Goat milk can be considered a functional food

Researchers at the University of Granada’s Department of Physiology and Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology “Jose Matáix” in Spain have determined that goats’ milk is nutritionally similar to human milk, and has nutritional characteristics beneficial to health. Regular consumption of goats’ milk can improve iron deficiency anaemia because it enhances the body’s nutritional use of iron and the renewal of haemoglobin. Goats’ milk contains less casein alpha 1, which is the protein responsible for most cows’ milk allergies, making it hypoallergenic. It also has less lactose, meaning it can be tolerated by people who cannot tolerate this milk sugar which is present in cows’ milk. Goats’ milk also has more oligosaccharides with a composition similar to human milk and these oligosaccharides act as prebiotics in the gut, promoting the growth of probiotic flora and encouraging the pathogenic bacterial flora to disappear.

The main difference between cows’ and goats’ milk stems from the nature of their respective fat contents. Goats’ milk contains more essential fatty acids (linoleic and arachidonic) and also more medium chain fatty acids that are used as energy and not stored as fat. The fat in goats’ milk also reduces cholesterol levels and maintains levels of triglycerides and transaminases which helps to prevent heart disease. With regards to the mineral content of goats’ milk, it is rich in calcium and phosphorus, which promotes positive bne health, as well as znic and selenium which contribute to antioxdiant defense and prevent neurogenerative diseases.

Source: University of Granada

First published in May 2011


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