The safety and nutritional adequacy of goat milk infant formulas have been questioned. The primary aim of the present study was to compare the growth and nutritional status of infants fed a goat milk infant formula with those of infants fed a typical whey-based cow milk infant formula. The secondary aim was to examine a range of health- and allergy-related outcomes. A double-blind, randomised controlled trial with 200 formula-fed term infants randomly assigned to receive either goat or cow milk formula from 2 weeks to at least 4 months of age was conducted. A cohort of 101 breast-fed infants was included for comparison. Weight, length and head circumference were measured at 2 weeks and 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12 months of age. Nutritional status was assessed from serum albumin, urea, creatinine, Hb, ferritin, and folate and plasma amino acid concentrations at 4 months. Z-scores for weight, length, head circumference and weight for length were not different between the two formula-fed groups. There were differences in the values of some amino acids and blood biomarkers between the formula-fed groups, but the mean values for biomarkers were within the normal reference range. There were no differences in the occurrence of serious adverse events, general health, and incidence of dermatitis or medically diagnosed food allergy. The incidence of parentally reported blood-stained stools was higher in the goat milk formula-fed group, although this was a secondary outcome and its importance is unclear. Goat milk formula provided growth and nutritional outcomes in infants that did not differ from those provided by a standard whey-based cow milk formula.
- Goat milk