In the Western world, we tend to overlook goat’s milk in favour of cow’s, which is a shame, because goat’s milk is nutritious, healthy, and fabulous for both skin and gut. In fact, after conducting a study into the nutritional characteristics of goat’s milk, a group of scientists at the Department of Physiology of the University of Granada in Spain declared it a ‘natural functional food’ 1 which is something that delivers additional or enhanced health benefits beyond their basic nutritional value.
Seven reasons to choose goat over cow
Here are seven good reasons why those with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and rosacea should add goat’s milk to their diet – and drop the cow’s milk.
- Cow dairy is incredibly allergic for human beings. It is mucous-producing, and a known trigger for eczema. According to CowsMilkAllergy.co.uk, up to 1 in 20 British children under the age of three are allergic to cow’s milk. Symptoms of cows milk allergy, or CMA, include the following (especially if accompanied by restless sleep or excessive crying):
And it’s not just the kids who suffer. Recent science has shown that more adults than previously believed actually suffer from CMA, although they’d blamed lactose intolerance for their symptoms.2
Cow’s milk contains casein alpha 1 – a protein found in mammalian milk that has been identified as an allergen. Goat’s milk contains less casein alpha 1 than cow’s milk, so goat’s milk is considered hypoallergenic. The University of Granada researchers pointed out that ‘For this reason, in some countries [goat’s milk] is used as the basis for the development of infant formula in place of cow milk.’3
- Goat’s milk may be better for our health than cow’s milk. The researchers at the University of Granada, in their comparative study on the properties of goat’s and cow’s milk, found that goat’s milk has nutritional characteristics beneficial to health, largely because it has many nutrients that make it similar to human milk. Their study found that goat’s milk outperforms cow’s milk in its ability to prevent ferropenic anaemia (iron deficiency) and bone demineralization (softening of the bones). It also helps with the digestive and metabolic utilization of minerals such as iron, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.4
- Goat’s milk contains prebiotics, which feed probiotics. Goat’s milk has more oligosaccharides with a composition similar to that of human milk. These compounds reach the large intestine undigested and act as prebiotics (substances that make the pre-existing bugs in your gut healthier, so they can out-compete the bad bugs).5
- Goat’s milk has a lower proportion of lactose than cow’s milk. As it’s easier to digest, many people with intolerance to this milk sugar can easily tolerate goat’s milk.6
- Goat’s milk has smaller fat molecules than cow’s milk, and a healthier type of fat. Goat’s milk contains more essential omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic and archidonic) than cow’s milk. Goat’s milk also has 30–35 per cent medium-chain fatty acids, while cow’s milk only has 15–20 per cent. These fatty acids are a quick source of energy and are not stored as body fat.7
- Goat’s milk can lower cholesterol. Goat’s milk fat reduces total cholesterol levels and maintains adequate levels of triglycerides and transaminases (GOT and GPT). This makes it helpful for the prevention of heart diseases.8
- Goat’s milk helps with bone formation. Goat’s milk is rich in calcium and phosphorus in a bioavailable form, which helps with bone formation. It also has more zinc and selenium than cow’s milk. These essential micronutrients also help prevent neurodegenerative diseases.9
For all these reasons, the scientists at the University of Granada concluded that ‘the consumption [should be promoted among the population in general, especially among those with allergy or intolerance to cow milk, malabsorption, high cholesterol levels, anaemia, osteoporosis or prolonged treatments with iron supplements.’10
It’s relatively easy to find goat milk, cheese, butter, yogurt etc in any quality supermarket. So switch over to goat dairy, and remove the cow dairy from your diet for good.
- Goat’s milk is considered by scientists to be a ‘functional food’, with health benefits for human beings.
- Cow’s milk is allergic and is a common trigger for eczema and asthma.
- Goat’s milk has less lactose and smaller fat globules than cow’s milk, which makes it more easily tolerated by those with allergy or intolerance the latter.