Benefits of Goat Milk vs. Cow Milk

“Milk, it does a body good.” This was the marketing mantra employed by the cow industry in the 1980’s to boost interest in cow’s milk. The campaign was wildly successful and as a result, The Dairy Farmers of America have reported sales topping 11 billion dollars in 2007. But does the overwhelming popularity of cow’s milk in the United States signify that it really is the best? Should we assume that quantity equates quality when referring to a substance that is such an integral part of our food supply? Interestingly enough, when worldwide consumption of milk is taken into account, it is not cow’s milk that is most popular but goat’s milk.

In fact 65% of the milk consumption worldwide is from goat’s milk, and this popularity hasn’t come about due to high profile marketing campaigns or big-budget advertisements.

The reasons for the worldwide popularity of goat’s milk are multifaceted. First, we need to remind ourselves that “All milk is not created equal.” The differences between cow’s milk and goat’s milk may not seem apparent upon first examination. A closer look, however, reveals several key factors that play an integral part in how milk (from either cows or goats) matches up with the human body in its various stages. All humans have been created to be sustained entirely upon mothers’ milk for at least the first six months of life. There is no other food in the world better than mothers’ milk, and it truly shows both in the laboratory and the real world. But what about after these first few months are over, and one is faced with the rest of life? Why would someone choose goat’s milk products over the far more popular and accessible cow’s milk?

Here are 5 reasons goat milk is better than cow milk.

1. Goat’s milk is less allergenic.

2. Goat’s milk is naturally homogenized.

3. Goat’s milk is easier to digest.

4. Goat’s milk rarely causes lactose intolerance.

5. Goat’s milk matches up to the human body better than cow’s milk.

1. Goat milk is less allergenic.Goat milk has less allergens

In the United State the most common food allergy for children under three is cow’s milk. Mild side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rashes and severe effects can be as serious as anaphylactic shock! Needless to say it is a serious condition. The allergic reaction can be blamed on a protein allergen known as Alpha s1 Casein found in high levels in cow’s milk. The levels of Alpha s1 Casein in goat’s milk are about 89% less than cow’s milk providing a far less allergenic food.  In fact a recent study of infants allergic to cow’s milk found that nearly 93% could drink goat’s milk with virtually no side effects!1

2. Goat’s milk is naturally homogenized.Xanthine Oxidase

If you were to place both a glass of fresh cow’s milk as well as fresh goat’s milk in the refrigerator overnight, the next morning you would find that while the goat’s milk looks exactly the same, the cow’s milk has separated into two distinct ‘phases’ of cream on the top and skim milk on the bottom. This is a natural separation process that is caused by a compound called agglutinin and it will always cause the cow’s milk to separate. As Americans, we like everything neat and tidy and so to get the milk to the consumer in a uniform manner, the dairy industry utilizes a process called homogenization. This method works by forcing the fluid milk through a tiny hole under tremendous pressure which destroys the fat globule cell wall and allows the milk and cream to stay homogeneous or suspended and well mixed.

The problem with such homogenization is that once the cell wall of the fat globule has been broken, it releases a superoxide (free radical) known as Xanthine Oxidase. (see picture) Now free radicals cause a host of problems in the body not the least of which is DNA mutations which often lead to cancer! Thus, the benefit of natural homogenization comes into clear view. Goat’s milk has smaller fat globules and does not contain agglutinin which allows it to stay naturally homogenized thus eliminating the dangers associated with homogenization.

3. Goat’s milk is easier to digest.

Goat’s milk has smaller fat globules as well as higher levels of medium chain fatty acids. This means that during digestion, each fat globule and individual fatty acid will have a larger surface-to-volume ratio resulting in a quicker and easier digestion process. Also, when the proteins found in milk denature (clump up) in the stomach, they form a much softer bolus (curd) than cow’s milk. This allows the body to digest the protein more smoothly and completely than when digesting cow’s milk.

4. Goat’s milk rarely causes lactose intolerance.

Goat milk has less lactose

All milk contains certain levels of lactose which is also known as ‘milk sugar.’ A relatively large portion of the population suffers from a deficiency (not an absence) of an enzyme known as lactase which is used to, you guessed it, digest lactose. This deficiency results in a condition known as lactose intolerance which is a fairly common ailment. (Lactose intolerance and cow’s milk allergy (cma) are two distinct conditions. CMA is due to a protein allergen, while lactose intolerance is due to a carbohydrate sensitivity.)

Goat’s milk contains less lactose than cow’s milk and therefore is easier to digest for those suffering from lactose intolerance. Now the interesting aspect to consider is that goat’s milk isn’t much lower than cow’s milk (contains about 10% less than cow’s milk) and yet, countless lactose intolerant patients are able to thrive on goat’s milk. Although the answer for this is unclear, it has been hypothesized that since goat’s milk is digested and absorbed in a superior manner, there is no “leftover” lactose that remains undigested which causes the painful and uncomfortable effects of lactose intolerance.

5. Goat’s milk matches up to the human body better than cow’s milk.

Cute Baby Goat

This matter is both an issue of biochemistry as well as thermodynamics. Regarding the biochemistry of the issue, we know that goat’s milk has a greater amount of essential fatty acids such as linoleic and arachidonic acid than cow’s milk as well as significantly greater amounts of vitamin B-6, vitamin A, and niacin. Goat’s milk is also a far superior source of the vitally important nutrient potassium which we discussed in a previous High Road to Health issue. This extensive amount of potassium causes goat’s milk to react in an alkaline way within the body whereas cow’s milk is lacking in potassium and ends up reacting in an acidic way.

Thermodynamically speaking, goat’s milk is better for human consumption. A baby usually starts life at around 7-9 pounds, a baby goat (kid) usually starts life at around 7-9 pounds, and a baby cow (calf) usually starts life at around 100 pounds. Now speaking from a purely thermodynamic position, these two animals have very significant and different nutritional needs for both maintenance and growth requirements. Cow’s milk is designed to take a 100 pound calf and transform it into a 1200 pound cow. Goat’s milk and human milk were both designed and created for transforming a 7-9 pound baby/kid into an average adult/goat of anywhere between 100-200 pounds. This significant discrepancy, along with many others, is manifesting on a national level as obesity rates sky rocket in the U.S.

To conclude, we have seen that goat’s milk has several attributes that cause it to be a far superior choice to cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is less allergenic, naturally homogenized, easier to digest, lactose intolerant friendly, and biochemically/thermodynamically superior to cow’s milk. As if these benefits were not enough, Mt. Capra’s goat’s milk products do not contain any growth hormones or antibiotics that massive cow dairies have come to rely upon to turn a profit! So to sum up and paraphrase the cow industry catchphrase: “Goat Milk: It Does a Body Good.”


  1. Freund G. Use of goat milk for infant feeding: experimental work at Creteil (France). Proceeding of the meeting Interets nutritionnel et dietetique du lait de chevre. Niort, France: INRA, 1996:119–21 []

271 thoughts on “Benefits of Goat Milk vs. Cow Milk

  1. Vinodray Sutariya says:

    Goat milk is best. My 85 years old mother is having digestion problem, but when she have stated to drink raw milk of goat, all digestion problem removed.

  2. Shalonne says:

    Hello. I’m nes to this site and very interested in goat’s milk history for general and personal reasons. One, my sister has dry mouth, sinus, and stomach problems. I also have stomach problems such as, bloating, gassy, and inflammation externally ( acne related skin rashes) as well as internally. I was diagnosed with cos allergy and my sister lactose intolerant. So, my question is the above issues immune related from drinking and eating milk since childhood? And if my family started on goat’s milk now, will it help even though it may not be a instant cure all? Any advice or suggestions on this matter will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and patience.

    • Jeff Andersen says:

      Hello, Shalonne. We cannot say whether or not your medical / health issues are related to milk consumption, but all of your conditions have been found in people intolerant of cow’s milk, so it is certainly possible. Having said that, please be aware that we are not doctors and do not prescribe drugs or make diagnoses. On the other hand, if you and your family are suffering with cow’s milk-related allergies, it may very well be worth it for you to try a goat’s milk alternative for a few months and see how it works for you. I hope that is helpful information.

    • Pamela Lance says:

      Hi my name is Pamela. You might want to read a book called Dr Coca s Pulse Test. It tells you how to test with your heartbeat to test ALL or any foods or supplements for allergies or sensitivities. Its very easy- just take a 60 second pulse – then eat a food or vitamin – then take 60 second pulse again – if it goes up 5 pts – you r sensitive – if it goes up 10 pys or more – allergic! Or not good for you at this time! With allergy clearing (- liver cleansing ) you may eventually be able to eat again – but avoid for now. Test even your toothpaste!

      Also a book called – why stimach acid is good for you. Sometimes ones are deficient in hydrochloric acid or enzymes. Sometimes even dehydrated! Drink a large glass of water 30-45 minutes before any meal- body needs to be hydrated to carry enzymes to the stomach to digest food! And if hydrochloric acid is low – can take with meals. One tablet each 5 minutes – until you get acid stomach. This from NTA or Nutritional Therapy Association. They have a supplement line called Biotics – dr s formulas but also available on Amazon- intenzyme forte is a great enzyme supplement if needed also. Clear up digestive issues – thennyou can eat many more foods- bravo yogurt is another incredible food ! To get your gur bacteria in balance! Dr use it to treat autistic kids – OnLY yogurt – and kids are functioning in just a few days again. GUt health super important!

      Hope you can see some improvment soon!

    • Pami says:

      I was having stomach problem then I went from cows milk to goat milk no more stomach problem.
      Also goat milk helps when I have craps in my leg I drink 8oz when I have leg craps in 10 mins my leg craps are gone.

    • Marilyn says:

      Watch “What the Health” on Netflix and see many reasons. I was a meat and dairy eater until today, but have been getting goat milk and making kefir. Huge difference in my stomach problems,, but now I want to go plant based and see if that’s even better… With maybe some goat milk kefir and cheese!

  3. Jonathan Partridge says:

    I’ve read several times on different websites, including this one, that one of the benefits of goat’s milk over cow’s milk is that it is not homogenised. Looking at the various options for buying goat’s milk in the UK this is certainly not true. The 3-4 brands that I have seen are all pasteurised and homogenized – though one claims to be “lightly homogenised”.

    Granted, the fat in raw goat’s milk is evenly distributed throughout. That doesn’t help much however considering raw goat’s milk is not available from the supermarket.

    Comparing like for like, commercial cow’s and goat’s milk, both are pasteurized AND homogenised.

    Or maybe things are different in the states? Can you buy pasteurized, non-homogenised goat’s milk from the store? By my reckoning that would be highly unlikely given that the act of pasteurising would cause the fat (cream) to separate from the milk anyway, thus making homogenization desireable from a commercial point of view.

  4. Anna says:

    Hi I’m very interested in changing to goats milk as I’ve heard it helps reduce ezcema. Has anyone had any positive results from making this change?

  5. Hank Remington says:

    Hi Joe, I came on this thread while googling ‘species specificity’. I have been buying Mt. Capra Goat colostrum capsules for over a year now and all I know is that since taking just two per day, to better stretch the costs, I have never gotten sick, not even a cold, EXCEPT for the two weeks I got off all supplements leading up to knee surgery, when I then picked up a nasty upper respiratory crud. Since I usually get your product via Amazon Prime and gave it a thumbs up review, Amazon routed a shoppers question I knew nothing about. It was “I have read that bovine colostrum was superior because goat’s is ‘species specific’ and therefore much less effective for human consumption”. Can you speak to that or give me a solid response to make? Thanks (and I must be the right species😉). Hank R.

    • Jeff Andersen says:

      Hello, Hank. This is Jeff working the Mt. Capra Comments desk today. Don’t know why anyone would claim that bovine colostrum would be superior, since cow’s milk is a huge allergen in our population today. Alternatively, more people with cow’s milk allergies are able to take goat’s milk, and as a general rule it is understood that the biochemical structure of goat’s milk proteins and other substances are more compatible with human biology, closer to human breast milk than cow’s milk is. But you can find nearly any opinion on the internet these days.

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