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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

More Goat Milk Nonsense

Goats are becoming big business, so I suppose articles on the wonders of goat's milk will proliferate over the next few years.

And so will the misinformation they spew about goat's milk.

Take "Got Goat?" by Emily Young of the Salem News Online.

She's interviewing goat farmer Elizabeth Mulholland, who says, no, you won't believe me unless I quote it:

"From what I've read, goat milk has a different lactose makeup than cow milk. There are more molecules, smaller ones, that make it easier to digest. That's the theory," Mulholland said.


Aarrrggghhh! Smaller molecules? Who's teaching this idiocy?

And the article goes on to say, presumably getting its [mis]information from Mulholland:

Goat milk, like human milk, does not contain the major protein of cow milk to which many people, including babies, are allergic.


Wrong again. Goat's milk contains both casein and whey proteins, just like cow's milk (and mother's milk, for that matter). It just contains different and different amounts of the casein protein fractions (types) so that the allertgic potential is lessened.

Here's what someone with a brain in her head has to say. From the Comparing Milk: Human, Cow, Goat & Commercial Infant Formula site of Stephanie Clark, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Washington State University:
Distinguishing between allergies and lactose intolerance:

Allergies and lactose intolerance are different things. An allergic reaction is the body's response to a foreign body (antigen), typically proteins. Goat milk proteins have a slightly different amino acid structure than cow milk proteins. Thus, a person who produces antibodies to cow milk proteins, may not produce antibodies to goat milk proteins.

However, there is no guarantee that a person who is allergic to cow milk will not be allergic to goat milk, because the milks are similar.

Lactose intolerance results from a person's inability to digest lactose. Lactose is present in all milks. Thus, goat milk can not successfully be substituted for cow milk in cases of lactose intolerance.


See also my recent entry Goat's Milk for Lactose Intolerants? No.

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