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Nutritional and Medicinal Superiority of Goat Milk over Cow Milk in Infants

Authors:
  • College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry U.P. Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan Vishwavidyalaya Evam Go-Anusandhan Sansthan Mathura-281001 Uttar Pradesh

Abstract

Goat milk has got an excellent medicinal and nutritional property. It has been established that the goat milk is better suited for the infant suffering from cow milk allergy and discomfort. Goat milk is very much similar to mothers’ milk in many aspects when compared with the cow milk. Studies suggested that the goat milk resembles human milk, is homogenous, less allergenic, is better digested and absorbed than the cow milk. It has got an excellent buffering action. So goat milk can easily find its inclusion in infant formulas ahead of cow milk. The aim of the present review is to highlight the nutritional and medicinal potential of goat milk in infant nutrition when compared with cow milk.
International Journal of Pediatric Nursing / Volume 2 Number 1 / January - April 2016
47
International Journal of Pediatric Nursing
Volume 2 Number 1, January - April 2016
http://dx.doi.org/10.21088/ijpen.2454.9126.2116.6
© Red Flower Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Nutritional and Medicinal Superiority of Goat Milk over
Cow Milk in Infants
Ashish Kumar*, Ambika Sharma**
Abstract
Goat milk has got an excellent medicinal and nutritional property. It
has been established that the goat milk is better suited for the infant
suffering from cow milk allergy and discomfort. Goat milk is very much
similar to mothers’ milk in many aspects when compared with the cow
milk. Studies suggested that the goat milk resembles human milk, is
homogenous, less allergenic, is better digested and absorbed than the
cow milk. It has got an excellent buffering action. So goat milk can easily
find its inclusion in infant formulas ahead of cow milk. The aim of the
present review is to highlight the nutritional and medicinal potential of
goat milk in infant nutrition when compared with cow milk.
Keyword: Goat Milk; Infants; Fatty Acids; Allergy; Cow Milk.
Review Article
Author Affiliation
*Department of Pharmacology, School of
Medical Sciences & Research, Sharda
University,Greater Noida, Gautam Buddh
Nagar-210306, Uttar Pradesh, India.
**Department of Veterinary Biochemistry,
College of Veterinary Sciences and Animal
Husbandry, U.P. Pandit Deen Dayal
Upadhyaya Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan
Vishwavidyalaya Evam Go Anusandhan
Sansthan (DUVASU), Mathura – 281 001, Uttar
Pradesh, India
Reprint Request
Ashish Kumar, C-20, New Campus, College of
Veterinary Science, DUVASU, Mathura-281001,
Uttar Pradesh.
E-mail: ashishvet77@gmail.com
Introduction
Goat is one of the oldest domesticated animals. In
ancient times also goat milk was valued the most.
Goat milk still plays an important role in human
nutrition. All over the world riding on high profile
or big budget campaign cow milk has been made
very popular, however it doesn’t mean that cow milk
is the best with better quality than the goat milk. In
fact 65% of the milk consumption worldwide is from
goat milk and is superior to cow milk in many aspects.
According to the Journal of American Medicine,
“Goat milk is the most complete food known.” It
contains vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, trace
elements, enzymes, protein, and fatty acids that are
utilized by human body with ease. In fact, our body
can digest goat milk in just 20 minutes while it takes
2-3 hours to digest cow milk.
Excerpts from Biomarker Diet1 say that the milk
consumed in biblical times differed much from the
milk we consume today. The milk of the Bible came
from cows and goats and was consumed straight
from the animal (it was not pasteurized or
homogenized), or it was immediately fermented.
These ‘live’ foods provide excellent health benefits
in contrast to today’s pasteurized, homogenized,
often skimmed and refortified milk, which is not only
less nutritious but also can be potentially harmful
and a major cause of allergies and even heart disease.
Biochemically goat milk has greater
concentrations of essential fatty acids such as linoleic
and arachidonic acid, Vitamin B3, B6, Vitamin A, and
Potassium (K) than cow milk. One cup of goat milk
supply 35% of our daily need of calcium, 20% of daily
need of B2. High level of potassium causes goat milk
to react in an alkaline way within the body whereas
cow milk reacts in acidic way due to lees amount of
potassium. In Naturopathic medicine, goats are
referred as bio-organic sodium animals whereas
cows are referred as bio-organic calcium animals.
Bioorganic sodium is an important element in keeping
the joints mobile and tender. Goat milk is a rich source
of the trace mineral selenium, a necessary nutrient,
which keeps immune system strong and also has
antioxidant properties.It is said that Mahatma
International Journal of Pediatric Nursing / Volume 2 Number 1 / January - April 2016
48
Gandhi maintained his health through drinking raw
goat milk after extensively long periods of fasting2.
The aim of the present review is to analyze the
beneficial and medicinal properties of the goat milk.
The review presents the studies suggesting goat milk
possesses many advantages over cow milk as a
nutritional source for infants and children.
Goat Milk is Naturally Homogenized
When both of fresh cow milk as well as fresh goat
milk are refrigerated overnight in a glass, one can
find that the goat milk looks exactly the same whereas
the cow milk separates into two phases with cream
on top and skim milk at the bottom. This is a natural
phenomenon brought about by a compound called
agglutinin. Cow milk is homogenized mechanically
to destroy the fat globule cell wall in order to allow
cream and skim milk to stay homogenous. These
mechanical homogenization releases a superoxide
(free radicals). These free radicals may cause various
problems inside the body even causing mutation.
Goat milk have smaller fat globules and lacks
agglutinin allowing milk to stay naturally
homogenous thus eliminating the concerns
associated with mechanical homogenization
processes.
Goat Milk Resembles Human Milk
Goat milk is as close to perfect food as possible in
nature. Human milk has a more similarity with goat
milk than the cow milk which may be the reason for
goat milk healing properties. Although no food is
better than mothers’ milk at least for the first six
months of life.
The oligosaccharide profile of goat milk is most
similar to that of human milk and the goat milk
oligosaccharides could be included in infant
formulas to improve the nutrition of infants3.
A study by the International Journal of Food
Science Nutrition found that goat milk has a very
different profile of the non-protein nitrogen (NPN)
fraction to cow milk, with several constituents such
as nucleotides having concentrations close to those
in human breast milk4. NPN contents of goat and
human milks are higher than in cow milk.
Nucleotides are added to the infant formula to
facilitate the immune maturation of the milk fed
offspring5. Being an important constituents of DNA
and RNA, it plays an important role in signal
transduction, synthesis of apolipoproteins (Apo) A1
and Apo A1V in pre term infants and in long chain
polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) synthesis
upregulation in neonates5. The nucleotide contents
of the infant formula made from goat milk have nearly
the same level as human milk4.
Goat milk also resembles human milk in the protein
structure. The major casein protein Beta casein found
in both goat and human milk is different from the
casein found in cow milk6. Also, the peptide
mappings of alpha-lacto albumins and beta-lacto
globulins in goat and human milk are completely
different from those of cow milk 6. The micelle
structures of the casein between human and goat
milk have a similarity than the cow milk7. Milk from
women and goats were found to contain significantly
higher concentrations of selenium than from cows8.
Goat milk is a complete protein that contains all the
essential amino acids without the heavy fat content
and mucus producing materials of cow milk. Goat
milk proteins are also important sources of bioactive
acetyl cholinesterase (ACE) inhibitory and
antihypertensive peptides. They can provide a non-
immune disease defence and control of microbial
infections. Important minor milk proteins include
immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, transferring, ferritin,
proteose peptone, calmodulin (calcium binding
protein), prolactin, and folate-binding protein.
Goat Milk is Less Allergenic
Cow milk allergy is the number one allergy of
children, affecting roughly 0.5 to 1.5 million children
every year9. Cow milk contains more than 20 allergen
proteins6 which are not recognized by the immune
system leading to a variety of symptoms like Hives,
wheezing, vomiting, abdominal cramping,
diarrhoea, skin rash (commonly near and around
the mouth), runny nose, watery eyes, colic in infants
and even anaphylactic shock. Alpha s1 casein is one
of the main allergens in cow milk. Goat milk, like
human milk, contains low levels (89% less than cow’s
milk) of alpha s1 casein and high levels of alpha s2
casein, which is non-allergic. Infants suffering from
allergies with eosinophilia associated with the
gastrointestinal tract showed improvement after
shifting to goat milk. Likewise it is reported that the
chronic enteropathy due to feeding of cow milk can
be cured by shifting to goat milk.
In one of the study it was found that nearly 93
percent of infants suffering from cow milk allergies
were able to tolerate and thrive on goat milk10. Another
animal model study concluded that goat milk, when
used as the first source of protein after a breastfeeding
period, is less allergenic than cow milk11.
The size of fat globules in Cow’s milk is much
bigger which may increase mucous build-up, leading
Ashish Kumar & Ambika Sharma / Nutritional and Medicinal Superiority of Goat Milk over Cow Milk in Infants
International Journal of Pediatric Nursing / Volume 2 Number 1 / January - April 2016
49
to irritation in the gut. Goat’s milk does not produce
mucus due to the smaller size of fat globules; hence it
does not stimulate a defence response from the human
immune system. Allergies in adults due to cow milk
are manifested by latent discomfort, pain, damage
and overall lack of wellness.
Polyamines play an important role in maturation
of the GIT enzymes, cell function12 and reduce the
incidence of food allergy in infants13. The
concentration of polyamines in goat milk is highest
in goat milk compared to cow and human milk14. It
was found that five times more goat milk is required
to trigger an adverse reaction than the cow milk15. In
a mice study it was found that only one out of 13
mice weaned on to goat milk showed typical allergic
symptoms in comparison to the 8 of 13 mice on cow
milk16.
Nearly every cow is given growth hormones,
antibiotics, GMO feed, vaccinations; it is not
uncommon to see adverse effects from consuming
pasteurized cow’s milk. Goats are rarely treated in
such ways.
Goat Milk is Rapidly Digested and Absorbed
Goat milk has better digestibility and absorption
than cow milk. Goat milk is much higher in short
chain fatty acids and medium chain fatty acids than
cow milk. These short chain fatty acids and medium
chain fatty acids have a larger surface-to-volume ratio
and are better digested and absorbed than the long
chain fatty acids prevalent in cow milk17. In a recent
study it was found that “levels of the metabolically
valuable short and medium chain fatty acids like
caproic, caprylic, capric and lauric acids are
significantly higher in goat milk than in cow milk18.
These higher levels of easy-to-digest short chain fatty
acids and medium chain fatty acids are broken down
quicker and more completely than the long chain
fatty acids abundant in cow milk. The number of fat
globules measuring 5µm is 80% in goat milk
compared to 60% in cow milk25. Medium-chain fatty
acids, such as capric and caprylic acids are highly
antimicrobial. The medicinal property of these
medium chain fatty acids helps in less deposition of
cholesterol in the arteries, aid in dissolving
cholesterol and gall stones and significantly
contributing to the normal growth of infants. These
medium chain fatty acids play an important role in
improving the conditions like steatorrhea, chyluria,
hyperlipoproteinemia, cystic fibrosis, gall stones,
and childhood epilepsy.
In a study investigating the effect of pepsin and
trypsin revealed that while these enzymes completely
digested over 96 percent of available goat milk
protein, less than 73 percent of available cow milk
protein was able to be digested completely7.
Goat milk also contains excessive amount of the
energy rich substrate adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
than cow milk19. ATP is the energy “currency” that
our metabolism is constantly manufacturing, used
for every cellular reaction in the body.
Goat milk also contains taurine, glycine and
glutamic acid as free amino acids 20. Taurine plays
an important role in bile salt formation,
osmoregulation, antioxidation, and calcium
transport and also in central nervous system. Goat
milk contains about 20-40 times much taurine than
the cow milk21.
Alkaline Powerhouse
Goat milk has an excellent buffering action inside
human body. Many foods lead to the production of
acids that may lead to certain health hazards22. In a
study reported in the Journal of Dairy Science, the
buffering capacity of goat milk, cow milk, soy milk
and antacid drugs was examined. Theoretically the
antacid drugs should have proven to have the best
buffering capacity since their function is to reduce
acid. However, the study found that goat milk
overwhelmingly exceeded the buffering capabilities
of the other three23. Another study in the Journal of
Nutrition found that oligosaccharides from goat milk
very likely play a major role in intestinal protection
and repair24. This is important because acidic diets
often cause damage to the gastrointestinal lining.
Oligosaccharides act a prebiotic and have anti-
infective property.
L-glutamine is an alkalinizing amino acid and is
present in highest concentration in goat milk than
any other milk products thereby increasing the pH
of the blood. Goat’s milk has long been used and
recommended as an aid in the treatment of ulcers
due to its more effective acid buffering capacity. Goat’s
milk soothes the digestive tract. Children on goat’s
milk have been observed to sleep through the night
and remain more satisfied between meals.
The USDA and Prairie View A&M University in
Texas have confirmed that goat milk has more acid-
buffering capacity than cow milk, soy infant formula,
and non-prescription antacid drugs.
Researchers at the Department of Physiology,
University of Granada found that goat milk helps to
prevent ferropenic anaemia (Iron Deficiency) and
bone demineralization (softening of bones) in
experimental rats.
Ashish Kumar & Ambika Sharma / Nutritional and Medicinal Superiority of Goat Milk over Cow Milk in Infants
International Journal of Pediatric Nursing / Volume 2 Number 1 / January - April 2016
50
Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance is due to the deficiency or lack
of enzyme lactase leading to a condition called lactose
intolerance. Easier digestion of the goat milk allows
the lactose to pass through the intestines more
rapidly, not giving it time to ferment or cause an
osmotic imbalance means there is no “leftover”
lactose. Also goat milk contains 10% less lactose than
cow milk. Most lactose intolerant people are able to
thrive on goat’s milk and goat milk products.
In conclusion, goat milk has better nutritional and
medicinal properties than the cow milk and is best
suited to infants.
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Ashish Kumar & Ambika Sharma / Nutritional and Medicinal Superiority of Goat Milk over Cow Milk in Infants
... Goat milk also contains ACE-inhibitors, lactoferrin, opioids, casomorphins which are useful in boosting the immune system to overcome congenital inflammation (asthma, allergies) and chronic inflammation (heart disease, diabetes) [9,10]. In addition, goat's milk has several advantages compared to cow's milk, including goat's milk is easy to digest due to the small diameter of fat granules on average 3.49 μm [11], small protein size of about 180 nm [12], 89% less allergen (αs1-casein) and 10% less lactose [13]. With this, it is suspected that there will be an increase in demand of goat's milk during the COVID-19 pandemic in Central Java. ...
... Third, Central Java was one of the areas with a high number of corona cases in Indonesia [4]. Fourth, increasing public knowledge about the superiority of goat's milk over cow's milk, which is smaller in size of protein and fat, more short chain fatty acids, less allergens (casein-αS1) and less lactose [13]. This happened because at the time of the research there was a high daily increase in positive cases of COVID-19, increased public awareness to maintain health with nutritious food and peoples experience about the efficacy of goat's milk for respiratory health. ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-Cov2 virus has caused problems in various countries, including Indonesia. One of the provinces in Indonesia that has been affected by COVID-19 is Central Java. In order to prevent the spread of disease to a wider area, the government urges the public to wear masks, maintain distance and maintain good nutrition to increase body resistance. Goat's milk is one source of nutritional intake that is useful for increasing the body's resistance from respiratory diseases because it contains certain peptides, vitamin D and high calcium. With this, it is suspected that there will be an increase in demand of goat's milk during the COVID-19 pandemic in Central Java. This study aims to analyze the difference in demand of goat's milk between before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Central Java. This study was conducted purposive method, with consideration, breeders who had a good record of the demand of goat's milk in the last 2 years and were willing to be respondents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data taken was the number of collective requests of goat's milk before the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2019-February 2020) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020-February 2021). Two paired data from this study were analyzed by the Wilcoxon test to determine whether there was a difference or not. From the data collection, the average collective demand of goat's milk before the COVID-19 pandemic was 10,244 liters/month and during the COVID-19 pandemic was 22,065 liters/month, thus an increase of 115.39%. The results of the analysis using the Wilcoxon Test are known to have P-value=0.002, so there is a high significant difference between the demand of goat's milk before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Central Java.
... Goat's milk is characterized by different physicochemical properties compared to cow's milk, and this may be attributed to smaller size of fat globules and a higher percentage of short-and medium-chain fatty acids (Lima et al., 2018). According to Kumar and Sharma (2016), goat's milk is more similar to human milk than cow's milk in terms of protein structure and oligosaccharide profile, shows better digestibility and absorption, and causes lower allergenicity than cow's milk. The bioavailability of minerals in goat's milk is also higher than in cow's milk (Turkmen, 2017). ...
... Considering a similar basic composition of cow's and goat's yoghurts observed in our study, it is worth pointing out another advantage of goat's dairy products. The smaller fat globules and lack of agglutinin in goat's milk compared to cow's milk make it a valuable material for the dairy industry, as both these features allow milk to stay homogeneous and eliminate the necessity of milk homogenization and various problems related to this process (Kumar & Sharma, 2016). ...
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