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Buffalo Milk: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction: 

We drink milk regularly and consume products made from milk to gain nutritional benefits and feel strong and healthy. Buffalo milk is considered richer than cow’s milk, as it has more nutrients. Scientifically buffaloes are called Bubalus bubalis and these buffaloes are highly adaptable. World milk production has grown twice in the last two decades and buffalo milk has shown an annual growth rate of approximately 2.5% higher than cow’s milk. The largest producers of buffalo milk are China, India, and Pakistan. Additionally, the nutritional uses of buffalo milk make it a potential alternative to cow’s milk, even for people having milk allergies.1 Let us look into buffalo milk nutrition, buffalo milk benefits, buffalo milk disadvantages and the precautions needed for taking buffalo milk.  

buffalo milk benefits

Did you know?

  • Buffalo milk has higher fat content than cow’s milk, making it ideal for cheese production. [source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Buffalo milk contains higher levels of protein and calcium compared to cow’s milk. [source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Buffalo milk is rich in vitamins A, D, and E, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin. [source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Buffalo milk has a higher lactose content than cow’s milk, making it suitable for lactose-intolerant individuals. [source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Buffalo milk has a higher percentage of casein protein, which contributes to its creamy texture. [source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]

Nutritional Value of Buffalo Milk: 

Buffalo milk contains the following nutrients: 

Nutrient Amount per 100 g 
Buffalo milk protein 3.75 g 
Fats 6.89 g 
Carbohydrates 5.18 g 
Water  83.4 g 
Energy  97 kcal 
Iron  0.12 mg 
Calcium  169 mg 
Magnesium 31 mg 
Sodium 52 mg 
Potassium  178 mg 
Phosphorus 117 mg 
Manganese 0.018 mg 
Copper 0.046 mg 
Zinc  0.22 mg 
Vitamin A 53 µg 
Vitamin B1 0.052 mg 
Vitamin B2 0.135 mg 
Vitamin B3 0.091 mg 
Vitamin B5 0.192 mg 
Vitamin B6 0.023 mg 
Vitamin B9 6 µg 
Vitamin B12 0.36 µg 
Vitamin C 2.3 mg 

Table 1: Nutrients present in 100 g of buffalo milk.2 

Also Read: Almond Milk: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Dr. Rajeev Singh

Milk fat globule membrane, a minor milk constituent contains various nutrients and has many health benefits. They might have positive effects on brain development and function along with physical performance in elderly people.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Properties of Buffalo Milk:  

Buffalo milk might possess the following properties: 

  • It may act as antioxidant 
  • It might have anti-inflammatory property 
  • It might have anti-diabetic activity 
  • It may have anticancer potential  
  • It may have antihypertensive activity 
  • It may act as antimicrobial  
  • It might have probiotic activity1 

Also Read: Coconut Milk: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Smita Barode

Potential Uses of Buffalo Milk for Overall Health:  

Buffalo milk contains several nutrients that may have many health benefits to humans. Some of the potential uses of buffalo milk are as follows: 

1. Potential uses of buffalo milk for heart 

As seen in studies, fermented buffalo milk may contain bacteria such as Lactis and this bacterium might be helpful for the heart. Its consumption may lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels. Therefore, daily consumption of fermented buffalo milk might be helpful for the heart.1 If you have any heart problems, consult the doctor and take proper medication. Do not self-medicate.  

2. Potential uses of buffalo milk for weight management 

Although buffalo milk calories are relatively higher when compared to cow’s milk, buffalo milk may contain the bacteria L.paracasei and these bacteria may show anti-obesity effects on body fat. It also contains probiotics that might help in managing body weight. Therefore, buffalo milk might benefit in managing weight.1 Do not take anything on your own and consult your doctor, they will accurately diagnose and treat you.  

3. Potential uses of buffalo milk for boosting immunity 

L.plantarum is a bacterium that may increase the quality of dairy products and is present in buffalo milk. This L.plantarum is known to enhance the absorption of minerals, and vitamins and stimulate the generation of proteins. These probiotics may increase protection against pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract and may boost immunity.1 The buffalo milk might have probiotic nature and may help in boosting immunity. If you have any immunity-related diseases, consult the doctor and do not self-medicate.  

4. Potential uses of buffalo milk for diabetes 

Buffalo milk was tested for anti-diabetic activity in animals, where it showed an anti-diabetic effect. Buffalo milk contains probiotics which might act against diabetes. Therefore, buffalo milk may have the potential to lower diabetes. However, more studies on humans are required to confirm its effectiveness.1,3 Diabetes is a serious condition and must be accurately diagnosed and treated by a doctor. Do not self-medicate. 

5. Potential uses of buffalo milk as probiotic 

Milk may contain health-promoting bacteria known as probiotics. The consumption of probiotic dairy products might be beneficial for health and may help in lowering cholesterol levels, managing weight, reduce heart-related diseases and brain stroke.1 However, consult your doctor for the stated conditions and do not self-medicate. 

6. Potential uses of buffalo milk for other diseases 

Buffalo milk and its products are a major source of protein, which may positively regulate human health and may show beneficial effects such as anticancer, antimicrobial (fight bacteria), antihypertensive (lowers BP).1Do not self-medicate. It is important that you consult your doctor.  

Though there are studies that show the benefits of buffalo milk in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of buffalo milk on human health. 

Also Read: Oat Milk: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Smita Barode

According to some research, whey product, the byproduct of buffalo milk might have anti-cancer properties.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

How to Use Buffalo Milk: 

You can drink buffalo milk with/without any additives. You can also make your favourite recipes like milkshakes, coffee, tea, and cake with buffalo milk. However, you must seek expert advice before consuming buffalo milk.  

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking buffalo milk in large quantities or any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Side Effects of Buffalo Milk: 

Some people are allergic to cow’s milk, and there is a possibility that they might be allergic to buffaloes’ milk as well. Allergies due to milk may be due to one or more proteins present in the milk. Milk allergies are common in children and may also grow later in life, and they build a tolerance to milk. In addition, a few individuals are unable to produce enough lactose. So, when they drink milk the bacteria in the large intestine break down the lactose and show some symptoms; this is called lactose intolerance. The symptoms include: 

  • Bloating 
  • Gas 
  • Pain 
  • Diarrhoea4  

Also, avoid using buffalo milk for its properties or against any health conditions without consulting your doctor. If you are allergic to milk consult the doctor and take proper advice.  

Precautions to Take with Buffalo Milk: 

An individual should take the following precautions: 

  • A person should always confirm that the milk is pasteurized while taking it from a local shop. Unpasteurized milk can be harmful and cause severe gastrointestinal disease.  
  • People allergic to any milk should first consult their doctor before taking buffalo milk.4  

Before using buffalo milk for any disease condition, make sure you have consulted with your doctor about the possible precautions. It will help you avoid any unwanted effects. 

Also Read: Benefits of Colostrum: A Deep-Dive Into its Health-Boosting Properties

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

Buffalo milk might interact with medicines and alter their activity. However, there is not much information available on the interaction of buffalo milk with medicines. More studies and research are needed to check if it affects any medicines. Therefore, if you are taking any medications, it is important that you consult your doctor after knowing it is safer for you to consume buffalo milk. 

Also Read: Goat Milk: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Is buffalo milk good for health? 

Buffalo milk might be good for health as it may have several health benefits. It may have various properties such as anti-diabetic, anticancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.1 However, more research is required. Do not self-medicate and consult a doctor for stated conditions. 

What are the side effects of buffalo milk? 

Some people are allergic to buffalo milk, may become lactose intolerant, and show symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating gas, and diarrhoea.4  

Can I drink buffalo milk for weight loss? 

Buffalo milk might help with weight management. It was tested for anti-obesity activity, which was found to lower body fat and weight. However, more studies are needed to confirm its weight-managing activity.1 Do not self-medicate.

Is it safe to drink buffalo milk during pregnancy? 

It would be best to talk to your doctor before consuming buffalo milk during pregnancy. Do not self-medicate. Consumption of buffalo milk without expert advice can cause side effects, therefore, talk to your doctor. 

What are the nutrients present in buffalo milk?  

Buffalo milk contains proteins, fibres, fats and vitamins A, B and C. 

References: 

  1. Vargas-Ramella M, Pateiro M, Maggiolino A, Faccia M, Franco D, De Palo P et al. Buffalo Milk as a Source of Probiotic Functional Products. Microorganisms [Internet]. 2021;9(11):2303. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2607/9/11/2303  
  1. Milk, Indian buffalo, fluid [Internet]. FoodData Central. 2022. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171280/nutrients  
  1. D’Onofrio N, Balestrieri A, Neglia G, Monaco A, Tatullo M, Casale R et al. Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Buffalo Milk δ-Valerobetaine. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry [Internet]. 2019;67(6):1702-1710. Available from: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.jafc.8b07166  
  1. Milk – Better Health Channel [Internet]. Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. 2022. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/milk  

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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