Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research–India Diabetes Study, the spread of diabetes to economically disadvantaged sections of society is a matter of great concern.
Camel milk is highly nutritious, and milk fat is an essential component because of its high nutritional value. The researchers used camel milk in this study since it has a higher level of polyunsaturated fat in comparison to cow’s milk. However, because of the complexity of camel milk’s makeup, the researchers decided to only evaluate its effect on inflammation. In this content, we will share the benefits of camel milk for diabetes treatment with evidence.
According to Professor Keith Morris and his team, lipids (blood fats) in camel milk can prevent macrophages from developing abdominal fat.
Though camel milk has a great impact on human health, people in India are still not aware of this milk. However, despite the lack of awareness throughout the country, it has been found that Raicas, a certain tribe of Rajasthan camel breeders, have an extremely low incidence of diabetes. In Rajasthan, there are many tribes, for whom camels are a means of life. For most of them, camel milk is a dietary staple, and that is the reason the diabetes epidemic has bypassed their community. In fact, research says Raicas, who consume camel milk daily, have a zero percent incidence of diabetes.
The current series of studies were conducted at the SP Medical College, in Bikaner, India, the home to the famed National Research Center on Camel (NRCC). The initial studies revealed a zero percent prevalence of diabetes in these particular Raica communities. In the further extensive studies conducted on the Raicas, it was revealed that the camel consumers had a zero percent diabetes incidence, while non-camel milk consuming Raicas experienced five to six percent incidence of diabetes. (Source: https://defeatdiabetes.org/camel-milk-helps-prevent-diabetes/)
1. Is Camel Milk good for diabetes? The Research
Controlling this worldwide metabolic disease by effective alternative treatments has been the most discussed topic nowadays. Is camel milk good for diabetes? It has been the center of discussion. Camel milk is believed to be a suitable hypoglycemic agent in experimental animals and patients with diabetes. The below research was aimed at evaluating the effect of camel milk on diabetes.
- Evidence Acquisition
PubMed and Scopus conducted an extensive search for all clinical trials and animal studies documented up to 2015. They focused on the effect of camel milk on diabetic patients. The document included all the researches that assessed the effects of camel milk without any dose limit on glucose parameters and lipid profiles in diabetic patients (both humans and animals). The Delphi score checklist evaluated the quality of the included clinical trials.
The initial research included 73 articles. Furthermore, the extensive study included 22 articles, consisting of 11 animal studies and 11 clinical trials. From them, eight articles were focused on type 1 diabetes, and the rest three were on type 2 diabetes. All animal studies, except for 1, showed significant results. They found remarkable reductions in at least 1 of the diabetes parameters such as insulin resistance, blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, and lipid profile.
The studies in this current systematic review demonstrated the benefits of camel milk on diabetes mellitus by minimizing the blood sugar, reducing insulin resistance, and boosting lipid profiles.
2. How to use camel milk for diabetes? The Dosage:
Now the question is, how to use camel milk for diabetes? Or, how much camel milk should an adult consume to get a positive result in diabetes? In most of the clinical trials, the recommended dose of camel milk was 500 mL/day, which showed a great improvement of diabetes markers even after three months in patients with diabetes. So, one can consume 500 ml of camel milk the way they want. They can drink it plain, use it in tea or coffee, or make a smoothie.
3. Camel milk and type 1 diabetes:
There are several studies that show a significant effect of camel milk for diabetes type 1 in humans. Three studies were performed by Agrawal et al. (2003-2011), and they made the trials and researches mostly on Indians.
- Evidence from India
Through short-term randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 3 months, cross-over study (three months), and long-term RCT; Agrawal et al. showed that the type 1 diabetic patients, receiving came milk along with usual care, have significantly improved blood glucose and HbA1c levels, insulin requirement, and quality of life than those who were receiving the usual care, except for the camel milk.
In 2011, El-Sayed et al. conducted a small RCT on 50 type-1 diabetic patients in Egypt and showed that camel milk, along with insulin, can provide a better result as an adjunctive therapy. Another RCT, performed on the Middle East population, also showed the usage of camel milk as an adjunct to standard therapy for the management of type 1 diabetes.
In 2014, Bhat et al. reported a unique finding from “Raikas. They explained that camel milk, being part of the community’s staple diet, they might get some special immunity or protective power to deal with this disease.
4. Camel milk and type 2 diabetes:
While there is evidence that shows the significant effect of camel milk on type 1 diabetes management, the effect of camel milk on diabetes type 2 is quite scarce, with only one Indian trial.
Agrawal et al performed a small RCT (randomized controlled trial) with 28 participants to evaluate the effects of camel milk for diabetes type 2. According to their study on Raika and Non-Raika community, they reported that camel milk reduces fasting blood sugar, postprandial glucose, and HbA1c.
Another study performed in 2009 about the hypoglycemic effect of camel milk on type 2 diabetic patients and clearly concluded that only in combination with antidiabetic medications, the hypoglycemic effect of the camel milk can be claimed. One of the most recent studies, conducted in 2016, also advocated similar findings. The researchers concluded that consumption of camel milk would be a useful therapeutic tool for type 2 diabetic patients when used with insulin. Because of their significant effect in reducing blood sugar, camel milk can be consumed daily.
All the evidence is clearly stating that in contrast to type 1 diabetes, where the results are quite promising for the use of camel milk, the research evidence supporting its use for type 2 diabetes management is not so clear. More research in the form of RCTs is needed to support the initial findings.
The above evidence is sufficient to understand that when it comes to type 1 diabetes treatment, consuming camel milk can be highly effective. However, the result with type 2 diabetes is also effective, but not as satisfactory as it is with type 1 diabetes. When it comes to type 2 diabetes, the results are not so satisfactory, but the best part is, there is no misleading impact on consuming camel milk for diabetes.
5. Is there any side-effect?
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) addresses some issues in raw camel milk related to Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues). However, there is no evidence of it. Moreover, pasteurized camel milk is pure and absolutely safe for your body. So, you can buy pasteurized camel milk in India and consume it irrespective of whether you have diabetes or not.
According to the researchers, camel milk contains 52 units of insulin per liter, which is more than 60% of the average necessary external insulin administration for type 1 diabetics. So, it can be easily speculated that it is a great supplement as insulin shots for type 1 diabetic patients. And it can even prevent diabetes. In addition to the anti-diabetic properties, camel milk is lower in cholesterol, and higher in natural minerals in comparison to cow milk. It can also help in preventing tuberculosis. You can buy pasteurized frozen camel milk online in India and thaw it before using it.