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J Med Food. 2009 Apr;12(2):461-5. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2008.0009.

Camel milk as an adjuvant therapy for the treatment of type 1 diabetes: verification of a traditional ethnomedical practice.

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Cancer Biology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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