Have you heard yet about camel milk? Yes, we mean the camel hump day commercial type desert camel.
Apparently it’s the latest health craze and people say that even those allergic to everything can drink camel milk. It’s also reported to cure everything from diabetes, IBS, and autism.
No, we aren’t kidding.
Although it’s hard to understand who, except the starving, would have ever tried to milk a smelly, obnoxious, kicking, grunting, spitting, foul breathed camel, but someone did and now, it’s a thing.
Before you plop down your hard earned money for a pint of hump juice, get all the facts.
Can Camel Milk Help Diabetics?
Well, it’s a big maybe. Although people are claiming that it can, literally, “cure” diabetes, there is no proof. There are a few studies which have found that this type of milk might improve control of blood sugar, but these were just preliminary studies. Another limited study found that camel milk might help those with Type 1 diabetes use less insulin. This study involved only 24 individuals, but it might prove to be a good jumping off point. Further studies are really needed to see how this works and if it can be used to lessen people’s dependence on insulin.
Doesn’t Camel Milk Stop or Prevent Allergies?
There were even fewer studies done regarding any benefit for allergies, however, these studies were poorly done and of little benefit. There should be better, larger studies coming out in the near future, but as of today, all we have a personal stories about how drinking camel milk helped with food allergies or sensitivities.
Can It Help Autistic Children?
Again ,this is another big maybe. In one small study, 60 autistic children received raw camel milk for a two week period, 24 children received pasteurized camel milk, and 11 received cow milk. Blood tests showed that both groups of children who received camel milk had less oxidative stress, as well as showing improvement in both cognitive and behavioral tests for autism.
This was a very small study, however, and more tests need to be done before anyone can list camel milk as a cure for anything.
The Good News
Now there is some good news to report; camel milk is very high in vitamin C. It is also lower in vitamin A than cow’s milk and appears to be tolerated by those who are lactose intolerant. Camel milk is slightly lower in total fat and saturated fat, however, it still has just as much protein and calories.
There are a few interesting facts about camels and camel milk that you might find interesting.
- Camel milk, unlike cow’s milk, cannot be made into butter.
- While it can be made into cheese, it is a difficult process.
- It also doesn’t curdle like cow’s milk does.
- The Abu Dhabi Officer’s Club offers camel burgers.
- They also serve camel milk based cappuccinos, called camelccinos.
- Bubonic plague has been transmitted to humans by eating camel liver.
- People in Northern Kenya enjoy drinking camel blood.
- Some parts of Australia serve Camel lasagna.
- One ancient Roman emperor, Heliogabalus, loved eating the heel of the camel.
Oh, and in case you were interested, camel milk appears to come from the type with one hump, not two, although the reasons for this aren’t clear, at least, not to me.
The FDA recently approved the sale of camel milk in the US, but with a mere 3,000 camels in the US and imports being tightly restricted, the cost of camel milk is astronomical when compared to cow or goat milk, especially when one considers that there really are no proven benefits.