Health Benefits of Sheep’s Milk
Sheep milk is more acceptable to the human digestive system in comparison to cow’s and goat’s milk. Sheep milk does not have such a strong smell or taste as is often the case with goat’s milk. Sheep milk contain about double and in some cases much more than double the amount of solids found in either goat’s and cow’s milk. Sheep milk is superior and belongs to a class of its own.
The superiority of sheep milk lies in the milk composition when compared in relative terms to goat’s and cow’s milk. Especially in the differences of the critical nutritional substances like protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, Vit. B6 and B12, Vit. D, the medium chain amino acids, linoleic acids and all 10 of the essential amino acids.
The daily requirement of calcium, riboflavin and 5 of the 10 essential amino acids are taken in if only 2 cups (490 g) of sheep milk is consumed per day without supplementing anything else. Alternatively, 2 cups of sheep milk yoghurt or 93 g sheep’s cheese will be sufficient in terms of the daily requirement of these nutritional substances.
CALCIUM AND MINERALS LIKE ZINC:
Both these minerals are higher in sheep milk as in goat’s and cow’s milk. Calcium combined with lactose and the high amount of Vit. D is critical in the prevention of Osteoporosis. Bone density is formed during adolescence and the huge amount of soft drinks consumed by children nowadays instead of milk predicts nothing good for them in old age because soft drinks destroy bone density. Sheep milk provide in 254 % of the daily requirement of calcium of 800 mg while cow’s milk provide only 170 %. Stilton cheese (cow) provides only 320 mg / 100g in comparison with Roquefort (sheep) 530 mg / 100 g.
Zinc is essential for a healthy skin.
The calcium : phosphorus ratio in sheep milk is nearly perfect because the one can’t be digested without the other.
Vitamins like the B-complex vitamins and especially vitamins like A, D and E are absolutely essential for good health and is normally recommended as supplements. All these vitamins occur naturally in large quantities in sheep milk. Sheep milk is especially high in folic acid and Vit. B12.
Three fat soluble vitamins are found among the so-called fats. In other words they are incorporated in the fats and without them, one would become very ill or even die should they be absent. These are vitamins. A, D and E. As already mentioned, sheep milk contain remarkably more of these vitamins as both goat’s and cow’s milk.
Sheep milk also contain a higher quantity of medium/short chain saturated fatty acids and it is believed that this leads to higher lactose absorption which is of benefit for those who are lactose intolerant. Furthermore, sheep milk is not as high in saturated fatty acids in comparison to the other types of milk. 45 % of the fatty acids in sheep milk is Mono or Poly-unsaturated fats.
The medical and nutritional values of medium chain fatty acids or triglycerides (MCT) are well-known and its benefits has been proven in a wide variety of diseases like heart diseases, epilepsy in children, cystic fibrosis, gall stones etc. because of its unique metabolic ability to supply energy. MCT also limits or inhibits cholesterol deposits, it dissolves cholesterol gall stones and it plays a role in normal growth of babies. MCT is unique because it doesn’t follow the normal lipid route through the lymph system. It instead goes where it is oxidized into a fast available energy for the body.
The unique content of approximately 25 % MCT in the fat of sheep milk is not fully utilized yet. The daily recommended intake of 15 g MCT can be provided by approximately 60 g sheep butter.
The casein in sheep milk – the protein associated with cheese, is very acceptable for those with an intolerance for goat’s or cow’s milk. The whey proteins in sheep milk is a very digestible protein. Sheep milk contains 3 times more of this type of protein than goat’s or cow’s milk which also contributes to better digestibility. Because the protein content of sheep milk is so high, it is not recommended for babies up to 12 months. Sheep milk is a natural high protein energy drink which, because it is more well-known in Europe, is used by sportsmen.
Even in case of people with a high lactose intolerance, it will still be possible for them to use sheep milk products. When yoghurt is made from sheep milk, the lactose is converted to lactic acid and during the production of hard cheeses, the lactose is set free in the whey. There is also proof that the lactose in sheep milk is more acceptable to people than that of other types of milk.
|µ / 100 g||Sheep||Goat||Cow|
|Vitamin D||0.18 – 0.88||0.12||0.03|