Can lactose intolerants drink goat milk?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “can lactose intolerants drink goat milk?” and the benefits of goat milk.

Can lactose intolerants drink goat milk?

No, Individuals suffering from severe lactose intolerance should avoid goat’s milk due to the high lactose level in the milk.

The lactose content of goat’s milk is 4.5%, slightly lower than cow’s milk (4.7%). (1)

What is lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance (LI) is a condition affecting the mucosa of the small intestine, which hinders the digestion and absorption of lactose from the diet. This is caused either by low activity or the absence of the lactase enzyme (β-D-Galactosidase) in the body.

Individuals with LI may experience a range of symptoms, including flatulence, abdominal discomfort, bloating, a feeling of swelling, nausea, borborygmus (stomach rumbling), vomiting, constipation, and watery diarrhea with acidic stools. 

In severe cases, LI can lead to dehydration, metabolic acidosis, and even malnutrition. (2)

What is the cause of these symptoms?

The occurrence of diarrhea in LI is a result of lactose remaining unabsorbed in the small intestine. This leads to increased local osmolarity, causing water and electrolytes to be drawn into the mucosa, resulting in intestinal dilatation and accelerated transit, which worsens malabsorption.

As undigested lactose reaches the colon, intestinal microbiota ferment it, producing short-chain organic acids like acetic, butyric, and propionic acids, as well as gasses such as methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen. 

These gasses are responsible for the flatulence, distension, and abdominal pain experienced by those with LI. Furthermore, the formation of organic acids causes the acidification of feces, leading to liquid stools and additional abdominal distension, along with perianal hyperemia.(2)

How does goat milk compare with regular milk?

Goat milk shares a fundamental chemical composition with cow milk concerning total solids, fat, total protein, casein, whey proteins, lactose, minerals, and vitamin contents. 

However, there are notable variations in each of these individual components between the two types of milk. (3)

On average, goat’s milk exhibits higher levels of total solids (TS), fat, crude protein, and ash compared to cow’s milk. Specifically, goat’s milk contains 4.5% lactose, whereas cow’s milk contains 4.7% lactose. 

Goat’s milk boasts a higher content of crude protein, typically ranging from 3.0 to 3.8%, compared to cow’s milk.Goats’ milk has a higher content of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and chlorine and a lower level of sodium than cows’ milk. 

Goats’ milk contains a higher level of vitamin A than cows’ milk due to the fact that goats convert all carotenes into vitamin A, which gives the milk a whitish color. (1)

What is the nutritional profile of goat milk?

On average, goat milk comprises 13.2% total solids, with a breakdown of 4.5% fat, 3.6% protein, 4.5% lactose, and 0.8% minerals. Goats’ milk contains about 133 mg calcium and 100 mg phosphorus per 100 ml.

These values indicate that goat milk contains slightly higher total solids, fat, total protein, casein, and minerals compared to cow and human milks. However, it has a slightly lower lactose content.

The gross composition of goat milk is subject to variation based on factors such as breed, age, environmental conditions, lactation period, udder health status, feeding habits, milking frequency, and time, much like the milks of other mammalian species. (3)

What are the health benefits of goat milk?

Goat milk has several health benefits. In general, there is little difference in nutritional value and health benefits between goats’ and cows’ milk since the chemical composition of both milks is very similar.

Goat milk is a valuable source of essential nutrients, including riboflavin, phosphorus, vitamins A and B12, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Regular consumption of goat milk, containing its original fat, provides several health advantages.

It aids in preventing osteoporosis due to its high calcium content and inclusion of vitamin D, due to protein content it supports muscle building. The presence of oligosaccharides benefits the intestinal microbiota by providing nutrients for beneficial bacteria in the colon, improving gut health.

Its abundance of vitamin B complex contributes to better neurological function. The amino acids with anti-hypertensive properties in whole milk can assist in regulating high blood pressure. Furthermore, it contains vitamins A, E, K, and D found in milk fat (1, 3).

Other FAQs about Milk that you may be interested in.

Do Oreos Contain Milk

Does Oat Milk Make You Poop?

Does Nonfat Milk Have Lactose


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “can lactose intolerants drink goat milk?” and the benefits of goat milk.


  1. Guo, M. GOAT | Milk. Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 2944–2949. 2003.
  2. Silva, A. R. A., Silva, M. M. N., & Ribeiro, B. D.  Health Issues and Technological Aspects of Plant-based Alternative Milk. Food Research International, 108972. 2020.
  3. Turkmen, N. The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Goat Milk Components. Nutrients in Dairy and Their Implications on Health and Disease, 441–449. 2017.

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