Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Goat Milk?

Discover the healing power of goat milk.
By Daniel Madock, DC

Doctors of chiropractic have long been advocates of transforming health from the inside out. As we seek to better our patients’ health, there is one particular healing food that has been revered for centuries: goat milk and goat-milk-derived products.

Goat milk has extensive healing properties. Research shows that goat milk has better digestibility, buffering capacity and alkalinity than cow milk. Several properties testify to the superiority of goat milk. First, goat milk biologically resembles human milk. Second, goat milk contains a low level of allergy-producing substances. Third, it digests quickly and absorbs completely. Last, goat milk is an alkaline powerhouse.

Biological Resemblance to Human Milk
Goat milk has a similarity to human milk that is unmatched in bovine (cow) milk, which may be at the root of goat milk’s healing properties. At the very base of the DNA structure of goat milk are similarities to the DNA structure of human milk.

Low Level of Allergy-Producing Substances
Perhaps one of goat milk’s most famous attributes, low allergenicity, is vital to keeping each patient in optimum health. Cow milk allergy is the No. 1 allergy of children, affecting roughly 500,000 to 1.5 million children every year. Cow milk contains more than 20 allergen proteins, which are not recognized by the immune system and are targeted in ways that cause a variety of symptoms. Hives, wheezing, vomiting, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, skin rash (commonly near and around the mouth), runny nose, watery eyes, colic in infants and even anaphylactic shock can all be signs and symptoms of a cow milk allergy.

Evidence points, however, to the lower allergic potential of goat milk when compared with cow milk. One study found that nearly 93 percent of infants suffering from cow milk allergies were able to tolerate and thrive on goat milk. Although soy milk has been touted as a safe alternative to cow milk, some studies show that those with a cow milk allergy have a 47-percent chance of also being allergic to soy milk.

Rapid Digestion and Complete Absorption
Goat milk has better digestibility and absorption than cow milk for several reasons. Goat milk is much higher in short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) than cow milk. This means that those SCFA and MCFA are better digested and absorbed than the long-chain fatty acids prevalent in cow milk.

Goat milk also contains proteins that digest in a superior manner. While the stomach enzymes, pepsin and trypsin completely digest over 96 percent of available goat milk protein, less than 73 percent of available cow milk protein was able to be digested completely.

Alkaline Powerhouse
Many foods cause the body to become acidic, which can lead to a host of health issues. A study from the Journal of Dairy Science examined the buffering capacity of goat milk, cow milk, soy milk and antacid drugs. Now, in theory, the antacid drugs should have proven to have the best buffering capacity since their function is to reduce acid. However, the study found that goat milk overwhelmingly exceeded the buffering capabilities of the other three samples tested. Another study in the Journal of Nutrition found that oligosaccharides (prebiotics) from goat milk very likely play a major role in intestinal protection and repair. This is important because acidic diets often cause damage to the gastrointestinal lining.

Practitioners act wisely when recommending alkalizing goat milk products to help patients with acidic GI tracts.

As chiropractors, we try to keep ourselves on the cutting edge of nutritional supplementation.

Isn’t it time you started healing with goat milk?

Daniel Madock, DC, can be reached at drdanmadock@hotmail.com. Full references are available.

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