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Cully and Sully News
Goat’s milk and Cow’s milk – Is there a difference?
By Fawn
on 20 Oct 2008 9:09 PM

Young children and convalescents are regularly recommended to drink goat’s milk rather than cow’s milk.  Mother often gives it to their one-year-old babies when they stop breast-feeding as is it considered the closest milk in composition to human breast milk.  It is difficult to find substantial evidence to back this, but I did find some interesting points relating to the difference between cow’s and goat’s milk… The vitamin content of cow’s milk and goat’s milk is relatively similar. 

Small differences can be found within specific vitamins.  Goat’s milk is slightly higher in the minerals calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, chlorine and manganese; but it is lower in sodium, iron, sulphur, zinc and molybdenum.  The iron from goat’s milk is easier to absorb and utilise in the body than iron from cow’s milk. In seems that goat’s milk is more easily digested than cow’s milk. 

This may be due to the different types of fats and proteins within the 2 milks.  Goat’s milk has smaller sized fat globules, which provide better dispersion within the milk.  And also, when goat’s milk is added to a strong acid (like stomach acid) the curd forms finer flakes more rapidly than cow milk.  Cow’s milk tends to form large lumps slower.  Because of this easier digestion, goat’s milk is of great value not only to children and sick people but also for feeding animals, young dogs, foals, even calves.  Apparently, calves can consume large quantities of goat’s milk while similar amounts of cow’s milk may result in diarrhoea.

Cow’s milk has just a little more of the sugar lactose.  Also, people who are allergic to the milk protein casein can often tolerate goat’s milk with no adverse reaction.  This is because the casein particles within goat’s milk are either much larger or much smaller than the casein particles in cow’s milk.  The good buffering ability of goat’s milk appears to make it ideal for the treatment of gastric ulcers.

Goat’s milk doesn’t cream as easily or as quickly as cow’s milk.  This seems to be due to a lack of a specific protein (which is present in cow’s milk) that makes individual fat globules within cow’s milk, cluster and rise. It is important to remember that no 2 cartons of goat’s milk are the same.  Nutrients (especially in the amounts of fat and minerals) in goat’s milk fluctuate seasonally and daily.  The fluctuation is greater in goat’s milk than cow’s milk.