Although Americans are accustomed to cow’s milk, goat’s milk is much more common in most other parts of the world. Goats are hardier than cows, are inexpensive, and take up less space.
Goat’s milk is closest to mother’s milk than any other food. Goat’s milk is a complete protein and contains every essential amino acid. Yet it contains significantly less fat than cow’s milk.
Goat milk is easy to digest, even for babies. Goat milk has more medium chain fatty acids than cow milk, which aids in easier digestion. Goat milk fat consists of 35 percent medium chain fatty acids, compared with 17 percent found in cow milk. Almost half of people who are lactose intolerant are able to drink goat’s milk.
Three different medium chain fatty acids found in goat milk are thought to have health benefits for people with certain types of diseases, especially diseases involving metabolism. Some of these conditions include cystic fibrosis, gallstones, heart disease, and various digestive problems. Goat milk has three times more of these types of medium chain fatty acids than cow milk.
Goat’s milk contains less of the enzyme xanthine oxidase than cow’s milk. When this enzyme enters the bloodstream, it can create scar tissue on the heart. This, in turn, causes the body to produce cholesterol for protection. This can be a precursor to arteriosclerosis.
Goat milk contains more vitamin A than cow milk. Cow milk’s vitamin A content is partially consistent of carotenoids, which must be turned into vitamin A by the body. All of the vitamin A found in goat milk is pre-formed. This is an advantage to people with health conditions which prevent their bodies from being able to form vitamin A from carotenoids. Goat’s milk also contains more riboflavin than cow’s milk.
A cup of goat’s milk has almost 33 percent of the recommended daily allowance for calcium, compared to almost 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance for calcium in a cup of cow’s milk.
A cup of goat milk also supplies more protein than a cup of cow milk, almost nine grams of protein compared to about eight grams of protein in cow milk.