9 Surprising Goat Milk Health Benefits

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The health benefits of goat milk may include its potential ability to aid in weight loss, reduce inflammation, optimize digestion, improve the bioavailability of nutrients, strengthen bones, boost heart health, strengthen immunity, increase metabolism, prevent toxins from accumulating in the body, and benefit overall health.

Goat Milk

As the milk is derived from goats, rather than the common source of milk in most countries, cows, it may be harder to acquire in some parts of the world. The impressive health benefits of goat milk and the recent research into its positive effects on the human body have made it a very popular choice. Although goats only produce about 2% of the global milk supply, it is cheaper to process because it doesn’t require homogenization (the small fat molecules do not separate and remain suspended in the cream). Certain studies have recommended that goat milk should not be given to very young children, due to their unique nutritional needs in their developmental stages. As we age, the chemical composition and impact of this milk on the body is actually preferable to the effects of cow milk. For example, people who suffer from lactose intolerance, digest goat milk far better than cow milk due to its higher levels of beneficial fatty acids (twice that of cow milk). Goat milk is commonly processed into cheese, butter, ice cream, and yogurt, many of which are considered delicacies due to their high buttermilk content and rich consistency. [1]

While the prevalence of cow milk is not likely to fade in the near future, it is important to understand that there are other options out there. This is not meant to say that cow milk is “bad” for you, but if you’re willing to put in a bit of extra effort to find goat milk, you might be surprised at the beneficial effects you will experience.

A young girl smiling while holding a glass of goat milk, with her arm around a goat

Goat milk contains calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Milk, goat, fluid, with added vitamin D
Serving Size :
Water [g]87.03
Energy 69
Energy [kJ]288
Protein [g]3.56
Total lipid (fat) [g]4.14
Ash [g]0.82
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]4.45
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]4.45
Calcium, Ca [mg]134
Iron, Fe [mg]0.05
Magnesium, Mg [mg]14
Phosphorus, P [mg]111
Potassium, K [mg]204
Sodium, Na [mg]50
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.3
Copper, Cu [mg]0.05
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.02
Selenium, Se [µg]1.4
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]1.3
Thiamin [mg]0.05
Riboflavin [mg]0.14
Niacin [mg]0.28
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.31
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.05
Folate, total [µg]1
Folate, food [µg]1
Folate, DFE [µg]1
Choline, total [mg]16
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0.07
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]57
Retinol [µg]56
Carotene, beta [µg]7
Vitamin A, IU [IU]198
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.07
Vitamin D (D2 + D3), International Units [IU]51
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]1.3
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) [µg]1.3
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]0.3
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]2.67
4:0 [g]0.13
6:0 [g]0.09
8:0 [g]0.1
10:0 [g]0.26
12:0 [g]0.12
14:0 [g]0.33
16:0 [g]0.91
18:0 [g]0.44
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]1.11
16:1 [g]0.08
18:1 [g]0.98
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.15
18:2 [g]0.11
18:3 [g]0.04
Cholesterol [mg]11
Tryptophan [g]0.04
Threonine [g]0.16
Isoleucine [g]0.21
Leucine [g]0.31
Lysine [g]0.29
Methionine [g]0.08
Cystine [g]0.05
Phenylalanine [g]0.16
Tyrosine [g]0.18
Valine [g]0.24
Arginine [g]0.12
Histidine [g]0.09
Alanine [g]0.12
Aspartic acid [g]0.21
Glutamic acid [g]0.63
Glycine [g]0.05
Proline [g]0.37
Serine [g]0.18
Sources include : USDA [2]

Health Benefits of Goat Milk

The health benefits of goat milk are attributed to its properties that strengthen bones, boost immunity, and much more. Let’s have a detailed look at the most common benefits.

May Help Build Strong Bones

Milk of all varieties is rich in calcium, and goat milk is no exception. In addition, it may give you a comparable amount of calcium as cow milk without any side effects, ensuring that the calcium deposits stay rich and stable while helping prevent osteoporosis. [3]

May Have Anti-inflammatory Properties

One reason why people tend to love goat milk is that they may be able to enjoy it without the inflammation and upset stomach that cow milk often causes. This is due to the unique enzymatic makeup of goat milk that soothes inflammation in the gut. Research is ongoing to see whether these anti-inflammatory properties extend to other areas of the body, but one thing is for certain, it’s definitely good for your stomach. [4]

Possibly A Skincare Antidote

Goat milk contains an enormous amount of zinc when compared to human milk. Zinc is a vital mineral for the maintenance of healthy skin, wound healing, and is directly linked in innate and adaptive immunity. [5]

May Improve Nutrient Uptake Efficiency

One of the main benefits of goat milk is that the chemical composition is far closer to human milk than cow milk. Human milk is similar to goat milk, so our bodies are able to get more nutrients out of the milk as it moves through our system and causes less stress on our digestive processes. [6]

Possibly A Metabolism Booster

Goat milk is known to be more nutrient-dense than cow milk, which means that you don’t need as much of it to receive the same (or better) nutrient intake. A single cup may provide nearly 40% of our daily calcium requirements, 20% of vitamin B intake, as well as a significant amount of potassium and phosphorus. Furthermore, studies have shown that goat milk can help increase the uptake of iron and copper in our digestive tract, which is essential for people who struggle with anemia and other deficiencies. [7]

May Help Protect Heart

There are nearly twice as many beneficial fatty acids in goat milk as can be found in cow milk, which may mean that our cholesterol balance is safe if it is consumed. By balancing our essential fatty acids in the body, we can prevent atherosclerosis, and other coronary complications. The high potassium levels in goat milk also help reduce blood pressure, as potassium is a vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels and relieves tension on the cardiovascular system. [8]

May Boost Immunity

Cow milk may contain trace amounts of selenium, but there are significant amounts of it in goat milk. This rare mineral is a key component in the immune system functionality, protecting us from illness and fending off infections. [9]

May Improve Growth and Development

Goat milk is a very rich source of protein, which is an essential part of growth and development, as proteins are the building blocks of cells, tissues, muscles, and bones. By ensuring a steady stream of protein, we protect our metabolic processes and stimulate growth and overall health. [10]

An infographic on health benefits of goat milk

Goat milk is rich in calcium. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

May Aid in Weight Loss

Although goat milk has more fatty acids than cow milk, it has less bad fat, which means that it can help people lose weight, without compromising on their nutritional needs.

May Help in Environmental Protection

Due to the digestive process of cows, they tend to suffer from extreme flatulence, which comes out in the form of methane. This gas is highly corrosive to the atmosphere and the ozone layer; environmental scholars actually suggest that millions of cows raised for beef and milk are a major player in ozone degradation and global warming. By supporting goat milk production, we can protect ourselves and the future generation from the dangerous effects of climate change. [11]

Word of Caution: Due to the different nutrient composition of goat milk from cow milk, it is not recommended to immediately give your children goat milk once they stop breast or bottle-feeding. As they get older, the nutrient composition becomes appropriate, but for proper development, it is wise to begin with cow milk.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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