Arabs like and drink camel milk. How is it different from cow's milk?
Leave freshly-milked camel and cow's milks separately
at room temperature.
Camel milk remains fresh for over 48 hours, whereas its
counterpart only lasts 12 hours. Antibacterial and antifungal
compounds slow it from turning sour. While slightly
saltier than cow's milk, camel milk is highly nutritious.
Designed after all for animals that live in some of the
roughest environments, it is three times as rich in Vitamin
C as cow's milk. It is rich in vitamins B and C, unsaturated
fatty acids and has 10 times more iron than cow's milk.
Camel milk contains only 2 per cent fat, which is polyunsaturated
and completely homogenised. Lactose is present
in concentrations of 4.8 per cent but is easily
metabolised by those suffering from lactose intolerance.
Camel's milk is the closest milk to human mother's milk.
Our bodies not only tolerate it well, our bodies thrive on it.
Camel's milk has ten times the amount of antibacterial
and antiviral properties found in cow's milk. Camel's milk
contains an insulin like protein that survives the digestive
tract and may benefit people with certain forms of diabetes.
Camel milk's water volume is very high, preventing
dehydration in baby camels and nomads. It reaches up to
91 percent during the dry period. At this point, sodium and
phosphate contents increase, while calcium and magnesium
decrease, with the milk becoming less palatable.
On the other hand with water availability, camel's yield
becomes more concentrated in calcium and magnesium,
and its water diminishes to 84 per cent. Lactose and
sodium contents of the milk depend on the quantity of
water the she camel drinks; the stage of her milk production;
and the type of fodder or shrubs she feeds on.
When lactose reaches 5.8 percent, it acquires a sweeter
taste. The one thing camel milk lacks is fat ; it has only 2
per cent fat, compared with 4.5 per cent in cow's milk. As a
final selling point, even people with lactose intolerance
can drink it, even though it contains about as much lactose
as cow's milk.
Unlike fat in cow milk, fat in camel milk is not only low,
but also healthy unsaturated fatty acids and linolenic acids
(LA). Its fat molecules are much smaller, making the milk
more digestible and more cardiovascular friendly and nutrients
Camel milk colostrums are of superior nutritional value,
making them potent immune boosters for convalescing
patients and sufferers of nutrient deficiencies and bone
Bedouins treat many diseases and disorders with camel
milk. These range from osteoporosis, rickets, hepatitis,
digestive ulcers and disorders, spleen problems, tuberculosis,
asthma, flu, and other respiratory diseases to controlling
heartbeat, hypertension and diabetes.
PROF. G. KRISHNAMURTHY
JOINT DIRECTOR OF COLLEGIATE EDUCATION (RETIRED) MINISTRY OF HIGHER EDUCATI
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