Goat-milk formula good for little kids

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Oli6 goat-milk formula is good for babies’ gut health, according to new research.

A three-year study by RMIT analysed cow-milk formula, fresh goat milk and Oli6 goat formula. The researchers found the Oli6 goat-milk formula contained 14 naturally occurring prebiotics oligosaccharides (oligos), five of which are also found in human breast milk.

Research has found oligos feed helpful gut bacteria that are instrumental in supporting immunity and digestive health, maintaining a healthy weight and influencing brain function.

The study also measured the potential of different types of milk, formulas and artificial prebiotics to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and reduce gastrointestinal infections.

Not only were the natural prebiotic oligos in Oli6 formula effective in promoting beneficial bacteria (bifidobacteria), but they were also found to inhibit the ability of harmful bacteria such as pathogenic E. coli to attach to human intestinal cells. Almost one third of all cases of diarrhoea in children are attributed to pathogenic E. coli bacteria.

Oli6 founder Ben Dingle says the research findings endorse the company’s founding ambition to provide a premium product that delivers on health promises.

“Goat’s milk has up to six times the number of prebiotic oligosaccharides than cow’s milk, so we could see there were human health benefits that cow’s milk couldn’t replicate: less intolerance or allergies; easier to digest; and structurally closer to human breast milk than cow’s milk,” Mr Dingle said.

Accredited dietitian Melanie McGrice says the study’s findings should reassure mothers searching for a formula with natural digestive health benefits.

“There’s no doubt breast milk is best for babies, but not every new mother can breastfeed,” she said. “Knowing there is a natural alternative that has elements similar to breast milk to promote good health can help to ease the anxiety about doing what’s best for bub.”

Almost nine in 10 children under two years-old are reported to experience digestive concerns, with 39 per cent of desperate mums switching formulas to try to give their child some relief.