Camel milk is a significant nutritional source for nomadic populations living in hostile environments such as deserts. It is now manufactured and marketed in many countries, both in powdered and chilled variants. You may wonder why some individuals choose camel milk. Here are the health benefits of camel milk and its side effects.
Camel Milk May Reduce Blood Sugar
Camel milk can reduce blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity in individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The milk includes insulin-like proteins that can be accountable for their antidiabetic activity. Insulin is a blood sugar-regulating hormone. Studies show that camel milk gives 52 units of insulin equivalent per approximately 4 cups 1 liter. It is also high in zinc, which can improve the sensitivity of insulin (1, 2, 3).
In a 2-month study in 20 adults with type 2 diabetes, insulin sensitivity among those who drank 2 cups, 500 ml of camel milk improved, but not among the cow’s milk group. Another study found adults with type 1 diabetes who drank 2 cups 500 ml of camel milk daily saw low levels of blood sugar and insulin than those without camel milk.
Insulin was no longer needed by three individuals. A 22 papers study found that 2 cups 500 ml per day is the suggested dose of camel milk in those with diabetes to enhance blood sugar control (3, 4, 5).
Camel Mik is Rich in Nutrients
Camel milk is rich in many nutrients essential for health. It is like whole cow’s milk when it comes to calorie, protein, and carb content. Camel milk contains less saturated fat, however, and provides more vitamin C, B, calcium, iron, and potassium (6).
It is also a useful source of healthy fat, such as long-chain fatty acids, linoleic acid, and unsaturated fatty acids that can promote the health of both the brain and heart (7).
One-half-cup 120 ml of camel milk contains the following nutrients (8):
- Calories: 50
- Fat: 3 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Carbs: 5 grams
- Potassium: 6% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 6% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 5% of the DV
- Thiamine: 29% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Riboflavin: 8% of the DV
- Calcium: 16% of the DV
Better Option for Lactose Intolerant
Camel milk can be a better choice for individuals with lactose intolerance or milk allergies. Lactose intolerance is a prevalent disorder triggered by a lactase deficiency, the enzyme required to digest dairy sugar called lactose. After consuming dairy products, it can trigger bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain (9).
For many individuals with lactose intolerance, camel milk includes less lactose than cow’s milk, making it more tolerable. One research in 25 individuals with this disorder shows that only 2 respondents had a mild response to approximately 1 cup of camel milk 250 ml, while the majority were steady (10).
Camel milk also has a different protein profile than cow’s milk, and those with an allergy to cow’s milk appear to be better tolerated. One research with cow’s milk allergy in 35 kids aged 4 months to 10.5 years observed that only 20 percent were sensitive to camel milk through a skin-prick test (11, 12).
People use camel milk for hundreds of years to treat diarrhea triggered by rotavirus. Research shows that the milk includes antibodies that are common in kids to help treat this diarrheal disease (13).
May Help Those With Autism
Camel milk has been studied for its effects on behavioral conditions in children, and people suggest that it can help people with autism. Some studies show potential benefits in improving autistic behavior (14).
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a communication and behavioral developmental disorder. Although autism can occur in any era. It is a “behavioral disease” because in the first two years of life symptoms usually appear. (15).
Another study in 65 children with autism between 2 and 12 years of age reported that 2 weeks of drinking camel milk resulted in significant improvements in autistic behavioral symptoms not seen in the placebo group (16).
Although research is promising, we do not recommend replacing standard autism treatments with camel milk. In addition, parents are warned by the FDA that they are not justified and lack of sufficient evidence (17).
Can Fight Disease-Causing Organisms
Camel milk contains compounds that seem to fight against various disease-causing organisms. There are two main active ingredients in camel milk, lactoferrin, and immunoglobulins. These compounds can give camel milk its immune-enhancing properties. Lactoferrin has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties (19, 20).
In addition, one rat study found that camel milk can protect from leukopenia low white blood cell count, and other side effects of cyclophosphamide, a toxic anticancer drug. These findings support the immune-boosting properties of camel milk (21).
Further research suggests that the whey protein of the camel milk is responsible for the ability of milk to fight harmful organisms. It may have antioxidant properties that help your body fight free radicals (22).
Camel Milk Side Effects
For multiple purposes, camel milk is considerably more costly than cow milk. Traditionally, people consume camel milk raw without heat or pasteurization procedures.
Because of the elevated danger of food poisoning, many health experts do not suggest consuming raw milk in particular. Raw milk bacteria can cause infection, kidney failure, and even death. This risk is relevant for peoples at high risks, such as pregnant females, kids, older adults, and those with compromised immune systems (23, 24).
In specific, camel milk contains bacteria that cause the respiratory syndrome, tuberculosis, and brucellosis which are infectious diseases. You can get these bacteria by consuming raw dairy products (25).
Camel milk has been consumed throughout history in many eastern cultures but has only lately become a marketing trend in modern societies. Many camel farmers report that the cattle are not well suited to the milking machine. Therefore, selective breeding is necessary to increase their milk output and enhance their milking facility.
The Bottom Line
For some nomadic populations, camel milk has been a component of traditional diets throughout history. In more developed countries, it has lately received attention as a healthy food. Research shows that individuals with lactose intolerance and allergies to cow’s milk can better tolerate camel milk. It can also reduce blood sugar, increase immunity, and help with certain circumstances of behavior and neurodevelopment disorders such as autism. This milk is considerably more costly than other kinds of milk. Camel milk is often unpasteurized, which poses a danger to health.