Nomads have always considered camel’s milk a medicine, but only recently has science confirmed it. We’re in agreement – see our 6 green reasons for drinking camel milk.
While folks in Dubai enjoy coffee- and chocolate-flavored camel milk drinks, researchers view the thin, bland milk in a more serious light. Improved blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics drinking camel milk was proved by Dr. Rajendra Agrawal in the Diabetes Care & Research Centre in Bikaner, India. This caught the attention of researchers at Cairo University, Egypt, and King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.
At Cairo University, a 4-month trial was conducted involving 54 participants receiving insulin. Of those, 27 drank 500 ml. of camel milk every day. Test results showed that those drinking camel milk had significantly reduced blood sugar and higher C-peptide levels, which indicate improved insulin function. Following this, Prof. Agrawal conducted a 2-year study which concluded with proof that three participants no longer needed insulin.
Agrawal explains that camel milk passes into the bloodstream quickly because it has low coagulum (which create curds in the stomach). With no digestive solids to impede quick assimilation, the high-insulin milk enters the bloodstream immediately, benefiting those whose own insulin secretions are inadequate. He also claims that camel milk benefits cell function of the pancreas, another important benefit to diabetics.
The National Nutrition Institute in Cairo’s analysis of camel milk showed high levels of iron, zinc and copper in camel milk, but especially high levels of Vitamin C.
Will these discoveries make an impact on Western medicine? It may, albeit slowly. While vast camel herds roam the deserts of Sudan and Somalia, there are relatively few in the First World. And camels give comparatively little milk: 13 pints to a cow’s 50.
Still, there’s hope for diabetics in the USA: the American Camel Coalition, a group of camel dairies, has recently obtained permission to sell camel milk from the FDA. And in Britain, powdered camel milk should be available soon, pending approval from the European Commission . Vitamol Camel Dairy and Products has been set up by Germans Malik Dakdaki and Martin Wilke and Moroccan Abdelkader Saoudi. The three partners plan to invest US$40m in the project.
Find consuming camel strange? Get over that hump. More on the incredible, edible camel:
Image of mother and newborn camel via Shutterstock.
Miriam also blogs at Israeli Kitchen.