Health Benefits of Goat’s Milk: Nutrition and Skin Care

dairy goats Apr 19, 2020


In the United States today, a majority of milk drinkers tend to drink cow's milk despite the well-known benefits of goat's milk. Even so, that's not the norm worldwide.

A majority of the milk which people drink all over our planet is goat's milk. Part of the reason is the amazing health-boosting benefits of goat's milk.

It has a high vitamin and mineral content, greater ease of digestion, lower allergenic reactions and many other superior benefits compared to cow's milk.

On top of those health benefits of goat's milk, you'll also find that goat milk can be used to produce so many healthy things like goat milk soap, goat cheese and all kinds of goat milk dairy products and bath products.

What is it that makes goat's milk so healthy with so many benefits? Let's take a look...  


Goat’s Milk Nutrition Comparison

Goat’s milk is healthier compared to cow’s milk.

Let’s look at the properties for 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of milk.


  Goat's Milk Cow's Milk
Calories 63 60
Protein g 3.79 3.22
Fat g 3.5 3.25
Carbohydrates g 4.5 5.26
Vitamin A IU 210 109
Vitamin B6 % 6 2
Vitamin B12 mcg .07 .05
Vitamin C mb 1.3 0
Vitamin D IU 51 51
Vitamin E % 1 1
Vitamin K % 1 0
Folate % 1 2
Thiamine % 8 1
Riboflavin mg .21 .16
Calcium mg 134 119
Copper % 6 3
Iron % 1 0
Magnesium % 9 3
Phosphorus % 27 15
Selenium mcg 4.48 3.93
Potassium mg 204 132
Sodium % 5 3
Zinc % 5 4
  • Percentages are relative to US dietary recommendations for adults.
  • Content and percentages vary by goat breed, feed ingested, and general health of the goat.



8 Surprising Health Benefits of Goat's Milk


Video Credit: Right Smash


8 Key Health Benefits of Goat's Milk


1. Goat Milk is Loaded With Vitamins and Minerals


Goat milk is known for its many health benefits, and contains more of certain vitamins, minerals and other nutritional qualities than cow's milk.  Image Credit: Amanda Vick


Vitamins in Goat Milk

Vitamins play an important role in our diets. Vitamins support healthy skin, muscles, bones, metabolism, immunity and digestion. Goat’s milk contains a higher content of vitamins compared to cow’s milk, especially vitamins A and B6.

Vitamin A Benefits:
  • Promotes eye and vision health
  • Assists with skin growth and repair
  • Assists with formation and health of teeth, bones, and soft tissue
  • Boosts immune system
  • Antioxidant
Vitamin B6 Benefits:
  • Regulates emotion (low levels of vitamin B6 have been linked to depression)
  • Promotes brain health (reduces Alzheimer’s risk)
  • Promotes artery and heart health
  • Fights inflammation (and may help lower cancer risk, reduces arthritis symptoms)
  • Promotes eye health


Minerals in Goat Milk

The mineral content of goat's milk is another benefit it provides if you make it a part of your daily healthy breakfast. (Image Credit: Danijela Prijov )


We’ve grown up hearing “Drink milk for strong bones and teeth.” This is a true statement, and you could make it even better by adding goat’s milk because it contains about 13% more calcium than cow’s milk.

Calcium Benefits:
  • Vital to bone and teeth health
  • Regulates muscle contraction (including the heart)
  • Regulates blood coagulation (clotting)
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Supports important enzymes and nutrients
Zinc Benefits:
  • Regulates immunity function (prevents growth-related imbalances and helps to attack and heal infected or cancerous cells)
  • Prevents the common cold
  • Treats diarrhea
  • Enhances learning and memory
  • Prevents age-related chronic disease (including impaired vision and macular degeneration)
  • Prevents neurodegenerative disease (Alzheimer’s, etc.)
  • Prevents depression and anxiety
  • Assists with fertility
Selenium Benefits
  • Antioxidant properties (prevention of cell damage caused by free radicals — reduces the risk of cancer)
  • Boosts immunity function (reduces inflammation, assists in treating influenza, tuberculosis, and hepatitis C)
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Enhances learning and memory
  • Prevents neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, etc.)
  • Assists with thyroid health
  • Assists with asthma symptoms
Potassium Benefits:
  • Supports blood pressure and cardiovascular health (counteracts the effects of sodium)
  • Promotes bone strength
  • Promotes muscle strength
  • Prevents fatigue
  • Prevents constipation


Fatty Acids

The higher level of fatty acids in goat's milk, compared to cow's milk, makes it an excellent source for an energy boost when added to your daily meals. (Image Credit: LinkedIn)


Fatty acids are important building blocks of good fat in our bodies. During digestion, the body breaks down fats into fatty acids, which can then be absorbed into the blood – and ultimately used for other purposes such as energy storage to fuel the body.

Three fatty acids have been named after goats (caproic, caprylic, capric) due to their prominence in goat’s milk. These fatty acids contribute to 15% of the total fatty acid content in goat’s milk in comparison to 5% in cow’s milk.  

Caprylic, Caproic and Capric Fatty Acid Benefits
  • Protects brain health (helps to prevent dementia-related diseases, and Alzheimer’s)
  • Improves immune system function
  • Protects the heart
  • Kills bacteria
  • Antifungal
  • Aids in virus protection
  • Supports bowel health
  • Protects stomach health


Xanthine Oxidase

Xanthine oxidase (XO, or XAO), is an enzyme that works in the oxidation of xanthine to produce uric acid. Xanthine oxidase is released when milk is mechanically homogenized.

If the body does not eliminate high levels of uric acid, it can lead to ailments such as gout (a form of arthritis), swelling, redness, and discomfort in the joints. Xanthine oxidase is also capable of inducing damage to the heart and arteries.

The good news — goat’s milk is naturally homogenized, with smaller fat globules, and does not need to be homogenized mechanically. Goat’s milk in its natural state does not present the health risks associated with xanthine oxidase as does homogenized cow’s milk.  


Raw Goat Milk Versus Pasteurized Goat Milk

Ask dairy goat farmers if they feed unpasteurized goat’s milk to their families, and the majority respond with a resounding yes. Pasteurization involves heating the milk to a specific temperature for a set time frame.

This process kills harmful bacteria and may prevent the ingestion of organisms that can cause disease. The belief amongst some of the milk producers is the pasteurization heat process destroys some of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other health-boosting properties of milk.

Also, it is said that raw milk tastes better than pasteurized milk. This makes sense, raw milk is not processed. It is filtered and immediately chilled to safe temperatures, which does not alter the natural composition of the milk.

To this day, campaigns are in existence that promote the sale of “real” milk. The question is: is milk that is pasteurized, homogenized, with vitamins added, “real” milk?

To obtain holistic health, we avoid processed foods. Should milk be included in that equation?  


2. Goat Milk is Creamier Than Cow's Milk (More Protein and Fat)

Goat milk has a reputation for being extremely creamy due to the high level of butterfat it contains. This make it a desirable ingredient for many recipes that require a thick, creamy consistency. (Image Credit: Claudiu Hegedus)



The protein content in goat’s milk is slightly higher than in cow’s milk. Protein is an important building block in the human body.

Protein Benefits:

Builds strong bones, muscles, cartilage, and skin Boosts blood health Builds repair tissue Building block of vital enzymes, hormones, and body chemicals


Goat’s milk contains between 3%-6% butterfat. Let’s talk about the benefits of fat, especially in light of the fact that goat’s milk averages a much higher fat content than cow’s milk.


Cholesterol is an essential nutrient to the body. The cholesterol content of goat’s milk averages 11 grams per 100 grams of milk, which is slightly higher than the 10 grams found in cow’s milk.

Cholesterol is necessary to the body as it is used to make essential molecules, such as hormones, fat-soluble vitamins, and bile acids for food digestion. Without cholesterol, bodily processes and productions suffer – overall health suffers, including heart health.  

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats consumed in the diet in high numbers can lead to poor heart health. Goat’s milk contains a relatively low saturated fat content.

Saturated fatty acids in goat’s milk average 2.3 grams, and in cow’s milk 4.4 grams. Monosaturated fatty acids in goat’s milk average .8 grams, and in cow’s milk 1.1 grams. Polyunsaturated fatty acids in goat’s milk average .1 grams, and in cow’s milk .1 grams.

Goat’s milk is a great choice for weight loss, as the fat content protects the body, and the nutrients are in abundance alongside the fats. Plus, if you’re counting carbs in your weight loss plan, goat’s milk is slightly lower in carbohydrate composition.

Another side benefit of the higher butterfat in goat's milk is that it's a perfect ingredient for lots of creamy food recipes. We'll talk about that later in this article.  


3. Goat Milk is Easier to Digest

Goat's milk contains smaller fat globules than cow's milk, so it's more easily digested. That's also why goat milk is described as being 'naturally homogenized'. (Image Credit: Robert Penaloza)


Due to smaller fat globules, 1/5 the size of those in cow’s milk, goat’s milk is much easier to digest. Goat’s milk is said to be “naturally homogenized,” meaning, the fat modules are spread out which prevents them from clumping or lining up in the stomach, which promotes quicker digestion. This allows the body to digest the milk more smoothly and completely than cow’s milk, which aids in the prevention of stomach upset.

Goat’s milk is also lower in lactose, which gives it a digestive advantage. For people that suffer from lactose intolerance, a deficiency that prevents the digestion of lactose, the benefits of goat’s milk make it a superior choice over cow’s milk.

In fact, some studies have shown that up to 50% of people that are lactose intolerant can ingest goat’s milk without any issues. In addition, because goat’s milk is easily digested, no remnants of lactose remain in the digestive system that can cause painful and uncomfortable side effects of lactose intolerance.

The benefits of goat's milk and its easier digestion include enhanced absorption of minerals, such as iron, calcium magnesium, and phosphorus. This is ultimately beneficial for people with disorders that prevent the absorption of nutrients and is inherently health-boosting for ailments such as anemia, osteoporosis, iron, and other nutritional deficiencies.  

Prebiotics in Goat Milk

Goat milk contains one or more prebiotics that aren't found in cow's milk. Prebiotics are important because they help nurture probiotics which are important to the health of your digestive system.  


4. Some People Allergic to Cow's Milk Can Drink Goat Milk

Many people have trouble drinking cow's milk due to it's high level of A1 protein. Goat's milk has very little A1 protein and mostly A2 protein. A lot of people who have problems drinking cow's milk can drink goat's milk with no issues. (Image Credit:


One of the most common dietetic allergens, especially in young children, is a protein known as Alpha s1 Casein. This protein is found in high levels in cow’s milk, but the levels drop by approximately 89% in goat’s milk.

So, ask the allergist. Goat’s milk could be the wisest alternative milk for you or your child.  


Sheep’s vs. Goat’s Milk - The Pros and Cons

Now that we’ve compared goat’s milk to cow’s milk, let’s talk about sheep’s milk.  

Sheep Milk "Pros" (compared to cow’s milk)
  • Naturally homogenized (smaller fat globules)
  • Grass fed (no need to feed hay or grain)
  • More medium chain fatty acids
  • Higher in protein, carbs, fats, and essential vitamins and minerals (compared to both cow and goat’s milk)
  • Great for cheese making (due to high fat content)


Sheep’s Milk "Cons":
  • More than double fat content (compared to cow’s milk, and higher fat than goat’s milk)
  • Difficult animal to milk
  • Difficult to find in stores
  • More expensive (than cow and goat’s milk)

As you can see, the pros for sheep milk tilt into a favorable range, especially when nutrition is taken into consideration. Also, a plus, sheep’s milk, like goat’s milk, is easier digested.

Sheep’s milk is difficult to find in the average grocery store. Sheep’s milk is expensive, in most cases, it retails for more than double the retail price of goat’s milk.  


5. Goat Milk is Great for Natural Skin Care

Goat milk has several qualities that make it excellent for skin care. And there's little chance it will irritate skin since it's pH is close to the natural pH of human skin. Image Credit:


Handmade soap made from goat’s milk is a much-desired product in today’s marketplace. Goat’s milk soap is excellent for people with dry or sensitive skin.


Goat’s milk soap produces a mild and creamy lather that does not irritate or strip skin of its natural oils. Goat’s milk soap contains natural alpha-hydroxy acids, such as lactic acid, which helps to remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface and alleviate skin irritation.

As mentioned among the benefits of goat’s milk is the fact that it's loaded with vitamins, especially Vitamin A, which assists with the repair of damaged skin tissue. Not only does this help to maintain healthy skin, it can assist with various skin issues.

Vitamin A can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the skin, help control acne, and it provides relief to skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Goat’s milk has a low pH level in the range of 6 which is like the PH of human skin (5-6).

Lotion made from goat’s milk is naturally soothing and helps to avoid skin irritation. Also, the alpha-hydroxy acids promote natural skin exfoliation.

Goat milk baths are another option. Goat milk baths leave the skin soft, and this is due to the fat and protein content in the goat milk.

Also, the alpha-hydroxy acids in the goat milk promote smooth skin. Goat milk is also a popular ingredient in many lotions, cleansers, moisturizers, facial creams, sunscreens and other skin products.  


6. You Can Make Hundreds of Healthy Foods With Goat Milk Recipes

The high level of butterfat in goat milk means it can be used to make extra-creamy foods like goat cheese. (Image Credit:


Due to the high butterfat content in goat’s milk, it is a superior base for many health-conscious foods and sweet treats.


Kefir is a fermented drink started by adding grains or a culture to milk. Kefir is a powerful probiotic, containing yeasts and bacteria, which boosts the immune system, and improves gut health.


Yogurt is also a probiotic. Yogurt is crafted by adding a starter or culture to heated milk, followed by a prescribed period of warm incubation. Yogurt mirrors the healthy benefits of goat’s milk, and it helps to promote gut health.

Goat Cheese

Goat cheese is popular around the world and is also readily found in most grocery stores. Goat’s milk, due to its high butterfat content, is an excellent choice for cheese-making.

Cheese can be made in the home kitchen using starter cultures, but some of the softer cheese, such as ricotta, can be made by including common ingredients such as lemon juice, white vinegar, and citric acid.

Search the internet for simple cheese recipes using vinegar and other natural ingredients. You could implement a wonderful goat’s milk cheese factory for your family in your own home.

Ice Cream

Ice cream made from creamy high butterfat goat’s milk is another option for the home kitchen. Think about the ice cream that you may have been missing out on if you suffer from lactose intolerance.

Most ice cream recipes are simple — sugar, vanilla, eggs, and a pinch of salt. After a little bit of heat application, churning and freezing, you’ll have healthy easily digested ice cream in your freezer.


Sweet treats, we may not be able to call these healthy foods, but let’s go with describing them as decadent. Treats made from goat’s milk include fudge, caramel, and cajeta.


Cajeta is a thickened syrup made from sweetened and caramelized goat’s milk. Top your goat’s milk ice cream or cake with cajeta…yum!


Caramel is similar to cajeta, but it is thicker in consistency, and it contains butter and whipping cream.


Are you a lover of fudge? Use creamy goat’s milk in your recipe.  


7. You Can Become Self-Sufficient By Raising Your Own Dairy Goats

Raising your own goats is a great way to become more self-sufficient. With goats, you can produce your own milk, cheese, dairy foods, bath and skin products and meat. (Image Credit: Marcio Bordin)


Interested in Dairy Goat Farming? If you've thought about getting started with raising your own dairy goats, it's a great way to be self-sufficient by make your own milk and other dairy products.

And you don't need a huge farm to get involved. Many people get started raising dairy goats in their backyard.

If you'd like to learn more about how to get started raising your own dairy goats, check out our blog post... "How to Raise Dairy Goats for Milk: The Ultimate Guide"  

Top Dairy Goat Butterfat Producers

As we pointed out, butterfat content varies among the dairy goat breeds. Here's a run-down on a few of the most popular breeds of dairy goats.

Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

The highest butterfat producing breed is the Nigerian Dwarf, with an average 6-10% fat content. This makes the Nigerian Dwarf breed excellent for cheese making. Nigerian Dwarfs are a small breed compared to other dairy goat breeds, making them an excellent choice for small goat farms.

Nubian Dairy Goats

The Nubian dairy goat breed also produces high butterfat content milk, with an average 5% or more.

Saanen Dairy Goats

If you are looking for quantity of milk, not so much butterfat, the Saanen dairy goat breed tops the scale in production, with an average of 1 ½ - 3 gallons per day.

Remember, butterfat and milk production varies based on feed and pasture, health, breed, and genetics. Goats that are great milkers normally produce offspring that are great milkers.

For more information about different goat breeds and their characteristics, you can find more information in our blog post...

"15 Best Breeds of Goats for Milk, Meat and More"

Environmentally Friendly

Goats are an environmentally friendly farm animal. Compared to cows, fewer acres are needed to raise a healthy goat herd.

Goats are also browsers, excellent weed eaters, and the nutrients in deep-rooted plants helps goats produce that much more milk. Goat manure is also an excellent addition to gardens and pastures, as it is does not attract insects, and does not produce strong odors compared to other manures.  


8. Goat's Milk is Easy to Find if You Want to Buy It


If you want to buy goat milk soap, it's easy to find. Goat milk and its products are available in most larger grocery stores and can also be ordered online.( Image Credit: Selfthy)


Where to Find Goat’s Milk

Goat’s milk can be found in most major grocery store chains. Depending on the state that you live in, you may be able to find locally produced goat’s milk for sale.

Keep in mind, some states restrict milk sales to animal feed. Also, some states restrict milk sales to pasteurized only.

This is the reason many families have started raising their own goats. To find farms that sell goat’s milk, search the internet for local dairy goat associations.

Also, check with your local feed stores. Farm veterinarians are also a good resource.            


VIDEO - How Goat's Milk is Made

Video Credit: Alaminos Goat Farm  



National Institutes of Health

Journal of Dairy Science

University of California, Davis

Science Daily

National Parks Service

MDPI (Molecular Diversity Preservation International)

Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS)

Dairy Reporter

Sheffield Hallam University


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Learn How to Raise Your Own Goats

We help you get started. Join our goat community and share with others who are learning, too. Become self-sufficient. Produce your own milk, cheese, soap, dairy products, bath products, meat and more. Or just enjoy goats as pets. We love these amazing, entertaining and friendly creatures and you will, too.

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