Why Is Sheep Milk So Good for Older Adults?

why is sheep milk so good for older adults?

Interest in alternative dairy products has been growing steadily in popularity. While plant-based alternatives like almond, soy, and oat milk have merits, more and more people are attracted to sheep milk because of its superior health and environmental benefits.

Simply put, plant milk varieties do not provide the same nutrient richness and easy digestibility as sheep milk, unless they contain additives. Ensuring adequate nutrition is critical as we age.

We have written an article called “The Benefits of Sheep Milk,” in which we discuss the various environmental and health advantages of consuming sheep milk. In this post, we will specifically highlight the benefits of sheep milk for older adults.

⚠️ This article is intended for informational purposes only. Always consult your healthcare professional for personalised medical advice.

Immune Health

As we age, our appetite decreases and while we don’t need as many calories from our food, we still need the same, if not more, nutrients. Malnutrition can make illness and infection more frequent.

Sheep milk is good for your immune system as it has a lot of essential minerals and vitamins, including calcium, potassium, iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, thiamine and riboflavin. Sheep’s milk has more vitamins per serving than other kinds of animal milk! The high CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) and Orotic Acid content of sheep milk can help prevent age-related diseases too.

Tissue Health


Protein is vital for tissue health due to its many roles in the body. Protein is one of the building blocks of cells and facilitates DNA replication and communication between cells. They play a crucial role in muscle structure and the formation of connective tissues like collagen. Proteins also provide essential support for tissue repair and maintenance. Overall, an adequate protein intake is indispensable for sustaining the structural integrity and functionality of cells and tissues throughout our body.

As our body ages, it requires more protein than when we were younger. Getting enough protein as we age helps reduce the risk of falls, frailty and infection. The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation recommends that men over 70 should try to eat at least 81 grams, or three servings of protein each day and women over 70 at least 57 grams, or two servings a day. One serving of Jones Family Farm’s Just Milk provides 15-20% of this recommended intake.

Jones Family Farm's Just Milk sheep milk pouch front and back


“Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body. This can cause damage to organs and tissues and result in various diseases. You can help your body maintain balance by living a healthy lifestyle.”


Antioxidants help keep free radicals in check, preventing them from wreaking havoc and damaging the various tissues in the body. Oxidative stress has been linked to conditions like diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and accelerated ageing. They also support our skin health and help reduce inflammation.

We obtain antioxidants from a variety of foods we eat, and in particular, from vitamins A, C, E, zinc, and selenium, of which sheep milk is rich. Even richer in antioxidants is sheep milk yoghurt as the probiotic starter cultures enhance antioxidant activity.

SOURCE: Lipid World

Blood, Heart, and Brain Health

Vitamin B12

B Vitamins, particularly, Vitamin B12, are required for normal blood and brain function in the body. Vitamin B12 is important in the production of red blood cells.

A vitamin B12 deficiency results in a range of physical, neurological and psychological symptoms such as pale yellow skin, fatigue, tingling in hands and feet, shortness of breath and even heart palpitations.

From age 70, it’s especially important to ensure we get enough from our diet as our ability to absorb B12 from food decreases. The Nutrition Foundation recommend people over 70 get 2.4µg of B12 per day. One serving of Jones Family Farm’s sheep milk provides almost 60% of this RDI!

Folate (Vitamin B9)

Folate can help reduce the risk of heart disease by preventing the blood disorder, macrocytic anaemia. Macrocytic anaemia happens when your bone marrow produces abnormally large red blood cells which lack the nutrients required for normal function. If your red blood cells don’t function properly, your organs don’t get enough oxygen, making you feel weak, tired, and irritable and possibly lead to a range of other health issues. 400µg of folate is a good daily intake for most adults.

A heart made of fruit, vegetables, milk, cheese and yoghurt to symbolise foods for heart health

Gut Health

“As a result of their distinct structural characteristics, sheep milk fats were more digestible than cow milk fats, potentially providing better nutrition for those at risk such as premature infants and the elderly.”


Even if you’ve never suffered from intolerances before, our production of the enzyme, lactase, which breaks down lactose decreases as we age, so many people may experience some degree of lactose intolerance as they get older.

Sheep milk really is a superfood! Its A2 protein type and unique fat composition improve digestion and reduce gastrointestinal discomfort associated with dairy lactose intolerance.

We have an article dedicated to sheep milk’s benefits for gut health here if you want to learn more.

Preventing constipation is also important for gut health as we age. The best way to do this is to eat enough fibre and drink 6-8 glasses of fluids a day to help it work effectively. Your 6-8 glasses could include water, tea, coffee and sheep milk.

a cartoon of a man holding a glass of sheep milk highlighting the benefits of sheep milk for older adults

Bone Health

Two important nutrients that we require more of as we age include Vitamin D and calcium.

Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium from food. We get some vitamin D from our food and another important source is sunlight.

Because the body breaks down bones at a faster rate in older age, it’s critical to obtain more calcium in our diet to help balance this out. Getting adequate amounts of calcium is particularly vital for post-menopausal and older women who are at the highest risk of developing osteoporosis.

Sheep milk contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals that support our bone health. Learn more about the importance of milk for bone health here.

Sheep’s Milk Custard poured over elderflower and hazelnut cake

What Are Some Ways To Incorporate Sheep Milk Into an Older Adult’s Diet?

Drinking a glass of sheep milk a day is the simplest way to get the benefits from dairy products, but if you aren’t fond of drinking straight milk, here are some other ideas you could try.

  • Sheep milk cheese: have a slice or two at lunch with some wholewheat crackers or in a sandwich. Add some cheese to your favourite dinner recipes, for example, grate some of our Pecorino over a pasta dish before serving.
  • Sheep milk yoghurt: add some yoghurt to breakfast cereal, enjoy it with fruit, have some frozen yoghurt, or make this sheep milk custard for a delicious treat!
  • Sheep milk: replace your usual milk with sheep milk; you’ll love the creaminess! It’s perfect for drinking, adding to coffee, cooking, and baking! As a bonus, full-fat dairy is highly recommended over skim options for older people too!

We even have a collection of sheep milk recipes you’ll love, covering sweet and savoury dishes, and inspiration for making cheese boards!

Final Thoughts on Sheep Milk For Older Adults

Sheep milk is more easily digested making it better for our gut health and has more vitamins and minerals than many other kinds of milk benefiting our tissue, bone, immune, heart, and blood health. The potential for sheep milk dairy products to provide better nutrition for older adults and the elderly is immense, so why not try it today?

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