As good as breast milk

Bedouin and nomad herders in the Arab world have been drinking camel milk for ages without knowing its potential as a medicine. Studies reveal camel milk contains over 200 different types of protein, some of which are known to boost the immune system. It can fight many diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.
It is now used as a dietary substitute for children who were unresponsive to conventional treatments and diabetes mellitus.
According to a report in NaturalNews, camel milk is believed to be the closest thing to mother’s milk. It may be a good choice when a milk alternative is needed for infants and toddlers.
Realising the more value associated with camel milk, many countries in the Gulf, especially the Sultanate of Oman, have launched a number of researches and projects to breed camels and boost milk production.
The production of camel milk, and its derivatives, particularly milk and cheese, faces many challenges.
According to Dr Mohab al Hinai from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), providing milk and natural cheese from camel milk is not easy.
“This is due to the proteins found in camel milk as well as enzymes and lactic acid activity,” he says in a report.
Camel milk tastes different to cow milk, less fatty and sometimes a bit saltier, and its chemical composition is very different. Because camel milk does not curdle easily and is very difficult to skim, it does not yield the same range of products, like ice cream and yoghurt, one can obtain from cow’s milk.
A team headed by Dr Mohab and Dr Mohamed Ayash from the UAE University is engaged in a research project on lactic acid bacteria in camel milk and explore its medicinal potential
The research team believes that the original lactic acid bacteria may contain the properties of microbiological organisms that have anti-hypertensive, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, immunological effects, and aid in the fight against diabetes.
Camel milk has less fat and is lower in cholesterol than cows or goats milk. It is also higher in vitamin C and iron.
Unlike cow’s milk, there are also no known allergies to camel milk.
Although its so-called health benefits have not been medically proven, camel milk also contains insulin and recent studies have suggested it can help reduce the amount of medication needed by patients with Type 2 diabetes.
Other anecdotal studies have credited it with helping those suffering with autism and Crohn’s disease.
The vitamin-rich camel milk can cleanse the body, both inside and out. Egypt’s Queen Cleopatra, a fabled beauty, was said to bathe daily in camel’s milk. Women in some African countries still traditionally drank large quantities
of this milk to maintain a pale, clear complexion.

SAMUEL KUTTY