With controversy raging around dairy, camel milk yields undeniable nutritional benefits. While camel milk may seem foreign to many worldwide, in the Middle East, especially the GCC, it’s a dietary staple that almost 50% of Emiratis have drunk at some time. Popular for centuries as a medicinal drink in Asian, African and Middle Eastern cultures, this super food beverage is undergoing a renaissance, discover why.
1. Has Similarities to Breastmilk
Camel milk has some of the same components as human colostrum and breast milk. One such substance is lactoferrin. Lactoferrin is an iron-binding protein that fights bacterial growth. It’s so powerful that it can stop intestinal e-coli. The reason lactoferrin has such great anti-microbial properties is because of its peptides, lactoferricin and lactoferranpin, which produce strong anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and anti-bacterial activity.
Another protein that human breast milk and camel milk have in common is lysozyme. Lysozyme is found in saliva and is an enzyme that inhibits bacteria by disturbing the membranes of bacterial cells; it also helps maintain healthy gut flora in breastfed babies.
2. Provides Prebiotics
Prebiotics feed good bacteria and encourage it to grow in the digestive system, improving health as a consequence. Prebiotics are another property of camel milk, where they’re present in the form of oligosaccharides. Additionally, scientists have put forth theories that, as well as helping good bacteria to grow, oligosaccharides can stop the growth of bad bacteria in the colon.
3. Contains Probiotics
Probiotics support the treatment of diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal infections, increase immunity and aid digestion.
4. Has Minerals that Support a Healthy Gut
For instance, a couple of the gut-friendly minerals found in camel milk are selenium and zinc. Studies have reported that when test subjects have healthy levels of selenium they have lower levels of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Zinc deficiency can lead to certain gut cancers.
5. Delivers Immune-Activating Properties
Camel milk also contains proteins and peptides; these are molecules that help stop bad bacteria from invading, resulting in a stronger immune system. Peptides in camel milk have antioxidant (cancer-fighting) properties. During testing, researchers found two new peptides in camel milk which appeared to fight oxidative stress.
Immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, are protein molecules that strengthen the immune system by fighting off disease-causing bacteria. The immunoglobulins found in camel milk have even been reported to help interrupt the life-cycle of HIV-1, the most widespread type of HIV in the world.
7. Provides Health-Promoting Molecules
Lactophorin is a protein found in camel milk. This molecule keeps lactating humans and animals from getting mastitis and also discourages respiratory and gastrointestinal infections in breastfeeding children.
Another substance found in camel milk is lactoperoxidas. This glycoprotein has important antibacterial actions that encourage a strong immune system. Specifically, lactoperoxidas from camel milk has been found to discourage the growth of E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella typhimurium.