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Truth or Urban Myth? : "Goat's milk is better than cow milk"

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 23, 2012 at 4:41 AM

I keep hearing lots of self-appointed nutrition "experts" saying that goats milk is better for you than cow's milk. That it's somehow less allergenic, more digestible, and closer to human breast milk. Is this true, or is this just urban myth? I've looked through at all the other posts on goats milk vs cow milk and none really have the info I'm looking for, by which I mean to say, more than just hearsay. Anybody have any indisputable "facts" on this one, or is it just a case of "everybody's different."

B6c16d850e7305aad0507ad079ecf1d4

(232)

on August 01, 2013
at 06:56 AM

It looks pretty good for goat's milk on that link. A lot of it must be because goats are less intensely farmed. I've only ever seen them out on pasture (and I've seen many cows chained up in barns).

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3 Answers

4
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 23, 2012
at 05:51 AM

I'm not sure a ton of study has been done on this issue unfortunately, but there are some noted differences in nutrient content between the milk:

  1. Anemic rats recover faster when given goat's milk than cow's milk, perhaps due to more iron, among other possible factors (1,2).

  2. One study measured different minerals in milk and found goat's milk to have more copper, iron, zinc, and manganese than milk from a cow (3).

  3. Another study found Goat milk had slightly more conjugated linoleic acid than cow milk (4).

  4. One study found higher selenium levels in goat milk than cow milk (10).

  5. A review of studies from 1968-1979 concluded "Goatmilk contains more potassium and chloride but less orotic acid, N-acetyl neuraminic acid, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 than cowmilk" (5).

  6. Several others studies have confirmed the findings of the prior review that goat milk contains much less folate (6,7) and vitamin B12 (8,9) than cow milk.

So there are some noticeable differences, not sure I see one having an advantage considering this alone. It probably depends on what the rest of your diet looks like. Still, I myself don't tolerate goat milk as well oddly enough, so that and the lower price is why I favor cow milk.

4
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 23, 2012
at 04:48 AM

Goats milk has chemically different casien (a protein), which some people have issues with (cows milk casien). Which does indeed make it closer to human breast milk. Not really an expert on the topic, but I think this is the main difference.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12112854

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 23, 2012
at 12:11 PM

http://www.crohns.net/Miva/education/aboutgoatsmilk.shtml#Compare

I asked the farmer at our CSA about this once, since he sells both. He explained that in most states retail goats milk cannot contain antibiotic residues, growth hormones, or bovine growth hormones that are found in typical cows milk.

B6c16d850e7305aad0507ad079ecf1d4

(232)

on August 01, 2013
at 06:56 AM

It looks pretty good for goat's milk on that link. A lot of it must be because goats are less intensely farmed. I've only ever seen them out on pasture (and I've seen many cows chained up in barns).

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