Got Your Goat?

Meet my goat Shannon, who gave me lots of delicious goat’s milk to feed my lambs and sometimes myself. She has crossed the rainbow bridge, but she will always be remembered. Ever wondered where the expression, “Got Your Goat?” originated? Well, the story I heard was this:

Goats were placed with racehorses to keep them calm. When ne’er-do-wells who wanted the horse to race badly removed it, that is, they ‘got someone’s goat’, the horse became unsettled and ran badly.

Do you think perhaps, that someone got your goat when they tried to convince us that milk does a body good? For some, nothing could be further than the truth.

Milk sensitivities come in many forms for many people. Sensitivity to lactose, the sugar in milk, is a dilemma for many and is why many people avoid milk. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is very specific about the limited dairy permitted for those who are healing from gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s, Celiac, Ulcerative Colitis or IBS/IBD. The mainstay of the diet includes homemade yogurt cultured for 24 hours instead of the typical 4-5 hours recommended by most yogurt recipes and makers. The 24 hour fermentation process diminishes the amount of lactose in the milk to minimum amounts. Low enough that even a damaged intestinal tract can assimilate.

For some individuals digesting the fats in milk prove to be a problem and for others digesting the protein in the milk may be difficult. Not all milk is created equal. Did you know that goat, sheep and cow’s milk are not the same? Babies that are unable tolerate cow’s milk often due fine on goat’ milk. I’ve noticed how much better I feel when I eat yogurt made from goat vs. cow’s milk. I also prefer to drain the yogurt and separate the whey from the yogurt to make what many refer to as “Greek Yogurt”.

Milk Comparisons

Comparative values (per 100g) from the USDA Nutritional Database.

Cow: 119mg; goat; 134mg; sheep: 193mg; human: 32mg
Cow:152mg; goat: 204mg; sheep: 36mg; human: 51mg
Cow: 14mg; goat: 11mg; sheep: 7mg; human: 14mg.

Goat milk is also higher than cow’s in Vitamins A & C, phosphorus and niacin, although lower in folate so the diet should be supplemented with green leafy vegetables. Goat’s milk fat also has a much higher concentration of medium chain fatty acids (caproic, caprylic, capric, lauric, myristic) than cow’s milk fat and is lower in stearic and oleic acids. A considerable literature exists documenting the beneficial effects of those medium chain fatty acids in a number of disorders and diseases (malabsorption syndromes, chyluria, steatorrhea, hyperlipoproteinemia, intestinal resection, coronary bypass, premature infant feeding, childhood epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, gallstones). Medium chain fatty acids have been shown to lower serum cholesterol and dissolve gallstones. ¹

The milk protein, caseins, causes sensitivity in many individuals, and the specific protein identified usually as the culprit is ß-lactoglobulin. The major whey proteins in cow milk are ß-lactoglobulin and a-lactalbumin. a-Lactalbumin is an important protein in the synthesis of lactose and its presence is central to the process of milk synthesis. Most whey proteins are relatively less digestible in the intestine, although all of them are digested to some degree. When substantial whey protein is not digested fully in the intestine, some of the intact protein may stimulate a localized intestinal or a systemic immune response. This is sometimes referred to as milk protein allergy and is most often thought to be caused by ß-lactoglobulin.²

Which Starter Should I Use?

The SCD diet website, Breaking the Vicious Cycle provides the following information:

Yoghurt starter contains cultures of bacteria that we use to inoculate the milk and begin the fermentation. The bacteria that we should have in our yoghurt starters are: Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus (optional).

In fact, without the first two strains above we can’t really call it yoghurt.

The strain we must avoid in our SCD™ yoghurt is Bifidus as it has been found to cause bacterial overgrowth in the gut. Bifidus comes in quite a few variations e.g. Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus Bifidus, Bifidobacterium longum etc, in general avoid anything that has bifid in its name. Some yoghurt that we use as a starter can contain sucrose, cream and lactose however these are consumed in the 24hr fermentation.³

Need an alternative milk yogurt? I found this video on making raw coconut yogurt for you.

¹ The Goat’s Milk Question – Food Matters
² Milk Composition – Proteins – Illinois Edu
³ Yoghurt – What Kind of Yoghurt Starter to Use – Breaking the Vicious Cycle