Did you know that liver disease is the 12th highest cause of death in the United States?
Up to 50% of people who are diagnosed with liver disease will have no symptoms; they may not even know they’re sick until they have an abnormal blood test.
Fortunately, with further study, camel milk may offer a unique solution for one type of liver damage. Specifically, camel milk could help those at risk of toxic hepatitis (liver injury from drugs or chemicals).
In animal studies, camel milk is reported to have hepatoprotective properties, meaning it can help protect the liver and prevent injury by chemicals or drugs.
And though more research is needed to discover camel milk’s effect on the human liver, results from animal studies are very hopeful.
But before we dive further into the amazing properties of camel milk, let’s take a look at liver disease, its causes, symptoms, how it’s diagnosed, and common treatments.
Causes of Liver Disease
Toxic hepatitis causes 50% of liver failures in the United States, occurring when the liver is damaged by exposure to items including:
- Industrial solvents
- Herbal products
- Other chemicals
These exposures cause the liver to become inflamed and can lead to cirrhosis (or scarring of the liver). Sometimes, these toxins permanently damage the liver, even when exposure is stopped.
In some people, liver damage is predictable, meaning it happens after exposure to a substance that is known to damage the liver. But, toxic hepatitis is sometimes unpredictable; it may happen after exposure to a substance that is not commonly toxic to the liver.
There are also certain factors that increase the chances of getting a drug-induced liver injury, including:
- Being elderly
- Being female
- Suffering from alcoholism
- Fasting during exposure to toxins
These toxins damage the liver because as the liver processes chemicals in the blood and prepares them to exit the body, harmful by-products may occur. These by-products can result in liver damage.
Symptoms and Diagnoses
Patients are often diagnosed with toxic hepatitis when they show symptoms of liver damage.
Symptoms of liver damage may include but aren’t limited to:
- White or light-colored stool
- Loss of appetite
Doctors may run a few tests to diagnose liver damage, including:
- Taking a tissue sample from the liver
- Doing a CT scan
- Using ultrasound
- Blood tests
There are three common treatments for toxic hepatitis.
The first treatment is done by discovering what is causing the liver damage and stopping exposure to the toxin.
Secondly, if a person has an addiction to the toxin, then a rehabilitation program might be necessary. Stopping exposure can help the liver heal — even if chronic liver damage has begun.
In some cases — if liver damage is too severe — doctors may recommend a liver transplant. During this process, the patient’s liver is replaced with a healthy liver or a portion of a healthy liver.
Camel Milk for Liver Disease
Because toxic hepatitis is such a widespread problem, it’s exciting to know that camel milk may one day be able to help.
2013 Camel Milk Study
Researchers observed camel milk’s liver-protecting properties in a 2013 study. This experiment tested camel milk’s ability to protect the livers of rats against toxic hepatitis.
Researchers found that the enzymes AST and ALT were much higher in livers of rats given CC14 and water than in the control group. These results suggested that the CC14 had caused liver damage.
However, in the group that received CC14 and then treated with camel milk, AST and ALT enzyme levels were much lower than the group treated with CC14 and water — suggesting that the livers of rats treated with camel milk had healed from the chemical damage.
In addition, the levels of serum albumin went down in rats given CC14 and water — also indicating liver damage. But, rats given CC14 and camel milk saw increased levels of serum albumin.
The results of the experiment suggest that camel milk restored rat’s livers to health after the chemical damage occurred. In other words, camel milk may have the ability to prevent and even reverse liver damage from toxins.
2011 Camel Milk Study
A 2011 study in the Asian Journal of Biochemistry carried out an experiment similar to the one discussed above.
This experiment used 5 groups of rats, including a water control group, a camel milk control group, and 3 groups that were treated with CC14 and then fed with camel milk or no camel milk.
After analysis, it was found that treatment with CC14 increased indicators of liver damage. However, after the liver-damaged rats were treated with camel milk, indicators of liver damage were closer to healthy levels.
The results of this study also suggest that treatment with camel milk reduced the frequency of wounds from treatment with CC14. In summary, camel milk may turn out to be an amazing liver-healer, though further research is needed to learn how it affects the human liver.
A Healthy Future
In the future, camel milk could help prevent liver damage for those who are most at risk and may even be useful to reverse damage to the liver by chemicals.
For those struggling with liver damage or worrying about their risks for liver disease, this is great news!
So for now, go ahead and add camel milk to your routine for a healthy liver. It certainly won’t hurt, and you’ll benefit from its many amazing properties.