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Use of Goat Milk and Goat Meat as Therapeutic Aids in Cardiovascular Diseases
John R. Addrizzo
One of the 5 risk factors for coronary/arteriosclerotic heart disease and peripheral vascular disease is an elevation in the lipid profile, particularly cholesterol and the low density lipoprotein fraction, especially if the ratio of LDH-C/HDL-C is greater than 5. Elevations for total cholesterol greater than 200; LDL-C greater than 150 and HDL-C less than 35; and triglycerides greater than 150 place the patient at an elevated risk of coronary heart disease.
In an attempt to control the hyperlipemic state, diet and exercise are utilized as the first line of defense, our office has offered the following diet over the last eight years. We have found it patient-tolerant while lowering the hyperlipemic state in 80% of the patients.
Only 20% of patients needed the introduction of pharmacological agents to achieve satisfactory levels. Once the diet was adhered to for greater than 6 months, both significant reduction in the dyslemic state and weight occurred. Of interest is the ease of maintaining both risk factors at a satisfactory level.

Ethnic Diet 1



Vegetables (steamed)

Goat Meat (Chevon)


1 slice of bread

Water with lemon

No desserts

Fruits only

1 Restaurant portions;
Typical: Chinese, Mediterranean, Mexican or Indian diet.
The diet consists of ethnic food base prepared with care as to low saturated fatty foods, stemmed vegetables and lean red meats. Culturally programmed, the average American consumes beef - 130 pounds; pork - 65.5 pounds; chicken - 63 pounds; turkey - 15 pounds and fish - 15 pounds per year. The American diet is therefore disproportionally high in saturated fats. Thus, with proper dietary intervention, it is possible to reduce the mean blood cholesterol by 3 to 23% in 90% of the test population (Emholm et al., 1982). Characteristically, the American diet contains red meat in the form as mentioned of primarily beef and pork with veal and lamb as secondary choices.
The recent shift away from red meats to poultry and seafood is an attempt to achieve a lower fat/cholesterol diet. Beef consumption in the United States declined by 15% over the ten year span from 1975 to 1985, while poultry increased by 45% during the same period (U.S.D.A., 1989). However, due to the development of hormonal contamination and salmonellosis, even chicken is not a very acceptable alternative; the same fate has affected fish with the great concern about chemical and bacterial contamination. Moreover, the last decade's consumption of fish has risen by 25% (12 1/2 to 15 1/2 pounds per year). According to Consumer Reports (1992), almost 40% of the fish sampled was fair to poor in quality and 30% was downright poor. In addition, chemical contamination with PCB, mercury, pesticides and lead range from 45% to 90% depending upon the species and the water habitat. This leaves chevon as the best alternative, it being the leanest of the red meats and usually free of bacterial and chemical contamination.
Nutrient Composition of Goat Meat
Goat meat cuts have fat content 50%-65% lower than similarly prepared beef (but with a similar protein content) and have between 42%-59% less fat than lamb and have about the same fat to 25% lower than veal. This pattern was repeated for the cooked samples (James et al., 1990). In addition, the percentage of saturated fat in goat meat is 40% less than chicken (without skin) and is far below beef, port and lamb by 850, 1100, and 900%, respectively (U.S.D.A. 1981, 1989).
Devendra (1988) states that unsaturated fatty acids predominate in goat meat (68.5% to 72.3%) compared to 50% found by Eastridge (1990); these agree with the U.S. Handbook (1989) value of 69%. Lauric, myristic and palmitic acid are saturated fatty acids of the hypercholesterolemic group found in goat meat; their percentage is 2%, 2.6%, and 27.6%, respectively. The non-hypercholesterolemic group of fatty acids consists of one saturated fatty acid, C:18.0 stearic acid (14% to 16.6%) and the unsaturated fatty acids, C:18.1 oleic (30.1% to 37%), C:18.2 linoleic (13.4%) and C:18.3 linolenic (.4%). Universally, the fatty acid and protein values are constant with the intramuscular fat disposition of .94% to 1.4% in the indigenous breeds of the Indian subcontinent when compared to Alpine, Toggenburg, Nubian, and Saanen goats (2.01%) over a range of live weights (Devendra, 1988).
Cholesterol content of chevon is controversially similar to that of beef, lamb, pork, and chicken and much lower than some dairy, poultry products and some seafoods. Further studies of goat meat cholesterol indicates levels of 76 mg% compared to 70 mg% for beef, fish, and lamb and 60 mg% for pork and chicken (Pond and Maner, 1984; Potchoiba et al., 1990). Cholesterol of beef meat, uncooked, ranges from 36 mg% to 46 mg% to 78.2mg% (Stromer et al., 1966; Terrell et al., 1969) compared to 57.8 mg% to 69.5 mg% of chevon (Park et al., 1991).
The key fact is that your blood cholesterol level depends less on your intake of cholesterol from foods and more on the amount of saturated fats consumed, especially the ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fats. Therefore, by reducing the consumption of foods high in saturated fats, a more effective measure of cholesterol control is achieved. Polyunsaturated fats and monosaturated fats pack less tightly and are liquid at room temperature which, unlike beef and lamb, is common to the drippings from goat meat. The inspection of congealed fat drippings is a visual index as to the degree of saturated fats present. This is noticeably absent in goat meat.
The wealth of documentable evidence indicates that goat meat (chevon), regardless of age, breed, or region, will supply a high quality protein source along with a healthy fat (increased unsaturated fats/saturated fats ratio) with a minimal cholesterol intake risk. In addition, chevon contains comparatively higher values of iron, potassium and thiamine associated with a low sodium level (Eastridge and Johnson, 1990); see Table 1. All essential amino acids are present and a low calorie per serving value is available. As a result of the above, chevon should be designated as the naturally occurring health meat.
With respect to goat milk and the cardiovascular system, one finds it similar to cow's milk. By lowering the fat content to the "skim" level, it would be a very acceptable nutritional milk. Goat milk's only deficiency is a low folate level; otherwise, it is a complete dietary supplement. It is used in treating cow's milk allergy and is extremely palatable due to natural homogenazation; it also supplies all calcium requirements and is most like human milk in comparison.
The goat's genetically determined distribution of body fats (to peritoneum and internal organs, no intermuscular) and composition of these fats (low saturated; high polyunsaturated/saturated fat ratio) enable it to be considered "user friendly" in our modern health conscious society. In addition, the goat supplies a nutritious "white gold" milk.
Table 1. Comparison of Nutrient Analysis of an 85 Grams (3 Ounce) Cooked Portion of Carcass Composite Meat from Goat and Chicken.*
Fat, g
Protein, g
Calories, Kcal
Cholesterol, mg
Iron, mg
Calcium, mg
Sodium, mg
Zinc, mg
Magnesium, mg
Potassium, mg
Phosphorus, mg
Copper, mg
Thiamin (B1), mg
Pyridoxine (B4), mg
Cobalamin (B12), mg
Pantothenic Acid, mg
Niacin, mg
*Nutrient Profile information taken from USDA Human Nutrition Handbook 8-5. and Johnson (1987) utilized twelve carcasses from Florida Wood and Wood crossbred goats to determine the nutrient composition of goat meat. Sides from four carcasses in each gender class, including castrate, intact male, and female were dissected into separable components of bone and soft tissue. Gender class did not significantly impact nutrient composition of goat meat. Table 1 shows many of the major nutrients found in goat along with a comparison of the nutrient composition versus chicken. Comparisons between goat meat and chicken is not presented to indicate that one is more desirable than the other, but to help relate the nutrient levels found in goat to a common meat consumed in the United States.

1. Consumer Reports. 1992. "Is our Fish Fit to Eat", February, pp. 103-120.

2. Devendra, C. 1988. The nutritional value of goat meat. Proceedings (IDRC-268e) Goat Meat Production in Asia. March 13-18, pp. 76-86.

3. Eastridge, J. S. and D. D. Johnson. 1990. The effect of sex class on nutrient composition of goat meat. International Goat Production Symposium, Oct. 22-26, pp. 143-146.

4. Emholm, C., J. K. Huttunen, and P. Pietinen. 1982. Effect of diets on serum lipoproteins in a population with a high risk of coronary heart disease. N Engl J Med., 307:850-855.

5. James, N. A., B. W. Berry, A. W. Kotula, V. T. Lamikanra, and K. Ono. 1990. Physical separation and proximate analysis of raw and cooked cuts of chevon. International Goat Production Symposium, Oct. 22-26, pp.22.

6. Nutritive Value of Foods. 1981. Home and Garden Bulletin, Number 72, U.S.D.A., Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office.

7. Park, Y. W., M. A. Kouassi, and K. B. Chin. 1991. Moisture, total fat and cholesterol in goat organ and muscle meat. J. Food Science 56(5):1191-1193.

8. Pond, W. G. and J. H. Maner. 1984. Swine Production and Nutrition. The Avi. Publishing Company, Inc. Westport, Connecticut.

9. Potchoiba, M. J., C. D. Lu, F. Pinkerton, and T. Sahlu. 1990. Effects of all milk diet on weight gain, organ development, carcass characteristics and tissue composition, including fatty acids and cholesterol contents of growing male goats. Small Rumin. Res. 3:583-592.

10. Stromer, M. H., D. E. Goll, and J. H. Roberts. 1966. Cholesterol in subcutaneous and intramuscular lipid depots from bovine carcasses of different maturity and fatness. J. Animal Sci. 28:454.

11. Terrell, R. N., G. G. Suess, and R. W. Bray. 1969. Influence of sex, live-weight and anatomical location on bovine lipids. 2. Lipid components and subjective scores of six muscles. J. Animal Sci. 28:454.

12. U.S.D.A. Handbook #8, 1989.


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