What Are the Health Benefits of Goat’sMilk?
Traditional cultures have consumed goat’s milk for thousands of years, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, and recently, scientific studies have revealed that its nutritionalcomposition makes it a healthy, and in some cases superior, alternative to cow’s milk. A staple in Europe and the Near East, goat’s milk is a creamy beverage that Americans are only just beginning to add to their diets.
A 2004 study by the Department of Physiology of the University of Granada published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition showed that goat milk is more beneficial than cow milk. Goat milk prevented iron deficiency and bone softening in the study’s rat population because the iron,calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in goat’s milk are more bioavailable, according to researchers. Studies in humans are necessary to confirm the findings. Additionally, goat milk has more calcium, vitamins A and B6 than cow milk and comparable amounts of protein. according to Stephanie Clark, Ph.D., associate professor of food science at Washington State University.
Humans domesticated goats for their production of milk, wool, and meat about 9,000 years ago. In many countries, such as France, goat milk is used to make cheese. Specific goat breeds were developed in Switzerland and their goat milk is used to make their highly popular chocolate products.
Goat milk is closer in composition to human milk than cow milk and the protein in goat milk is easier to digest, according to Alan Greene, M.D., FAAP. Some people choose to use goat milk in baby formula, and when they do, they should be aware that vitamin B12 and folic acid are found in lower concentrations in goat milk than cow milk and should be added to the infant’s diet in other forms, according to the website Parents.com. Without supplementation of these nutrients, anemia could develop. Additionally, goat milk should be boiled and cooled before feeding it to infants because goat milk is sometimes infected with a bacterium called brucellosis.
Healthy Nutritional Content
Goat milk is a nutrient-dense food that provides a healthy amount of daily energy requirements. One cup has about 170 calories, 10 g of fat , and 27mg of cholesterol, according to Vegetarian Times. Another benefit of goat milk is that some people prefer its velvety texture.
Science Daily: Goats’ Milk Is More Beneficial To Health Than Cows’ Milk, Study Suggests
Vegetarian Times: Milk: To Be Got Or Not?
Parents.com: Dr. Alan Greene on Goat’sMilk: Will my baby be allergic to goat’s milk?
Los Angeles Times: Poring Over Facts About Milk
Britannica Elementary Encyclopedia: Goat
About this Author
Based in Richmond, VA, Tara Carson has been writing health-related articles since 2000. Her articles have appeared on corporate websites and in newsletters. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and nutrition from Virginia Commonwealth University and was an adjunct professorof Nutrition at Northwest Christian University for three years.