Camel milk could be used to reduce inflammation in people with type 2 diabetes, Welsh researchers have suggested.
Cardiff Metropolitan University scientists have explored the health benefits of the milk, which has previously been linked with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Camel milk is very nutritious, and milk fat is an important component due to its high nutritional value. The researchers were keen to use camel milk in this study because it has a higher level of polyunsaturated fat than cow’s milk. However, because of the complexity of camel milk’s makeup, the researchers only decided to only evaluate its effect on inflammation.
Professor Keith Morris and his team found that lipids (blood fats) in camel milk were able to prevent macrophages developing in abdominal fat. People with type 2 diabetes who have inflamed abdominal fat located around the waist face an increased risk of complications including heart disease and stroke, and macrophages play a significant part in the progression of this inflammation.
Prof Morris said: “If these effects could be repeated in studies with humans then this would show that the milk may prevent the inflammation associated with diabetes.
“These results may also explain some of the benefits reported for camel milk consumption in preventing diabetes. Dietary studies are littered with experimental data such as ours, suggesting that different foods have a plethora of beneficial or harmful effects that are less convincingly found in actual people.”
However, Prof Morris added: “We can’t say for certain whether camel milk ‘cures’ diabetes, or if it would reduce inflammation if a person with type 2 diabetes regularly consumed it.”
The researchers concluded that further studies are required, especially involving humans, to confirm the findings.
The findings have been published online in Functional Foods in Health &Disease.