Goat Milk's Health Benefits 

​​ Livestock  & POultry Solutions

The herding of goats is thought to have evolved about 10,000 years ago in the mountains of Iran, making goats one of the oldest domesticated animals.Goat milk and the cheese made from it was venerated in ancient Egypt with some Pharaohs supposedly placing these foods among the other treasures in their burial tombs (make are).

It is estimated that over 80% of the world’s goat population is located in Asia and Africa. By deduction, it is probable that more people in the world drink milk from goats than from any other animal. New markets and uses for goat milk are also being pursued, for example, as a basis for medicinal and infant foods. It is imperative that quality and safety of goat milk are optimized to ensure consumer confidence owing to the growing interest in existing and new goat dairy products worldwide. Two characteristics of goat milk fat have important consequences for manufacturing. One is the smaller size of the fat globules in goat milk in comparison to those in cow milk. In both species, the fat globules range from 1 to 10 micron, but the number of fat globules smaller than 5 micron is ∼60% in cow milk whereas it is ∼80% in goat milk.

Medicinal value of goat milk:

  • Goat milk contains a higher proportion of medium-chain fatty acids, i.e., caproic (C6:0), caprylic (C8:0) and capric (C10:0), which are partly responsible for the characteristic “goaty” odor of goat milk.

  • In addition to contributing to the specific “goaty” flavor, the higher proportion of medium-chain fatty acids in goat milk are known to:

  • (i) be anti-bacterial, (ii) be antiviral, (iii) inhibit development and dissolve cholesterol deposits, and (iv) be absorbed rapidly from the intestine

  • As human milk lacks s1-casein, the low levels of s1- casein in some goat milk and the higher proportion of -casein means that goat milk casein profile is closer to human milk than that of cow milk.

  • Goat milk is reported to form a finer curd than cow milk following acidification, which mimics the conditions in the stomach, suggesting it would be more readily digested.

  • Concentrations of methionine and cysteine (sulfur amino acids), when added together, are equivalent in goat and human milk protein

  • Taurine is particularly high in goat milk, being 20–40- times higher than cow milk(good for kidney health)

  • Taurine is also beneficial for adults, helping to regulate blood pressure and possibly to alleviate other cardiovascular ailments (heart problems)

  • Taurine alleviates muscle fatigue in strenuous workouts and raises exercise capacity (important for body builders

  • Most oligosaccharides (>95%) from human milk are resistant to digestion suggest that their main target of biological functions is the intestine of the newborn baby.

  • Cow milk allergy is considered a common disease with a prevalence of 2.5% in children during the first 3 years of life even as high as 20% in some areas (Nestle, 1987) Treatment with goat milk resolved between 30 and 40% of the problem cases, and in one particular study 49 of 55 treated children benefited from treatment with goat milk.

  • Goat milk typically contains between 250 and 300 mg/L oligosaccharides, 4–5 times higher than the content in cow milk. 

  • The oligosaccharides in goat milk are complex, with a profile most similar to human milk, in comparison to cows and sheep.

  • Selenium (Se) is the main component of goat milk. Deficiency of Selenium and decrease in platelet count are the main complications of dengue fever. Goat milk, as well as milk products, are the richest source of Selenium (Se) as the comparison to cow and sheep milk.