Goat Milk products health benefit review of allergy and composition
November 7 2015 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Milk and dairy products are part of a healthy Mediterranean diet which, besides cow's milk, also consists of sheep's, goat's and buffalo's milk, alone or as a mixture. The fat and protein composition of the milk of the various animal species differs only slightly.

Electrophoresis. 2014. Characterization of goat milk lactoferrin N-glycans and comparison with the N-glycomes of human and bovine milk. Numerous milk components, such as lactoferrin, are recognized as health-promoting compounds. A growing body of evidence suggests that glycans could mediate lactoferrin's bioactivity. Goat milk lactoferrin is a candidate for infant formula supplementation because of its high homology with its human counterpart. The aim of this study was to characterize the glycosylation pattern of goat milk lactoferrin. After the protein was isolated from milk by affinity chromatography, N-glycans were enzymatically released and a complete characterization of glycan composition was carried out by advanced mass spectrometry. The glycosylation of goat milk lactoferrin was compared with that of human and bovine milk glycoproteins. Nano-LC-Chip-Q-TOF MS data identified 65 structures, including high mannose, hybrid and complex N-glycans. Among the N-glycan compositions, 37% were sialylated and 34% were fucosylated. The results demonstrated the existence of similar glycans in human and goat milk but also identified novel glycans in goat milk that were not present in human milk. These data suggest that goat milk could be a source of bioactive compounds, including lactoferrin that could be used as functional ingredients for food products beneficial to human nutrition

Goat milk allergy, how common is it?
Cow's milk allergy is the most frequent cause of food allergy in infants, and caseins are probably the main allergens. Most children who are allergic to cow's mik are also sensitized to whey proteins and/or to the casein fraction and many of them cannot tolerate goat's milk or sheep's milk either. Therefore, the majority of people with cow's milk allergy are likely to be allergic to goat's milk also. The use of goat's milk cannot be recommended to patients with cow's milk allergy without investigation of possible tolerance by a specialist.

Goat milk for infants
Growth of infants fed goat milk formula is not different to that of infants-fed cow milk formula.

Goat milk composition
Chemical composition of milk from a herd of Norwegian goats.
J Dairy Res. 1986.
The chemical composition of Norwegian bulk collected goats' milk from the University herd was analysed during one lactation period (30 weeks, 20 samples during 1983). There was considerable variation in chemical composition during the year. Fat content decreased over the first 4 months of lactation and increased during the mountain pasture period. Protein concentration decreased during the first 4 months, and then increased until the end of lactation. Lactose concentration decreased throughout lactation. Casein nitrogen (casein N) was highest at mid lactation and lowest at the beginning and end of lactation. beta-Lactoglobulin N showed the opposite trend. Citrate content showed a significantly quadratic decrease and total ash content an increase with advancing lactation. Mutual significant correlations between total P, K, Na, Ca and Mg were calculated, and all increased throughout lactation. There was significant positive correlation between concentrations of individual medium-chain fatty acids and stage of lactation. They remained more or less constant during the first part of the lactation, decreased to minima when the goats were on pasture, and increased during the last phase of lactation. Concentration of C16 fatty acid was negatively correlated with C18 and C18:1. Goat flavor intensity score and quality flavor score were highest at mid lactation, and positively correlated with the acid degree value.