Could camel milk help children with autism?

Muscat, March 4 – High concentration of proteins and calcium is found in camel milk compared to any other type of milk. The highly nutritious milk contains 18 different amino acids that are beneficial for the human body. There have been many case studies that have proven the benefits of camel milk. Lilianne Donders, who is fondly known as the Camel Lady, has been a strong campaigner of camel milk for years and she points out that
it has been found that camel milk has been benefiting children with autism in addition to helping her fight cancer.
Christina Adams, author of A Real Boy: A True Story of Autism, Early Intervention and Recovery, highlights the benefits of camel milk on children with autism as explained in her GAHM medical journal article. She had noticed immediate changes in her son when she started giving him camel milk.
According to Karen Thomas at the symptom changes noted from consumption of camel milk are reverse allergies for people who face problems with cow milk, increased words and speech, calmer moods, weight gain, reduced acid reflux and increased empathy.
Dr Hamad al Sinawi, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at Sultan Qaboos University, however, is of the view that there must be further solid scientific research before people consume camel milk and expect improvement in autistic children. “It is also important that they do not avoid the established therapies such as behavioural therapy and medication that can improve the behaviour.”
While many countries especially in the west are taking steps towards better understanding of camel milk and its effect on health, there remains a problem — lack of camel milk availability commercially.
Fresh camel milk is never boiled and so is the powder mixed in hot water? Lillianne is quick to correct, “No it is prepared in normal water temperature because when you boil it you lose all the qualities. Fresh camel milk has to be pasteurised. Camel milk is like mother’s milk. The cow has seven stomachs and camels have just one.” Although camel milk is available in Oman they are not easily accessible for general consumers.
“It would be great if more researchers in Oman would conduct studies on camel milk and its benefits for children with autism and more farmers would think of coming together to make camel milk available in the market. We cannot have cow and camel farms together for milk production. The machine cannot mix the milk together. As for consumers one has to source it from the right farm,” noted the camel owner.
The amount of water a camel drinks and the fodder they consume also have an impact on the milk they produce. “When they graze they take in a lot of herbs and that is why they have the medicinal properties too,” Lilianne added.
It is high in Vitamin C, an anti-oxidant and the milk also has high concentrations of lysozyme, lactoferrin and other ingredients that support the fight against infections. Another known advantage of camel milk is the fact that it is low in cholesterol and rich in long-chain mono-unsaturated fatty acids, such as Omega 3 helping lower the concentration in the blood of harmful forms of cholesterol.
All milks contain natural insulin. However, camel milk contains up to 52 units of insulin per litre, thousands of times higher than cow’s milk. Camel milk does not curdle in the stomach. In fact, humans can survive by drinking camel milk alone. “Samburu camel herders in Northern Kenya often travel with their herd in to the bush for up to a month living only on camel milk. Camel milk is thus a “super-food”, containing all the ingredients humans need to sustain life,” reflected Lilianne.