Cow Milk vs Human Milk
Milk is a normal secretion of the mammary glands of all mammals which main purpose is to nourish the young of the species. Milk also has unique nutritional properties that make it an especially valuable food. The immediate secretion just after parturition is consisted with colostrums, which carries mother’s antibodies to the newly born infant and make the baby well protected from diseases. It is not surprising that the composition of various animals differs from one another based on their nutritional requirements. However, in exceptional circumstances some of the animals’ milk can be substituted using another, which has more or less similar composition. The most common substitute for human infants’ nourishment is cow milk, and it is the principal source of milk for human consumption.
Cow milk is a secretion of liquid from mammary glands of the cow to feed their infants for a period of about ten months depending on the weaning time. Milk can be called as an emulsion composed with fat globules in water also pH ragging from 6.4-6.8. The most abundant constituent in cow milk is water which represents 87.1% from its weight. It contains fat composed with triglycerides, free fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins as vital components. Casein is the main protein in milk where the others are whey proteins. Lactose represents a high proportion from total sugar content of cow milk. Calcium and phosphate ions are present in milk as major inorganic constituents and all the components can be determined by using both quantitative and qualitative analytical methods. However, the composition of cow milk can be varying depending on several factors such as breed, feed, management system, climate and age of the cow. Cow milk can be used for the consumption not only as its raw form, but also as several processed dairy food products such as curd, yoghurt, ice cream, cheese, butter and ghee. In the case of dairy product processing, there are legal standards to be maintained in order to maintain the quality of the final product. Unpermitted chemical compounds such as boric acid, salicylic acid, and formalin should be checked at the point of receiving the milk to the collecting centre from dairy farms. As milk is highly susceptible for spoilage, microbiological quality should be also checked before subjecting it to process.
Hormones called prolactin and oxytocin stimulate the human mother to secrete milk immediately after a child birth. Human milk also contains water as its major component and proteins, fat, carbohydrate, minerals (mainly calcium and potassium), vitamins as the minority. According to the recommendations of World Health Organization the sole method of feeding the child in first six months should be done by breastfeeding. In addition, two years of supplement time can mutually benefit both mother and child. Solids foods can be introduced gradually when signs of readiness are shown.
What is the difference between Cow Milk and Human Milk?
• Nevertheless the compositions are more or less same in both milk types there are some considerable differences can be found.
• Human milk is obviously thinner and sweeter than cow’s milk.
• Human milk contains a high amount of antibodies, specific to the human child.
• Human milk is easily digested by human infants, and they cannot digest cow milk in similar efficiency.
• In addition, there can be some adverse effects of feeding a human infant totally by cow milk. Excessive amounts of proteins, sodium, and potassium may cause kidney diseases in baby.
• More to these, cow milk cannot supply sufficient iron, vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which may lead to an anemic condition.