Cow milk vs Goat milk: which milk is best for women
Dairy is a super confusing topic for many women. On one hand, we hear nutritionists saying that to keep healthy we need to have milk on a daily basis. On the other, more and more resources point out that cow's milk seems to be causing inflammation, hormonal imbalance and a variety of menstrual health problems.
So what to do?
From my experience, in most cases the culprit of negative reactions to milk lies in one of these major factors:
you have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and your body has trouble digesting milk
you are lactose intolerant
your body reacts to one specific protein in milk, called A1 casein that causes inflammation and hormonal imbalance
hormones in cow's milk disturb your estrogen levels and create a variety of period problems
you have milk allergy
👉 if you have cow's milk allergy (IgE type) you are likely to be allergic to goat’s milk too, because goat's milk protein is very similar in structure to cow's milk protein. It is not a 100% scenario and there are real cases when some people are allergic to one, but not the other, but it is rare. Always check with your allergist about what is safe for you!
👉 if you have cow's milk sensitivity (not allergy) or very mild lactose intolerance, for example due to IBS (again, not allergy), there is a pretty good chance that you may find goat’s milk much easier to digest! There are a variety of reasons and theories behind it, but what is important is that none of them seem to relate to lactose, which many people think.
In fact, it is a MYTH that goat's milk doesn't have lactose! It contains lactose just like any other mammal's milk and the amount is actually not that different from cow's milk (4-4.5% vs 5%, depending on the source you are looking at). So if your lactose tolerance is poor, you will have trouble digesting goat milk too.
It seems, however, that fat molecules in goat’s milk are smaller when compared with those in cow’s milk, which helps overall digestibility. It also seems that the structure (or form) of proteins and how they are digested is slightly different between cow's milk and goat's milk, which may also contribute to one being easier for our body to deal with than the other. So try and see if it makes difference!
👉 if you have A1 casein sensitivity that provokes inflammation in your body, then goat milk is a great alternative because it doesn't have this protein
👉 and finally, if estrogen in dairy is your concern (which is still a very new and under-researched topic), goat milk has such an insignificant amount that no studies to date showed any effect on human hormones through menstrual cycle; which is great news for everyone looking to fix their period problems and bring their body to balance!