If the idea of drinking camel milk seems strange to you, how about camel milk as medicine? Scientists have found that a component of camel milk may play a significant role in colon cancer, a disease that is diagnosed in more than 102,000 people per year in the United States alone.
Camels may not be plentiful in the United States (there are about 3,000, according to the American Camel Coalition), but in many parts of Africa and the Middle East, they are a common sight. Although they are a mode of transportation, camels also are a source of nutritious milk and, in recent years, that milk has been the subject of research for medicinal purposes.
One such use came to light in a new study in which researchers found that a component of camel milk, called lactoferrin, may stop the growth of colon cancer cells. Lactoferrin has antioxidant properties and also binds with iron, which could prevent DNA damage associated with cancer development.
CAMEL’S MILK PER GLASS: 120 calories, 5.8g fat.
Camel’s milk is lower in fat and cholesterol than cow’s milk, but contains five times as much vitamin C. Studies in India show it contains high levels of insulin and is helpful to people with type 2 diabetes. In India, it is used to treat a range of illnesses. Although it contains lactose, it has lower amounts than cow’s milk. As yet unavailable in Britain, but Harrods is said to be interested in stocking it.
Rather watery and salty — an acquired taste.
Most people may not have been too familiar with camel milk. But it turns out this milk has many benefits for the body and have a better nutrient content that is known as a ‘superfood’.
Camel milk has been widely consumed in almost all Arab countries, this milk tastes slightly saltier than other milk and is often produced as cheese.
UN organizations dealing with food (Food and Agriculture Organisation / FAO) said that camel milk is rich in vitamin B note, C and iron content 10 times faster than that of cow’s milk.
In addition to mineral and vitamin contents are high, research has shown that antibodies contained in the alleged camel milk could help fight cancer, HIV, AIDS, Alzheimer’s and hepatitis C.
“Camel milk could be a useful addition to food because it contains calcium and vitamin B and has a saturated fat content less than cow’s milk,” said a spokesman from the British Nutrition Foundation.
Another advantage of camel milk is not contain two powerful allergens that have been found in cow’s milk, and has a component of the immune system that may provide benefits to children who are allergic to milk and other foods.
Potential components of the immune system in camel milk is expected to help fight some diseases. The researchers speculate that the small size of immunoglobulin or antibodies found in camel milk is more easily allow it to target the disease-causing foreign substances (antigens) that damage a person’s immune system.
Dr. Reuven Yagil, an expert on the physiology of Israel who conducted the study for 5 years said that camel milk can be overcome autoimmune disorders that suppress the immune system of a person.
But it still needed further research, because scientific evidence that there has not been enough to prove the effectiveness of camel milk in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
Until recently, it was a felony to sell camel milk in the U.S. In April 2009, Dr. Hinkle introduced a proposal to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Committee on Interstate Milk Shipments in Orlando, Florida. The proposal was to change the law to allow the “camelids” to be included in the dairy laws governing the sale of milk. Dr. Hinkle gave an impassioned speech before the committee:
“How would you feel if your loved one was afflicted with diabetes and was very ill from the drugs prescribed for the diabetes? (A high amount of individuals react negatively to the diabetic medication.) How would you feel seeing a loved one lose an arm or a leg and eventually their life to diabetes when just a small amount of camel milk could supply all the insulin they might need daily? (There are 52 units of insulin per liter of camel milk.)
“What a joy it would be to see your autistic child act normally with just a little camel milk on a daily basis. The health benefits for diabetes, autism, cancer, and many more illnesses are endless. Please pass this proposal and allow us to begin the long road to getting camel milk here and to finally conducting medically supervised studies here in the U.S.”
The proposal was passed. Dr. Hinkle says that this will now open the door for the testing of camel samples so that it can meet the FDA standards and for camel dairies to be set up here in the U.S.
Investigation into the possible role of camel milk in fighting cancer is new. Among the few previous studies of the anticancer potential of camel milk is a 2012 article appearing in the Journal of Biomedicine & Biotechnology noting that camel milk triggered a process that inhibited proliferation and survival of both human liver and breast cancer cell lines.
What role might the milk from camels have in the fight against cancer? It is still much too early to tell, but researchers will likely continue their quest to uncover the potential of camel milk in colon cancer as well as other forms of the disease.
Research by Habib et al. in the Food Chemistry journal examined the functional properties of camel milk lactoferrin the main iron binding protein of the milk 56% decline in cancer growth
The researchers applied camel milk lactoferrin to HCT-116 colon cancer cells and found high concentrations of between 3mg/ml and 5mg/ml demonstrated a 56% decline of growth after 2 days. Lower concentration below 1mg/ml did not inhibit cell growth.
Camel milk is permitted for human consumption in Europe, but only a select few processors meet the safety requirements to export into the EU.
A study published in 2012 by the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology states that camel milk (but not bovine milk) induced cancer cell death in HepG2 and MCF7 and oxidative stress mediated mechanisms. The scientists believe this could explain the anecdotal evidence for the successful use of camel milk in the treatment of various medical conditions. Another study published by BMC Immunology explored camel whey protein on diabetic mice and demonstrated the benefits of improving the healing and closure of diabetic wounds and restoring the immune response.
The Journal of Allergy and Asthma Proceeding published a study in which children who had allergies to cow’s milk were tested for reactions to camel milk. They discovered that 80 percent of children were not allergic to camel’s milk making it a viable alternative to cow’s milk.
Food Chemistry published an article in which phospholipids of human milk, cow’s milk, mare milk and camel milk were compared. Camel milk had the highest content of phospholipids and can be among the considered types of milk for infants and toddlers who need alternatives or fortifiers and suggested it could be used for functional food for adults as well.
Dr. Hinkle has just completed a six-month study with a small group of Alzheimer’s patients and camel milk. Dr. Hinkle worked with nine patients who were all in early stages of Alzheimer’s and the results “were very promising,” states Dr. Hinkle.
Dr. Hinkle used a specific protocol that she developed in combination with the camel milk. “The results were evident within a few weeks,” states Dr. Hinkle. The following positive results were noted in all the patients:
“I am very pleased with the results of the study,” states Dr. Hinkle. “But we need to see what the long-term benefits will be with patients and we also need to work with specialists involving a long-term study with more patients so that we may track those patients for several years. We know from recent research completed that camel milk antibodies are able to cross the brain barrier and therefore we can piggyback specific supplements and medications, etc., with each patient to cross the brain barrier in order to work toward improving the symptoms and to hopefully stop the progression of Alzheimer’s,” says Dr. Hinkle.
Dr. Hinkle has been working with Lyme disease patients for the last three years and the results have been impressive for many of the patients. Patients see joint pain decrease, sleep patterns improve, gut issues improve, rashes disappear and the ability to think clearly improves as “brain fog” lifts. Lyme patients are on antibiotics, which destroy much of the good gut flora, and the camel milk helps in keeping it in balance. Camel milk is known for its antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Dr. Hinkle is studying the effects of the milk on the Lyme spirochetes. She utilizes a specific protocol with the milk to increase the opportunity for more favorable results. Dr. Hinkle’s approach works to weaken the spirochetes so that more positive results are experienced by patients as the milk also provides support to the immune system. The results have been amazing.
Dr. Hinkle has been very pleased with the results she is seeing with hepatitis patients on the camel milk. She has witnessed case after case of hepatitis patients whose liver enzymes have been normal for the first time in years while on the milk. One 80-year-old patient’s test results were normal after 40 years of elevated liver enzymes after being on the milk for only two weeks. “The story is the same over and over and I am looking forward to working with more hepatitis patients and their doctors to hopefully give them a brighter future for their health.” Dr. Hinkle cautions that each case is different and that more studies need to be completed with larger groups of individuals. She is seeking funding for a long-term study on the effects of the camel milk in treating hepatitis and expects to see the same positive results she has noted so far. “The antiviral properties in the milk seem to dissipate the inflammation of the liver and the milk also provides many of the nutrients needed for healthy liver function,” states Dr. Hinkle.