Camel Milk: Are There Health Benefits?

Although you might think camels are exclusively used for transportation, people in Middle Eastern, Asian, and African cultures have drunk camel milk for centuries. In fact, it's highly sought after.

About 5.3 million tons of the stuff is produced around the world each year, mostly coming out of Somalia.

Unlike other kinds of milk, camel milk has low levels of sugar and cholesterol and high amounts of vitamins and minerals, such as:

Nutrition Information

Camel milk is high in antioxidants, which help prevent damage to your cells that can lead to serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases.

It’s also high in several vitamins and minerals, including: 

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Calcium
  • Kalium

One cup of camel milk contains

  • 107 calories
  • 5.4 grams of protein
  • 4.6 grams of fat
  • 3 grams of saturated fat
  • 11 grams of carbohydrates
  • 8 grams of sugar

Potential Health Benefits of Camel Milk

Camel milk is the closest natural substance to a human mother's milk. Just like breast milk protects newborn babies from various health issues, camel milk can provide a number of health benefits, including: 

Safety from milk allergy. If you have one, camel milk could be a safe alternative.  This is likely because camel milk contains a different protein than other dairy products — one that doesn't trigger an immune response. Camel milk can help with other food allergies in children, as well. 

Lower chances of diabetes. Researchers studied a community in India that has zero cases of diabetes and concluded that it was likely due to their regular consumption of camel milk. 

Camel milk protects against diabetes and improves its symptoms by: 

Potential Risks of Camel Milk

Camel milk is very expensive. It can cost between $16 and $18 a pint. This is because camels produce a lot less milk than a cow does.

If you do purchase it, make sure that what you get is pasteurized. Otherwise, you run the risk of your camel milk making you sick.

Healthy Alternatives

If you have a milk allergy and you're looking for an alternative, you can try:

  • Soy milk
  • Almond milk
  • Oat milk
  • Rice milk

Make sure that what you choose is fortified with vitamin D and calcium.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on December 17, 2020

Sources

SOURCES: 

Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department: "Camel Milk."

Camel Milk Association: “Did You Know?”}

Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice: "Zero Prevalence of Diabetes in Camel Milk Consuming Raica Community of North-West Rajasthan, India."

Electronic Physician: “Nutritional and Therapeutic Characteristics of Camel Milk in Children: A Systematic Review."

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Camel Milk as a Potential Therapy as an Antioxidant in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)."

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: "III. Composition of Camel Milk."

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations:" IV. Milk Products and Their Uses."

Immunology and Allergies: "Camel Milk for Food Allergies in Children."

International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism: "Camel Milk Has Beneficial Effects on Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review."

USC Trojan Family: "Got Camel's Milk?"

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