Atopic dermatitis improves, regurgitation resolves, and bowel movements normalize when goat milk formula used as a substitute for cow milk formula.
Goat milk protein possesses several attributes that make it naturally easy to digest.
It contains less alpha s1 casein than cow milk (1) and its’ casein micelles are larger than casein micelles from cow milk (1). As a result, goat milk protein produces a smaller, softer and looser coagulate (curd) in the stomach than cow milk protein (2,3) and it is also digested more quickly than cow milk protein (4).
Despite these positive findings, clinical information on the use of goat milk formula is limited. This case study reports on the evolution of symptoms in an 11 month-old child when goat milk formula is used as a substitute for cow milk formula.
Presentation: GW is an 11-month-old male who presented with atopic dermatitis, regurgitation, loose stools, as well as respiratory congestion, and recurrent otitis media, all possibly triggered or exacerbated by cow milk consumption.
At baseline, the total Cow’s Milk-Related Symptom Score (CoMiSS) (5) was 12, and the mother’s happiness or satisfaction with her child’s health was rated as 2/10.
Specific symptom intensity captured by the CoMiSS at baseline included:
Therapeutic intervention: The therapeutic intervention involved the elimination of cow milk dairy, including cow milk formula, for 12 days. Goat milk formula was used as a substitute for cow milk formula.
Outcomes: Symptom intensity was re-evaluated after 12 days using the CoMiSS, as was the mother’s happiness or satisfaction with her child’s health.
The mother reported that GW experienced normal, solid, and well-formed bowel movements since day 9 on goat milk formula. Atopic dermatitis symptoms improved within 4 days of making the switch to a goat milk formula. Skin symptoms resolved completely on the arms and face, and remained mild on the legs. Respiratory symptoms were reported as mild.
On day 12, the total CoMiSS was 3, a 9-point positive change, or 75% improvement, from baseline. The mother’s happiness or satisfaction with her child’s health was rated as 7/10, a 50% improvement from baseline.
Specific symptom intensity captured by the CoMiSS on day 12 included:
Conclusions: Goat milk formula may be well tolerated by children with cow’s milk-related symptoms*. Children with cow’s milk-related symptoms, such as atopic dermatitis, regurgitation, and functional gastrointestinal symptoms such as loose stools, may experience rapid symptom improvement by substituting cow milk formula with goat milk formula.
1 Park YW, et al. Physico-chemical characteristics of goat and sheep milk. Small Rumin Res. 2007;68:88–113
2 Ceballos LS, et al. Utilization of nitrogen and energy from diets containing protein and fat derived from either goat milk or cow milk. J Dairy Res. 2009;4:497-504
3 Grant C, et al. Randomized, double-blind comparison of growth in infants receiving goat milk formula versus cow milk infant formula. J Paediatr Child Health. 2005;41(11):564-8
4 Almaas H, et al. In vitro digestion of bovine and caprine milk by human gastric and duodenal enzymes. Int Dairy J. 2006;16:961–68
* Not suitable for children with a confirmed cow milk protein allergy (CMPA).