Breast milk is the most beneficial option for feeding your baby, however when this is not an option or you are supplementing feeding it is important to have a suitable alternative available.
We have been researching the benefits of goat’s milk formula as an option, with the release of a new goat’s milk formula called Oli6.
When compared to regular cow’s milk, goat’s milk more closely resembles breast milk, it is easier to digest, contains natural prebiotics called oligos and naturally contains higher amounts of many essential minerals and vitamins
Cow’s Milk vs Goat’s milk – what are the differences
Prebiotics: Oligosaccharides (oligos) have anti-infective and anti-inflammatory properties.
There are up to six times more prebiotic oligos in goat’s milk than in regular cow’s milk, although still less than human milk. The oligos in goat’s milk have a similar structure to those in breast milk and act as a prebiotic. The benefit of a prebiotic is it is not digested in the stomach; rather it travels to the large intestine where it supports the growth of good bacteria. Oligos have been shown to have anti-infective properties, acting like nature’s antibiotics to stop infection as well as anti-inflammatory properties which can help with gut health.
Natural nucleotides have a role in growth and developing the immune system
Goat’s milk is primarily made in a process very similar to human milk (known as the apocrine process), resulting in goat’s milk having the benefit of bioactive substances like nucleotides and free amino acids. Nucleotides are the building blocks of DNA and therefore have an important role in growth and development of the immune system. Cow’s milk formula usually has these substances supplemented in the production.
Easier to digest than cow’s milk
Cow’s milk is known to form harder curds in the stomach which may be more difficult to digest. Goat’s milk has different amounts of protein (casein and whey) to cow’s milk which forms a looser, softer and more porous curd which results in a gentler digestion process. This soft curd is similar to the curd formed from the digestion of breast milk. This can be particularly important in people who have digestion issues with cow’s milk. Goat’s milk contains more medium chain fatty acids than cow’s milk, which are easier to digest.
Goat’s milk is naturally rich in many essential vitamins and minerals including calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C and magnesium, which are all important to your little ones growth and development.
Is Goat’s milk formula a safe option?
All goat’s milk formulas that are sold in Australia are required to meet the nutritional guidelines as set by Australia’s strict regulatory requirements around infant and toddler formulas. Goat’s milk formula has been shown to be equally effective in growth rate and nutritional status when compared to cow’s milk formula.
Goat’s milk formula and cow’s milk formula are both fortified as needed to ensure optimal nutrition for the child. Goat’s milk requires addition of some nutrients for example folic acid, vitamin B12.
When to avoid goat’s milk formula
Goat’s milk infant formula should not be used in children with a cow’s milk lactose allergy, as some children are allergic to both.
Why Australian parents may want to use goat’s milk
A national survey with 250 parents of children aged 13-24 months showed that 84% of those surveyed have been affected by digestive issues such as diarrhoea, constipation and reflux. These digestive issues have an impact on the whole family with the child often struggling to get to sleep and crying. Nearly half of the mums surveyed changed formulas to try and improve the digestive issues, with many looking for products with prebiotics or probiotics.
The natural aspects, higher levels of prebiotic oligos, minerals and vitamins and minimal processing required in goat’s milk formula help make it easier to digest.
For toddlers, a diet of healthy food supplemented by milk is sufficient for the needs of most. However, if a formula is used, a goat’s milk formula offers a viable, gentle choice for parents.
Oli6 was developed in direct response to the request of Aussie mums who wanted as natural a product as possible. For their precious toddler, any formula they choose has to meet Australia’s stringent quality and safety standards. Better still, Oli6™ was developed by Australian owned Goat Nutrition Australia (GNA).
There is minimal processing of the goat’s milk to maintain the naturally occurring nutrition. GNA do not include processed ingredients in products that are not required by law, and that do not have significant research or rationale behind why they are in the product.
Is goat milk infant formula a safe alternative to cows’ milk infant formula. Battersby, Susan. British Journal of Midwifery. 10/02/2015, Vol.23(10), pp710-714
How does goat milk infant formula compare to cow milk formula? A randomised controlled trial. Zhou SJ , Sullivan T , Gibson RA and Makrides M. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, 2011, 52, E208, Publication Year: 2011
National online survey of 503 mothers of children aged 0-24 months; equally split between mums of 0-12 month olds and 13-24 month olds. Weighted by age and area to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.