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Benefits of Goat's Milk in Children

"Slowly becoming popular nowadays, is goat's milk."
By: Gwen Y. Reyes-Amurao, M.D.Benefits of Goat's Milk in Children

Milk has always been a staple in many homes, especially in those with infants. Although milk is specifically known because of its vital role in bone development, it also plays a major role in the proper growth and development of one’s teeth, and aids in proper heart function. At a certain age, other sources of milk are introduced to a child, most of which fall under the classification of infant formulas or cow’s milk. Slowly becoming popular nowadays, is goat’s milk. Here are some helpful facts about goat’s milk, and why it’s proving to be a good alternative source of calcium in children.

GOAT’S MILK CAUSES LESS ALLERGIES

Milk is made up of specific proteins. Cow’s milk contains proteins which some immune systems may see as harmful, triggering the release of antibodies. The lactalbumin portion found in whey in cow’s milk is found in a smaller amount in goat’s milk, which also contributes to its less allergenic properties. Goat milk has proven to be an effective alternative to children who have sensitivities to both cow’s milk and soy milk.

Aside from milk allergy, a concern most parents have when it comes to milk intake is lactose intolerance. Contrary to what people think, goat’s milk is not completely devoid of lactose, but instead is found in smaller quantities, leading to less problems associated with a child who has a known intolerance to it.

GOAT’S MILK IS EASIER TO DIGEST

A unique characteristic of goat’s milk that makes for easier digestion is its fat molecules. Because they are smaller in size, it has greater digestibility and can be passed out more easily with less irritation on one’s gastrointestinal tract. This also makes for lower cholesterol levels even when taken until adulthood.

GOAT’S MILK HELPS PREVENT REFLUX

Any type of protein can be considered as a gastric irritant and can lead to increased acid secretion and reflux. Because goat’s milk contains a more easily digested form of protein, it produces less irritation and can even help prevent reflux when taken regularly because of its innately high fat content.

GOAT’S MILK IS RICH IN ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

Any type of milk is rich in essential fatty acids, but goat’s milk has been found to have twice as much essential fatty acids or EFAs compared to the more popular cow’s milk. These EFAs help in the proper development of a child’s brain, and also helps regulate immune function. Having adequate levels of these fatty acids also contributes to a child’s healthier hair and skin.

GOAT’S MILK IS A GOOD SOURCE OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS

In an article written by Dr. Edward Group, he mentions that among other things, goat’s milk is extremely rich in nutrients and has almost 35% of the daily needs for calcium. It also contains high amounts of phosphorus, vitamin B6, and potassium. The nutrient composition of goat milk when compared to cow’s milk is as follows:

  • 13% more calcium
  • 25% more vitamin B6
  • 47% more vitamin A
  • 134% more potassium
  • 350% more Niacin

Aside from this, goat milk is also higher in chloride, copper and manganese and contains 27% more of the essential nutrient selenium and none of the controversial Bovine Growth Hormone or BGH.

Another important benefit of goat’s milk lies in its composition. It has been found more similar to human milk compared to any other type of milk, which is why it is strongly preferred by some mothers over cow’s milk. This also explains why infants seem to tolerate them better, ultimately producing very little adverse effects. To prove how similar it is with human milk, a study conducted by the British Medical Journal showed that the stools of babies consuming goat’s milk had the same appearance and physical characteristics when compared to the stools of babies on human milk.

Presently, goat milk has gained popularity because of the significance it has claimed in human nutrition. According to the Journal of Small Ruminant Research, goat milk and its products seems to play a role in the feeding of malnourished children in developing countries than from cow’s milk. Second, it has addressed the issue of children and adults alike who are afflicted with cow’s milk allergies and gastrointestinal or digestive disorders which is why researchers have seen the benefits of goat’s milk not only as a nutritional source of infants and children, but as a medicinal food as well. And lastly, it has been cited as an alternative source in addressing the needs of the growing population of milk consumers all over the world.

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