Many babies experience allergic reactions if weaned onto cow’s milk too early and it has also been seen to interfere with absorption from the gut, causing increased lead uptake, and inhibited absorption of magnesium and manganese.
Therefore, goat’s milk has been identified as a useful alternative for sensitive children and adults alike.
The Problem with Drinking Milk:
Humans are the only animals who consume the milk of another animal. It is not surprising that some people are unable to digest cow’s milk effectively. Human milk is really the only suitable food for babies, but circumstances often dictate that mothers cannot breast-feed all of the time.
Cow’s milk however forms large, indigestible curds in the stomach, and promotes detrimental mucus production in the intestines (see below). In addition, many youngsters develop eczema when weaned onto cow’s milk, and intolerances to cow’s milk proteins and lactose are not uncommon at that age.
These problems then persist into adulthood and can be a causative factor in many other food intolerances and allergic reactions, due to the build-up of foreign particles and mucus in the body.
The Benefits of Goat’s Milk:
Quite simply, goat’s milk is closer to human milk in composition than cow’s milk, therefore it is more easily digested. The curds formed in the stomach during digestion of goat’s milk are made up of softer, finer particles than those formed by cow’s milk, therefore they pass through the digestive system far more easily.
In addition to this, goat’s milk is less likely to cause excessive mucus production which blocks the intestines as a result of dairy consumption. Not only does this mucus interfere with the passage of food through the intestine, it coats the walls of the gut so prevents efficient absorption of nutrients and contributes to deficiencies and allergies.
Goat’s Milk and Children:
Pure goat’s milk cannot be given to babies as it’s protein content is too high (as is that of cow’s milk). The benefits of goat’s milk have however been captured in formula feeds which are adjusted to be more suitable nutritionally.
Substituting cow’s milk with goat’s milk has been seen to alleviate severe eczema in young children. Some youngsters are so sensitive to cow’s milk that they react to its presence in breast milk when their mothers consume dairy foods.
Introducing cow’s milk at a young age can cause several problems at a later age, therefore goat’s milk is a good food if breast-feeding is impracticable.
Soya based formula milks are often used in such cases, but they contain added sugars and can lead to tooth decay, therefore goat’s milk formulas are often preferable.
Goat’s Milk in Adulthood:
Many adults choose to convert to goat’s milk simply because they find it easier to digest, and it alleviates uncomfortable bloating. Some migraine sufferers too find their symptoms subside if they remove dairy products from their diet.
Of course, the benefits seen in children can also be experienced by adults. Less mucus in the intestines promotes effective nutrient uptake, and therefore enhances well-being.
Persistent catarrh can also be a reaction to cow’s milk which clears when dairy products are eliminated from the diet. In such cases it may be wise to avoid milk altogether, but if you decide to wean yourself back onto it, goat’s milk is a softer option which may be better tolerated by the body.