Goat’s milk is a natural functional food, scientists conclude

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Goat’s milk is a natural functional food concluded a group of Spanish scientists, after conducting a series of studies looking into the nutritional characteristics of the dairy product.

The research group from the University in Granada, Spain, claim regular goat’s milk consumption should be increased among the general population, especially among those who suffer from conditions such as high cholesterol, anemia, and osteoporosis.

“We have demonstrated through many papers the beneficial effects of goat milk on mineral and protein metabolism in several physiological and pathological conditions,”​ professor José M. Alférez told DairyReporter.com

“Moreover, we have reported the positive influence of goat milk consumption on antioxidant defence and DNA stability.”

Regular consumption of goat’s milk can improve recovery of individuals with iron deficiency anemia, claim the scientists.

This is because goat’s milk enhances the nutritional use of iron and the regeneration of hemoglobin as it minimises calcium and iron interactions.

The milk also has many nutrients, such as casein, that make it similar to human milk, the researchers added.

“Goat’s milk contains less casein alpha 1 – as human milk, which is responsible for most allergies to cow milk,”​ they said.

"For this reason, in some countries it is used as the basis for the development of infant formula in place of cow milk."

Goat’s milk also contains a lower proportion of lactose than cow’s milk, said the researchers, about one per cent less. Because it is easier to digest, individuals with intolerance to this milk sugar can tolerate goat milk.

The researchers also found that goat’s milk is rich in calcium and phosphorus which can improve bone formation parameters.

In addition, the milk has more zinc and selenium, which are essential micronutrients contributing to the antioxidant defence and for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, they said.

The studies were published in the following journals:Food Chemistry,Journal of Dairy Research, Journal of Dairy Science ​and International Dairy Journal.

Related topics: Ingredients, Fresh Milk

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