Camel milk helps cure diabetes, says ICMR study

Camel milk helps cure diabetes, says ICMR study

A study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research on Raika community of Rajasthan shows that camel milk can prove to be beneficial in prevention and management of type 1 diabetes.

The idea of using the protein present in camel milk as  medicine is being mulled by scientists. DH Photo/Jaydeep Saha

The idea to use protein of camel milk as medicine is being mulled.

In the conventional treatment of diabetes, milk of various animals has been in use to control insulin levels. But positive effect of camel milk has been repeatedly seen in case of mature diabetes.  

Currently, 62 million people in India suffer from diabetes and its economic cost is estimated to be 2.1 per cent of the GDP. Eleven per cent of urban and three per cent of rural population are affected by diabetes.

Estimates project that by 2025, 70 million Indians are likely to become diabetic.
The figures collected from an ongoing exercise by the government in slums of Delhi indicate high prevalence of this lifestyle disease there too.

Thus, the findings of the research become extremely important in the Indian context.

The study was conducted as a collaboration between  National Institute of Nutrition, ICMR, and SP Medical College, Bikaner.

Raika community was chosen to find correlation between type 1 diabetes and camel milk because the community consumes no other milk than camel’s. Two thousand members of 500 families were studied for glycemic index.

It was found that even after five years only 0.4 per cent of the people had uncontrolled glucose in blood. The affected people had a family history of diabetes.

The study was led by Dr S P Aggarwal, S P Medical College, who had been researching on camel milk since 2003.

Dr Vishwa Mohan Katoch, director, ICMR said if diabetes can be controlled in one community, it can be replicated in cities too. To this end, protein and insulin present in camel milk will be used as medicine.

He said Drugs Controller General of India has been contacted for this purpose.

A comparative study was also conducted in which milk of other mammals like cow, goat and sheep were tested. Camel milk was found to leave minimum glucose in blood among all.

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