Cow’s milk is a staple in most of our refrigerators. Packed with calcium, essential fats, protein and essential vitamins, it’s touted as a nutritious drink for the whole family, particularly for growing children. But cow’s milk isn’t the only type of milk that’s out there. There are many other alternatives that you may want to consider for yourself and your child that are just as delicious and nutritious. Goat’s milk is one such example. Here are all the great reasons why you might want to stock up on it the next time you’re at the supermarket.
1 It’s easier to digest and gentler on the tummy
Milk contains two kinds of proteins – casein and whey. Unlike in cow’s milk, the type of casein in goat’s milk results in a softer curd that’s easier for our digestive enzymes to process. For example, the enzyme trypsin, which is found in the stomach, breaks down 96 per cent of goat casein, compared to only 76 to 90 per cent of cow casein.
Both cow’s and goat’s milk also contain fat, namely saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids, also called triglycerides, are metabolised to provide energy. Goat’s milk is believed to contain a high proportion of short to medium chain saturated fatty acids, which are easier for our intestinal enzymes to digest.
2 Its secretion process is the same as that of human milk
When milk is made in the mammary gland, it forms tiny droplets within cells. These milk droplets, which contain proteins, are typically released from the mammary cell in two different ways. Cow’s milk is secreted via a merocrine process, whereas goat’s milk, like human breast milk, is secreted via the apocrine process. Milk that’s produced by the apocrine process contains more amino acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, including conjugated linolenic acid (CLA). This means that goat’s milk and human breast milk have a similar nutritional proﬁle.
3 It’s rich in nutrients for a healthy immune system
Compared to cow’s milk, goat’s milk is naturally rich in nucleotides, which are the building blocks of DNA. Nucleotides are bioactive substances that help promote the growth and development of the immune system. Goat’s milk is also higher in oligosaccharides (a form of carbohydrate), which are said to be effective prebiotics. Prebiotics are an important part of the digestive system, and play a crucial role in preventing infections and maintaining good digestive health. With the wide array of formula milk in the market, it may be a mind-boggling exercise to decide the best option for your child. If you are unsure about making the switch to goat’s milk, consult your family doctor or paediatrician.
1 "How Does Goat Milk Measure up to Other Formulas?” Journal of Family Health, www.jfhc.co.uk/goat-milk-measure-formulas.
2 Martinez-Ferez, et al. “Goats' Milk as a Natural Source of Lactose-Derived Oligosaccharides: Isolation by Membrane Technology." International Dairy Journal, Elsevier, 6 July 2005, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0958694605000385.