Is Drinking Goat Milk Good for Eczema?
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What is eczema?
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a skin condition that makes the skin red and itchy. It’s common in children but can occur at any age. The causes of eczema are usually due to genetic factors, changing of environmental factors including pollutions, allergens and irritants, stress and imbalance of bacterial environment on the skin. Up until now, there is no cure for eczema. However, lifestyle changes and keeping your skin moisturize do the trick in suppressing eczema flares.
Diets also play an important role in triggering or reducing symptoms of eczema, especially for children. Common foods that can worsen eczema are peanuts, soy, wheat, fish and eggs. Most babies that suffer from eczema also have an allergy to cow’s milk. On the other hand, goat’s milk can be helpful for eczema however, similar to other allergies, it depends on each individual. You might want to consider trying goat’s milk if your child has a known cow’s milk allergy.
A customer survey performed by St. Helen’s Farm revealed several benefits of goat’s milk that most consumers drink goat’s milk for medical reasons, especially to overcome lactose intolerance. These consumers stated that they have received significant health benefits from consuming goat’s milk. Figure 1 shows the reported health benefits of goat’s milk, including for people with eczema (Harden & Hepburn, 2011).
Why is goat milk good for eczema?
There are several reasons why goat milk may be good for eczema. The protein of the goat’s milk was easier to digest than cow’s milk. There are more than 20 proteins in cow’s milk that may cause allergic reactions in adults, presenting as an immediate reaction to eczema. People are usually allergic to this major protein called lactoglobulins and caseins. However, goat’s milk, similar to human milk, has a lower ratio of caseins. Thus, this allows goat’s milk to form a soft, as opposed to hard, curd during digestion. Hence, goat milk contains proteins that are easily digested and decrease irritation to the gut mucosa. This could explain why children who consume goat milk have fewer allergy symptoms than children who consume cow milk.
Next, goat milk contains a balanced amount of Omega-3 which has anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, it is beneficial for eczema individuals as eczema conditions are related to inflammation.
Other than that, in comparison to cow’s milk, goat milk has higher oligosaccharides (non-digestible carbohydrates). These oligosaccharides work as prebiotics for the gut mucosa, which helps maintain digestive tract health and promote beneficial gut flora. Furthermore, it has been shown that the oligosaccharides in goat’s milk can reduce intestinal inflammation and aid recovery from colitis in animals.
To sum up, goat milk may be one of the options for people with eczema especially children but we have to remember that every individual is unique and different from each other so what works for one might not work for another.
- Top Eczema Triggers. (n.d.). WebMD. Retrieved August 19, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/eczema/ss/slideshow-top-eczema-triggers
- J. (2021, May 8). Goats Milk For Babies With Eczema. My Itchy Child. https://myitchychild.com/goat-milk-babies-eczema/
- Harden, C. J., & Hepburn, N. J. (2011). The benefits of consuming goat’s milk. Centre for Food Innovation, Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, South Yorkshire, England, 14.