Thursday, January 11, 2018 by Earl Garcia
Camel milk gained steam during the last few years as a potential superfood against diabetes, and a new study published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines demonstrated that the dairy product might indeed bolster diabetes management. A team of researchers from Egypt’s premier universities and health agencies examined rat models of diabetes to carry out the study.
The researchers studied 75 male albino rats that were divided into five equal groups. The scientists designated two groups as either negative or positive diabetes controls. The team also gave two other groups camel milk, while the last group was given the diabetes drug metformin. The experts supplemented the rats with camel milk for two consecutive months. The research team then ran a series of assays to examine the animals’ serum glucose, leptin, and insulin levels as well as liver, kidney and lipid profile.
The results revealed that diabetic rats given camel milk exhibited a decline in glucose levels compared with the controls. The researchers explained that the changes in glucose levels were associated with the increase in insulin secretion among rats given camel milk. The findings also showed that camel milk supplementation helped increase leptin levels and improve peripheral glucose utilization and homeostasis in treated rats.
“Our results showed that administration of camel milk showed restoration of insulin secretion in diabetic rats; this means that the Langerhans islets β-cells restored their activity…Camel milk is a natural product that can be considered as a nutritional supplement that helps in treatment of diabetes and it metabolic associated disorders such as insulin resistance. It has dynamic effects on the…stimulation of insulin production and secretion from the pancreas,” the researchers concluded.
The recent findings add to a growing number of studies that demonstrate the efficacy of camel milk in diabetes management. For instance, a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis revealed that camel milk supplementation might bolster blood glucose management in patients with type 1 diabetes. According to the review, patients who took camel milk as an adjunct therapy for three months exhibited marked reductions in insulin doses that were required for proper blood glucose control.
The review also noted that camel milk administration might significantly improve total cholesterol levels, lipid profile, triglyceride rates and lipoprotein profile in diabetic patients. Moreover, the analysis showed that taking camel milk as an add-on to insulin treatment may lead to further reductions in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in patients with diabetes. (Related: There are amazing health benefits from drinking camel’s milk.)
“Based on evidence-based reviews of research findings on the use of camel milk in diabetes management, it can be concluded that camel milk has a powerful effect in reducing blood glucose levels and insulin requirement, and it limits diabetic complications such as elevated cholesterol levels, liver and kidney diseases; decreased oxidative stress; and delayed wound healing. Camel milk is safe and efficient in improving long-term glycemic control and can provide a significant reduction in the dose of insulin required by type 1 diabetic patients. Therefore, the daily consumption of camel milk may reduce the risk of diabetes,” the researchers reported.
Another animal study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that camel milk contains powerful hypoglycemic effects that may improve disease management in patients with type 1 diabetes. The researchers enrolled 24 type 1 diabetes patients as part of the study. The participants were divided into two groups, one of which received usual care alone while the other received usual care plus camel milk.
The scientists observed that patients who received camel milk displayed significant decreases in mean blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c levels, and insulin doses compared with the controls. Likewise, the researchers found that three of 12 participants in the camel milk group no longer needed insulin shots after the treatment. The research team concluded that camel milk might be a safe and effective adjunct treatment for long-term diabetes care.