There are more milk choices available at the grocery store now than ever before. Between cow, soy, rice, goat, and nut milk, you can easily find an option that fits your dietary preferences and needs. One milk you may not be as familiar with is camel milk, and it’s been gaining popularity in the United States due to its many health benefits.
What are camel milk benefits and is drinking camel milk right for you? From allergy relief to healing autism, we explore the supposed and veritable camel milk benefits below.
What Is Camel Milk?
While camel milk has been consumed or used medicinally in nomadic cultures for centuries, it is relatively new to places such as the US and Australia. However, it has been gaining popularity due to the impressive list of various benefits.
Camel milk is 50% lower in both fat and saturated fat than cow milk. It also has 10 times more iron and three times more vitamin C compared to cow milk. One 8-ounce glass of camel milk clocks in at 110 calories and 4.5 grams of fat, while the same sized glass of cow milk is 150 calories and 8 grams of fat. A natural probiotic, camel milk is also an excellent source of protein, calcium, vitamin B1, and potassium.
Low in lactose and antibacterial, camel milk is the most nutritionally similar milk to human breast milk.
Camel Milk Benefits on Health
Due to a high level of antibodies such as immunoglobulin A and beneficial enzymes, camel milk proves to be a powerful immune booster. The immune-protecting properties found in camel milk serve as strong antibacterials, boosting the human immune system and helping it fight infection.
In general, dairy milk and camel milk benefits score high in development, bone, and heart health. The animal proteins found in camel milk support bone health and encourages proper development and growth. Camel milk proteins (all 200 of them) contain a significant balance of both essential amino acids and fatty acids.
Camel milk’s healthy collection of fatty acids and lipids are beneficial to overall heart health. The milk balances cholesterol in the body and can possibly lower blood pressure and reduce heart attacks or strokes.
A scientific study examined the relationship between fatty liver disease and camel milk for eight weeks. It showed a reduction of fat and inflammation in the liver, an increase in antioxidants, and an improvement in “good” HDL cholesterol.
Camel Milk and Autism
An uncertain, but popular camel milk benefit relates to autism. Autism spectrum disorder is believed to be caused by numerous factors—some of which are immune function, oxidative stress, and genetics. A quick Google search shows you dozens of stories of parents using camel milk to treat autism, but does it have any scientific merit?
Oxidative stress refers to the imbalance between free radicals and the human body’s ability to neutralize them, and camel milk has been proven to ease that in autistic children.
One study examined 60 autistic children who consumed camel milk for two weeks. The study showed that the children benefited behaviorally from adding camel milk to their diet. Additionally, blood samples showed their oxidative stress was eased by an increase in antioxidant protection due to camel milk’s exceptional antiviral properties. Studies have also shown improvement or complete dispersal of autism spectrum disorder symptoms in both children and adults after consuming camel milk for two weeks or longer.
Camel Milk and Diabetes
Camel milk has been shown to improve blood sugar levels in diabetes sufferers. How? Scientific research has shown that the molecular and protein structure of camel milk is similar to insulin, making it a valuable way to possibly improve long-term glycemic control. This insulin effect makes it beneficial to those with both type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
The study followed two dozen type 1 diabetes patients over the course of two years, finding that those who drank 500 mL of camel milk a day had a decrease in blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels. While half the patients had less need for insulin injections, some patients were able to cease injections entirely.
Camel Milk and Allergies
Due to its unique chemical makeup, camel milk is typically well received by those with milk allergies or lactose intolerance. However, the benefits may go beyond that when it comes to food allergies.
A study published in Immunology and Allergies noted that children with extreme food allergies benefited from introducing camel milk to their diet. Symptoms of extreme food allergies, such as rash, asthma, vomiting, and stomach issues resolved after just four days of consuming camel milk. The study concluded with the children being able to once again digest foods they could not previously consume without an allergic reaction.
Additional Camel Milk Benefits
Between nutritional value, autism and diabetes treatment, and allergy relief, you would think our list of camel milk benefits conclude here. The truth is, there’s many more being discovered and researched every day.
Camel milk has been said to promote relaxation, aid in sleep, and anxiety due to its natural source of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). Other research has shown positive effects on hepatitis B, autoimmune disorders, and even ulcers. Due to camel milk’s anti-inflammatory effect, it has been said to prevent colon cancer and breast cancer. Camel milk also has anti-aging properties, making it a popular choice to use in beauty and bath products.
No matter how you use it, the first step is to try it. You may quickly discover that it’s your new favorite milk.