(BeWellBuzz) Anthropologists, archaeologists and geneticists conjecture that dairy in the diet goes back as far as 7,500-8,000 years. A study examining “The Ancient Roots of Milk Consumption,” with a specific interest in lactose tolerance, identified a population that began to “raise cattle and consume milk products more than 5,000 years ago.” Probably also about 4-5,000 years ago it was written that Jehovah, The God of the Jews, promised Israel a land flowing with milk and honey. An old Jewish proverb promised that if you were a dutiful shepherd, then you’d have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family… Milk was and remains a symbol of rich prosperity.
Studies are beginning to verify what humans have known for thousands of years. Raw, unadulterated, unprocessed goat’s milk is a powerful bodybuilder, healer, life-giving food. In the USA it’s stood as a distant second to cow’s milk; but the exact reverse is true worldwide where goat’s milk is the primary dairy.
This list is by no means exhaustive. As more people find out about raw milk and give goats a try, there’ll undoubtedly be more studies and stories about its benefits. Here are 11 reasons many people drink it, and drink it raw, daily.
1. Prebiotic, Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation is a necessary immune response, but when the body is overtaxed by toxins from bad food, environment, lack of sleep, poor lifestyle habits or too much stress, chronic inflammation can become a deadly threat to your health. In fact, it’s associated with nearly all disease.
The best way to arm your body against illness is to feed it well. An animal study in 2006 found that goat’s milk contains powerful anti-inflammatory molecules called oligosaccharides. In short, these useful carbs were shown to
- prevent pro-inflammatory bacteria from collecting on stomach and intestinal lining;
- reduce bacterial “translocation,” which can trigger the severe and potentially deadly inflammatory response known as sepsis;
- promote the growth of healthy “friendly” bacteria (prebiotic). Friendly bacteria are crucial for healthy digestion, immune function, weight loss/obesity-prevention, insulin sensitivity, diabetes-prevention and more.
According to research, goat dairy contains a “relatively high concentration” of prebiotic oligosaccharides as compared to bovine.
2. GI Friendly
The GI is packed with a great army to strengthen and protect all of the body’s systems, but we’re not talking about the armed forces. Rather, we’re talking about the gastrointestinal tract (GI) which includes the stomach and intestine, and which helps to regulate the entire digestive process. People who experience discomfort from cow’s milk often have an easier time digesting raw dairy from goats. (I do!) It’s associated with fewer incidences of gas, bloating and diarrhea.
3. Soothes Inflammatory Bowel Disease
For most people with a perfect and healthy GI tract, both cow and goat milk in their raw state should be easy to digest. But many of us don’t even know that we have a disruption in the GI. If you’ve tried raw milk from cattle and still had a reaction, then chances are you have a condition in the GI. Whereas “lady’s” (cow) milk can be terribly irritating to an already upset GI, “billy” (goat) milk is found to be soothing. When scientists at the University of Granada tested the billy milk on rats induced with colitis, they found that it reduced symptoms and immediately began restoring them to health. The researchers concluded that raw goat’s milk is not only less irritating to the bowels, but may hold promise as a healing agent in all inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
Most of the proteins in lady milk are potentially allergenic for humans., The food she produces for her calves is quite a bit different in structure than the milk human mothers produce for their children.
Fascinatingly, it may be that most of us can easily digest goat milk because it resembles a woman’s breast milk. Our bodies are already designed to break it down. It’s hypo-allergenic because the “kids’” milk lacks the most allergenic protein, alpha-casein, that is prevalent in the other milk.
5. Like Mama’s Milk
We’ve said that goat dairy is similar in structure to human milk, and cow’s is not. Both goat and human milk are rich in oligosaccharides. They contain many of the same amino acids and proteins, and both contain a comparatively high concentration of the antioxidant and mineral, selenium.
Because it’s closer to human milk and it lacks alpha-casein, infants who tend to spit up cow’s milk may have an easier time with raw goat’s milk. However, until the child is at weening age or at least 1-year old, goat’s milk lacks and will need to be fortified with vitamin B12 and folic acid. Once the child has been weened, goat’s milk is an excellent nutritional food for their growing body, building brain and developing nervous systems, and the same is true for adults.
6. Improves Lactose (Milk Sugar) Tolerance
People have trouble with pasteurized milk because the heating process destroys milk’s natural enzymes, such as lactase which breaks down lactose. Raw, unprocessed goat’s milk contains less lactose than raw cow’s milk and provides the lactase necessary to break the milk sugar down. That may help to explain why many of us “lactose intolerant” folk have no problem consuming raw goat dairy.
7. A Complete Protein
A complete, or “whole,” protein has the right amount of all essential amino acids, which, by definition, our bodies can only get through diet. An “incomplete” protein may also have all the necessary amino acids but in insufficient proportion. Raw goat’s milk contains all essential amino acids in the optimal amounts, making it a complete protein, vital for carrying out countless biological processes from digestion to transporting nutrients and building tissue.
8. Alkaline & “Buffering”
Whereas cow’s milk is shown to produce an acid response in the body, goat’s milk is alkaline forming. A recent study compared the acid-reducing, “buffering” powers of cow, goat and soy milk, vs. antacid drugs. You guessed it. Yours truly “had the highest levels of the three major buffering chemical entities,” making goat’s milk most effective, even toppling the antacids in neutralizing stomach acids!
9. Healthy Blood and Bones
One study demonstrated that goat’s milk is more beneficial than cow’s in preventing and healing both anemia and bone demineralization.
Researchers concluded that goat’s milk is not only rich in the minerals that replenish bones and blood, but increases their bioavailability, meaning your body can actually absorb and use more iron, calcium and phosphorus, and deposit them “in target organs.” Whereas other food or supplement sources have shown that calcium and iron tend to compete for absorption, goat’s milk “minimizes calcium and iron interactions,” so the body can receive both.
Another study concluded, “There is an obviously beneficial effect of goat milk on the metabolism of calcium and iron, which minimizes any interaction between the two minerals.”
10. A Treasury of Vitamins, Minerals and More
A recent study referred to goat’s milk as a “functional food,” while others go even further to call it a “perfect” food. Their milk is an abundant source of bioorganic sodium, a nutrient that naturopaths have dubbed “the youth element.” 
Goat’s milk is also rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, vitamins A, E & D, and healthy cholesterol (vital for proper brain function, sex hormones and more). It provides more calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, selenium, and K2 than cow’s milk.
Vitamin K2 has of late gained special attention. Without it, calcium has the tendency to deposit in the arteries rather than bones and teeth, causing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The Vitamin K2 in goat’s milk helps to protect your heart by ensuring that calcium goes where it’s needed.
11. Healthy Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a key component of your brain, and is the most important nutrient for healthy functioning synapses. A severe deficiency in cholesterol will cause death. Minor or increasing deficiencies are associated with severe cognitive decline, memory loss and Alzheimer’s; weight gain; heart disease; diabetes; insulin resistance; and aging, to name a few.
NOTE: The cholesterol/saturated fat association with heart disease was a major deception over the past 50 years. Scientists and nutritionists now realize that overconsumption of processed and sugary foods coupled with other unhealthy lifestyle habits are to blame for heart disease.
Goat’s milk is rich in health promoting medium-chain fatty acids, which have been proven to assist in loss of abdominal fat and to improve blood lipid profiles. This means not only a stronger brain but also a healthier heart and leaner body.
Is Raw Dairy Safe?
If you haven’t read my articles on pasteurization vs. raw dairy, I hope you will for a more in-depth look at the risk factors for each. Raw dairy is superior on every level, but you must seek out a dairy farmer that has clean facilities and operates with integrity.
For more information about locating a dairy that provides raw goat’s milk see my article The Safety and Dangers of Raw, Unprocessed, Unpasteurized Milk on BeWellBuzz.com. And, too, ask around. There may be a small dairy run in your own town that doesn’t have the capital (yet) to advertise, but who your neighbors can tell you about.
We wish you strong bones, a healthy brain and a life-filled body.
 Br Med Bull (2004) 71 (1): 1-11. doi: 10.1093/bmb/ldh029
 Daddaoua A, Puerta V, et al. “Goat milk oligosaccharides are anti-inflammatory in rats with hapten-induced colitis.” (2006) PMID: 16484541
 Wal JM. “Cow’s milk proteins/allergens.” (2002) PMID: 12487197
 Wal JM. “Bovine milk allergenicity.” (2004) PMID: 15562868
 University of Granada. “Goats’ Milk Is More Beneficial To Health Than Cows’ Milk, Study Suggests.” ScienceDaily, 31 Jul. 2007. Web. 6 Jul. 2013.
 López Aliaga I, Alférez MJ. “Influence of goat and cow milk on the digestive and metabolic utilization of calcium and iron.” (2000) PMID:11198156
 University of Granada. “Goat milk can be considered as functional food, Spanish researchers find.” ScienceDaily, 19 May 2011. Web. 6 Jul. 2013.