here are some that I enjoy: While each individual’s health needs will vary, I believe that goat milk and its related products can help almost everyone who wants a drink that’s full of vitamins and nutrients and protects — instead of working against — gut health and digestion.
Give it a try soon! Read Next: 7 Kefir Benefits and Nutrition Facts From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut only affects the digestive system, but in reality it can affect more. Because Leaky Gut is so common, and such an enigma, I’m offering a free webinar on all things leaky gut. Click here to learn more about the webinar.