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Camel milk as an adjuvant therapy for the treatment of type 1 diabetes

Discussion in 'Research' started by Ellen, May 24, 2009.

  1. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    I couldn't resist. :p

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19459752
    Camel milk as an adjuvant therapy for the treatment of type 1 diabetes: verification of a traditional ethnomedical practice.

    Mohamad RH, Zekry ZK, Al-Mehdar HA, Salama O, El-Shaieb SE, El-Basmy AA, Al-said MG, Sharawy SM.
    Cancer Biology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt. ragaa_hosny2@hotmail.com

    There is a traditional belief in the Middle East that regular consumption of camel milk may aid in prevention and control of diabetes. The aim of this work was to evaluate the efficacy of camel milk as an adjuvant therapy in young type 1 diabetics. This 16-week randomized study enrolled 54 type 1 diabetic patients (average age 20 years) selected from those attending the outpatient diabetes clinic of the Menofia University Hospital, affiliated with Egypt's National Cancer Institute. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups of 27 patients: one received usual management (diet, exercise, and insulin), whereas the other received 500 mL of camel milk daily in addition to standard management. A control group of 10 healthy subjects was also assessed. The following parameters were evaluated at baseline and at 4 and 16 weeks: hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), human C-peptide, lipid profile, serum insulin, anti-insulin antibodies, creatinine clearance, albumin in 24-hour urine, body mass index, and Diabetes Quality of Life score. The following parameters were significantly different between the usual-management group versus the camel milk group after 16 weeks: fasting blood sugar (227.2 +/- 17.7 vs. 98.9 +/- 16.2 mg/dL), HbA1c (9.59 +/- 2.05[%] vs. 7.16 +/- 1.84[%]), serum anti-insulin antibodies (26.20 +/- 7.69 vs. 20.92 +/- 5.45 microU/mL), urinary albumin excretion (25.17 +/- 5.43 vs. 14.54 +/- 5.62 mg/dL/24 hours), daily insulin dose (48.1 +/- 6.95 vs. 23 +/- 4.05 units), and body mass index (18.43 +/- 3.59 vs. 24.3 +/- 2.95 kg/m(2)). Most notably, C-peptide levels were markedly higher in the camel milk group (0.28 +/- 0.6 vs. 2.30 +/- 0.51 pmol/mL). These results suggest that, as an adjunct to standard management, daily ingestion of camel milk can aid metabolic control in young type 1 diabetics, at least in part by boosting endogenous insulin secretion.
    PMID: 19459752 [PubMed - in process
     
  2. hold48398

    hold48398 Approved members

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    Wow, that is interesting to say the least...I wonder what camel milk tastes like...???:rolleyes::eek::cool:
     
  3. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

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    Why not? Although it better taste good.:p

    I still remember on the chat once we spoke about this, and someone thought we were making fun of her and left the chat abruptly. We were actually serious, just the thought of drinking camel milk was funny.:rolleyes:
    BTW, is it me or would you expect camels to just have water?:eek::D

    Wonder under what name the milk will be sold under? "The Bump"?:eek:
     
  4. kiwikid

    kiwikid Approved members

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    I'll get Kevin to look out for a camel at the next livestock sale then :rolleyes:
    One should do well on our steep, scrubby hills :eek:
     
  5. joshualevy

    joshualevy Approved members

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    I don't think you should have resisted posting this result. I'm glad you did post it.

    If you compare the results to Haller's cord blood phase-I trial or the Enbrel phase-I trial, Camel's milk does better on the objective measures. For example, the average A1C dropped about 2 for camel's milk, but only 1 for cord blood and Enbrel. Insulin usage dropped about 50% for camel milk, 40% for Enbrel, an 33% for cord blood.

    To me the interesting questions are: Is the Journal of Medical Food (where this was published) a reputable journal? Does this result continue in a larger clinical trial? Does it last longer than 16 weeks? and Does it work in a western country? (In particular, these patients started out with an average A1C of 9.6. To me that suggests a different level of care than is standard in the US.) It clearly moved people from an A1C of 9.x to 7.x, but would it similarly move someone who started at 8.x to 6.x or from 7.x to 5.x?

    All of these questions could easily be answered with a bigger phase-II clinical trial: I hope it gets done. If someone walked up to me, and said "Here is a pill. If you take it your average BG will drop from over 200 to right around 100", I would take it! Sure it would not be a cure, but I bet it would seriously cut down on side-effects decades down the road. Now this isn't a pill, it is a little more than a pint of camel milk every day, but still, I'd do it.

    Joshua Levy
     
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    I've had an affinity for camels for decades.

    Joshua, I too thought the research was compelling. In fact there have been several articles over the years coming from India on the same subject but the integrity of the studies were questionable. I conferred about them with Dr. Reuven Yagil from Ben Gurion University on the topic and he too there were problems with the study design. Reuven has a small camel dairy in the negev (they serve camel milk "sheiks", and camel milk ice cream). Reuven told me if the milk is pasteurized, it will lose the insulin properties, which leads me to believe a clinical trial in the US would never fly. There is one camel dairy in the US I know of run by Gil Riegler in California (www.cameldairy.com, I've purchase camel milk soap for gifts from him before).I sent Gil a copy of the abstract. There may be other camel dairies in the US, but even so, perhaps the environment and food will also impact the insulin properties.

    What if the insulin properties could be extracted and put in capsule form? I'd personally love to see a study for prevention of type 1 combining camels milk, DHA and Vitamin D in those with increased propensity to develop type 1. I also wonder if there are any anti-inflammatory properties in the milk that have yet to be identified. (I'll ask Reuven if he knows.) Yesterday I wrote to the first named author on this article, asked for an electronic reprint and asked his opinion about pursuing prevention studies, but have not heard back yet.

    Great question re the repute of the journal. Were you able to find the homepage and publisher? I am looking now.

    I wrote to one of Haller's colleagues today too about adding camels milk to the NIP protocol and asked if he'd be laughed out of Gainesville if he suggested it. We had a couple of back and forth emails worth the chuckle. There are wonderful researchers in Gainesville.

    The full text of page one of the article is here: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. - Journal of Medicinal Food - 12(2):461. I haven't read it yet. The publisher is reputable. Not sure about the journal. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. - Journal of Medicinal Food

    Does this mean the articles are not necessarily peer-reviewed? Reviews and Perspectives may be solicited by the Editors or submitted independently. Reviews are summaries of developments in medicinal food and nutrition. Perspectives are more representative of an opinion about an area of the field or a direction of research. Both may be subject to peer-review.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2009
  7. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

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    I wonder about the differences between camel's milk and its fermented form, shubat, which apparently has been used for a long time for medicinal purposes.
    I guess the posted article is about pure camel milk only?
     
  8. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    Great question Paula. I included it in my questions to Reuven Gil. Then I noted from Wiki (not a great source eh?) shuba originated from Kazakhstan and google images that the camels in Kazakhstan are bactrian camels (2 hump) not dromedaries. I wonder if there's a difference in the milk properties, and if any camels milk and diabetes studies have been done on bactrian camels.
     
  9. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

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    Guess the 2-hump camels' milk is twice as good.:p

    :eek: Couldn't help myself, sorry.:rolleyes:
     
  10. Jacob'sDad

    Jacob'sDad Approved members

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    Why? Why does Camel's milk work? Is it because of the brutal environment camels are acclimated to?
     
  11. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

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    I have no idea. All I can suspect is a combo of a very low GI value, along with nutrients which work well with body chemicals/hormones to prevent BG from spiking, so keeping it more stable:confused:

    Like I said, beats me.

    ETA - found something which says it may have an insulin like protein, which has an hypoglycemic effect. I won't post the link for fear that it may spark "let's find a miracle cure" response, kwim? Plus I have no idea if the journal is legit or not.
    Plus, it is stated in the OP when used with other therapy.
    2nd plus :), it remains to be seen how much milk is effective.
     
  12. Pavlos

    Pavlos Approved members

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    :D

    They may well displace the dog as my best friend!
     
  13. TonyCap

    TonyCap Approved members

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    Hmmm... I am getting a business idea. :)
     

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