Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Breastmilk vs Animal Milk

A Mummie asked a question about the differences between Breastmilk and Cow's milk. Most Mummies know that breastmilk towers over animal milk, when it comes to health benefits. But I could not really answer as to why. So I decided to find out what made each milk different.

Each mammal species produces milk, no surprise there... as each mammal needs to feed their babies. But each form of milk varies from the next..... in many and HUGE ways. Most of these kinds of milk are vastly different compared to human breastmilk

For example: Human breastmilk is thinner and sweeter compared to cow milk. Also, cow milk does not contain sufficient amounts of  vitamin E, iron, or essential fatty acids, which can make babies fed on cow's milk anemic.  Whole cow's milk can also contain excessive amounts of protein, sodium, and potassium, which may put a strain on an infant's immature kidneys. In addition, the proteins and fats in whole cow's milk are more difficult for an infant to digest and absorb than the ones in breast milk. 

Antibodies: There are NO antibodies found in animal milk. But breastmilk has antibodies that help "fight back" different strands of viruses and bacteria... and even change according to need.

Water: Breastmilk contains the exact amount of water needed to nourish each Nummie Lover AND adjusts accordingly as well. This is why there is never any need to give your little Nummie Lover a cup of water (at an early age).... your Nummie's got that covered. Animal milk can not adjust the water amount. What you see is what you get.

Fat: Breastmilk contains more fat compared to other animal milk and it is easily digested and absorbed. This is one of the reasons breastfed babies eat more often compared to formula babies. Other animal milk (including animal milk based formulas) simply can not be digested as easily as the fat is completely different.

Protein: Once again breastmilk contains the exact amount of protein needed and adjusts as the Nummie Lover's needs change. Animal milk contains (sometimes as much as) double the amount of protein which is not as easily digested.

Carbohydrates: Breastmilk conatins more carbohydrates compared to any other animal milk. This is important as Carbs are an important source of energy.

Vitamins and Minerals: As long as you are eating a well balanced diet..... your breastmilk will continue to provide the correct amount of vitamins and minerals required for your baby. Animal milk does contain vitamins and minerals. But it has more of some and less of others. They are not equally matched, therefor they are not tailored to your Nummie Lover's needs.

But it does not just stop at cow milk itself....some babies are allergic to one or more of the constituents of cow's milk, most often the cow's milk proteins. These problems can also affect infant formulas that are dairy or cow milk based. (Did you know there are over 100 ingredients found in breastmilk that are NOT found in formula? Even the "new" DHA formulas can not come close.)

I also came across this Human milk vs animal Milk chart that breaks down breastmilk, cow's milk and goat's milk. Pretty interesting, if I do say so myself. (Oh wait I did say so!)

              Comparing Human and Animal Milks (per cup)
NutrientHuman MilkCow's MilkGoat's Milk
Protein (g)
Fat (g)10.87.910.1
Saturated fat (g)
Monounsaturated fat (g)
Polyunsaturated fat (g)
Carbohydrate (g)
Folate (mcg)12122
Vitamin C (mg)12.303.2
Sodium (mg)4298122
Iron (mg)
Calcium (mg)79276327

I hope that helps! 


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