[Sca-cooks] Lactose Intolerance

Kathleen Madsen kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 6 12:14:57 PST 2007

That's it exactly.  While sheep and goat milk do
contain lactose it's a slightly different form and
tends to be a bit more tolerable for a good segment of
people suffering from LI.

There's a good description in an older edition of the
Sheep Dairy News here:

Granted, this study may be a bit biased toward sheep
milk but I found the spreadsheet comparison of the
different milks quite interesting.  Most LI studies
have been with cow's milk exclusively as that's what
most North American and Western European cultures
consume.  You get outside of that range and you see a
lot more goat milk and a smaller increase in sheep
milk production.  Those animals are just a lot more
economical to raise in countries that have limited

There's also a bit of confusion with the terminology
in the industry.  You hear the term lactose
intolerance given to a number of diagnoses that are
not actual intolerance, which is interesting because
we know exactly what LI is.  There are a number of
patients who are given that label when it would be
better to call it a lactose sensitivity.  Then there's
the "allergy" word.  Allergies are a very serious
issue with restriction of the breathing airways,
hives, and could cause death.  Sensitivities can
present with a range of symptoms that, while
uncomfortable, are not as serious or in the same area
as a true allergy.

In my perspective what we're down to here are
semantics; true lactose intolerance vs. lactose
sensitivity.  Someone who has true lactose intolerance
is not able to consume much of any form of dairy
product regardless of what type of animal it comes
from.  Wheras someone with a lactose sensitivity may
only be affected by one type of milk alone.  I have
had success with many of my customer's lactose
sensitivities by trying them on a milk product from
either a goat or sheep rather than cow. 



It's my understanding that what goat's and sheep's
milk contain only  
in very small amounts   compared to cow's milk is the
protein casein,  
which is apparently what most people who are genuinely
allergic to  
milk products, and not simply unable to digest
lactose, are reacting  
to. This is perhaps the source of confusion between
intolerance and  
allergy, and the idea that goat's milk may be more
acceptable to the  
lactose intolerant. It's actually got plenty of
lactose, but it can  
be a better alternative to those allergic to casein.


More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list