Many parents have trouble feeding our organic infant cow milk formulas to their little ones. Symptoms include allergic reactions among other digestive issues such as vomiting. These parents come to us everyday and ask us what to do. Of course we always recommend speaking with a pediatrician first to confirm lactose intolerance or milk allergies. But we also always recommend trying goat milk first as an alternative to hypoallergenic formulas.
Goats milk is a great source of protein. It contains less sugar (lactose), 13% more calcium, 25% more Vitamin B6, 47% more Vitamin A, and 134% more Potassium than regular cow's milk. While cow's milk is about 17% fatty acids, goat's milk averages 35% fatty acids, making it more nutritionally wholesome. The flavor is different and strong - it definitely takes some getting used to.
Goat milk naturally contains less lactose than cow's milk, however it is not lactose-free. Up to 50% of people who experience lactose intolerance to cow's milk find that they can easily digest goat's milk.
Proteins are divided into two groups: whey and casein, with each comprised by an array of specific proteins and peptides. The most abundant proteins in human breast milk are casein then α-lactalbumin.
There are two primary types of whey protein found in milk: α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin.
α-Lactalbumin is a protein present in the milk of almost all mammalian species, including human breast milk. This protein increases the production of lactose.
Unlike the other main whey protein, α-lactalbumin, no clear function has been identified for β-lactoglobulin. β-lactoglobulin is a small transport protein that can bind many molecules. β-lactoglobulin has also been shown to be able to bind iron and thus might have a role in combating pathogens.
Cow’s milk and goat’s milk contain similar levels of the other allergenic protein, beta-Lactoglobulin (β-Lactoglobulin). This is the major whey protein of cow and sheep's milk, and is also present in many other mammalian species; a notable exception being humans. Human breast milk does not contain this protein.
If you have tried goat's milk and it does not work - it is likely due to a whey-protein allergy. Hypoallergenic formulas break down these proteins to smaller molecules to be easily digested. Some hypoallergenic formulas even use other alternatives to this protein such as soy or fish oil.
Many people have difficulty with the alpha-S1 casein making up 80% of the proteins in cow's milk and so are allergic. Studies have shown that goat milk is very low in alpha-S1 casein and primarily contains alpha-S2 casein. Both types share similar characteristics.
alpha-S1 (a-S1) Casein
Alpha-S1 Casein is the most prevalent form of casein found in mammal milk. It has been reported to exhibit antioxidant and radical scavenging properties. It has also been reported to be involved in the transport of casein in the body.
alpha-S2 (a-S2) Casein
Alpha-S2 casein has a different composition with similar characteristics. It's unique structure forms softer lumps which are easier and faster to digest. Broken down fragments of alpha-S2 Casein have been shown to exhibit antibacterial activity. Specifically the 39 amino acid casocidin-1 peptide fragment has been shown to inhibit E. coli and Staph. carnosis growth.
If you have tried goat's milk and it does work - it is likely due to the acceptance of the alpha-S2 casein over alpha-S1 casein. If goat's milk does not work for you, it is possible that the proteins are too large to be digested. Hypoallergenic formulas break down these proteins to smaller molecules to be easily digested. Some hypoallergenic formulas even use other alternatives to this protein such as soy or fish oil.
Soy protein is a protein that is isolated from soybean. It is made from soybean meal that has been dehulled and defatted. Some formulas use soy as an alternative protein in milk. Most people turn away from soy because of the carcinogens found in soy production in recent studies. However, this is only with genetically modified soy produced in a specific way (legal in the US, regulated in Europe).
Soy formulas are not hypoallergenic. It is also possible to also be allergic to soy proteins with similar or worse reactions. It is important to have your baby tested for allergies before attempted use.
HiPP Hypoallergenic HA Combiotik milk is one of the best hypoallergenic formulas available on the market world-wide. It uses the latest generation of science to meet the particular nutritional requirements of infants at risk of allergies. Each stage is custom tailored as they continue to grow and develop. The mechanism of formation plays a decisive role with allergies to cow milk proteins. To reduce the allergenic properties of the protein it is divided into small fragments (hydrolyzed) so that the infant can tolerate them better.
Using Goat Milk
Using regular goat's milk to feed your baby is not recommended. Goat's milk is no more appropriate to give a baby than regular cow's milk. If you need to supplement or breastmilk is not available, formulas are a more nutritionally complete product.
If you still feel uncertain or have further questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact us anytime. We are here to help.