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Clinical research

DGC has completed three long-term growth studies in infants fed goat infant formula.   Two were randomised, double-blind comparisons of goat and cow infant formula and the third was a prospective cohort study of cow and goat formula.

These combined studies confirm that goat milk infant formula is suitable and safe for infants under 12 months of age.  Health professionals and regulatory agencies now have increased confidence in goat milk formula for infants.

Study 1

This was a double-blind, randomised controlled trial of 72 newborn term infants from Auckland, New Zealand.  Only mothers who had previously decided to feed their babies formula were invited to participate in this trial.  Half of the infants were given sachets containing goat milk formula that retained the natural casein to whey ratio of goat milk.  The other half were given sachets containing a cow milk formula with added whey proteins. 

The growth of infants fed goat milk infant formula was the same as that of infants fed cow milk formula.  Infants fed goat formula had slightly more bowel motions than infants fed cow formula (2.4 versus 1.7 per day, p = 0.004), but there was no difference in the consistency of the stools. 

A copy of the publication can be downloaded from

Study 2

This was a double-blind, randomised controlled trial of 301 newborn term infants from Adelaide, Australia.  Mothers that had previously decided to formula feed their babies were provided with goat milk formula that retained the natural casein to whey ratio of goat milk or a cow milk formula with added whey proteins.  Neither the infants’ caregivers nor study team knew which formula was being fed.  One hundred and one infants were fed goat infant formula and 99 were fed cow formula.  The trial also included a reference group of 100 breastfed infants.  There were no statistically significant or clinically relevant differences in weight, length or head circumference development or blood biochemical markers between the two formula groups from study start (within 2 weeks of birth) to 12 months.   Levels of folate and ferritin and haemoglobin in blood were within the normal reference range of healthy four month old infants, confirming that goat infant formula provides an adequate supply of folate and iron.  The essential and semi-essential amino acids in blood of infants fed goat formula were at least equal to the levels in breastfed infants.  Blood urea levels in infants fed goat formula were 11% lower than those fed cow formula and closer to breastfed infants.  These results confirm the adequate supply of amino acids from goat formula and fewer excess amino acids than a cow formula with added whey proteins. 

A copy of the publication can be downloaded from

 

Study 3

This was a prospective cohort study that followed 976 infants in Seoul, Korea from birth to 12 months of age.  Infants were fed breast milk, goat infant formula, cow infant formula, or a combination of formula and breast milk during the first four months of age.  Data on type of milk feeding and infant growth (weight and height) were collected at birth and at 4, 8 and 12 months of age. The number and consistency of bowel motions per day were recorded based on observational data supplied by the mothers.

Infants fed breast milk or goat or cow infant formula during the first four months displayed similar growth outcomes.  More of the infants fed cow infant formula had fewer and more well-formed bowel motions compared with breastfed infants.  The stool characteristics of infants fed goat formula resembled those of infants fed breast milk.  Infants fed goat infant formula, either alone or in combination with breast milk, had comparable growth rates gastrointestinal function as breastfed infants.

A copy of the publication can be downloaded from