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Camel Milk for Autism: A Potential Aid

Camel milk is now making its appearance on the shelves of local supermarkets. You might wonder about what makes it special for consumption over cow and buffalo milk? Here’s the answer:Camel milk is as healthy as any milk that you might be consuming normally. Additionally, it is free from lactose that makes it suitable for lactose intolerant population. It serves as a potential health aid for conditions like diabetes, diarrhea, and brain disorders.

Camel milk therapy is also known to treat the symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Read this article to know more about how camel milk works as a therapy for autism.


Camel Milk Therapy for Autism

Autism imposes lifelong challenges on children suffering from ASD. Raising cases of ASD is driving extensive research on its treatment in the last few decades. Evidence supports Camel milk therapy for the treatment of autism. The therapy has its roots in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Traditional Iranian medicine also included this therapy taking advantage of the nutritional and therapeutic benefits of Camel milk. Camel milk therapy might play a role in relieving the symptoms of autism especially among children younger than 10 years of age (1). It is also known to play a significant role in improving social cognition, social communication, and social awareness (2).


Other benefits of camel milk for autism among children include improvement in language, vocabulary, and overall academic performance (3). Camel milk therapy is among the emerging as well as effective treatments for children and adults suffering from autism. It can also reduce the symptoms of food allergies and intolerances among such patients.


How to Use Camel Milk for Autism

Camel milk therapy is simply including camel milk in the diet of autistic patients. Camel milk is available in frozen, raw, pasteurized as well as powdered forms. Using any of these forms on a daily basis might help overcome the autism symptoms. You can either drink it raw or add it to your dishes while cooking.

There is a lack of research on how much quantity of camel milk should be consumed by an autistic person. However, the benefits have been noted for daily consumption of 150-200 ml of camel milk (2,3).

Including camel milk in the daily diet is quite simple. You can either boil it and drink it plain or mix it with any flavor of your choice. You can also prepare porridge, breakfast cereal bowl, smoothies, and many such dishes by adding camel milk.


How Can Camel milk Improve Characteristics of Autism?

The cause behind the development of autism is unclear. However, one of the major reasons can be the accumulation of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in our body. They are highly reactive molecules innately present in our bodies. A consistent increase in ROS is linked to brain-related disorders like ASD  (4).

Camel milk is found to reduce the levels of ROS in our body. This might be the reason behind the benefits of camel milk therapy for autism. It is also rich in antioxidants like Vitamin A, D, and C (5). Apart from this, camel milk contains lower amounts of unhealthy fats that can raise the production of ROS in our bodies.

Camel milk is considered to be equivalent to human milk. The antibodies present in the milk can naturally boost our immunity against autoimmune disorders like autism. However, there is very little scientific evidence to support the fact that camel milk therapy can improve the characteristics of Autism.

Further, a gluten-free and casein-free diet is known to relieve the symptoms of autism (6). Camel milk is naturally free from both gluten as well as casein. Thus, it can be included in the daily diet of autistic patients.


The Ups and Downs of Camel Milk for Autism

Leaving aside the exclusive health benefits that camel milk offers for autism and other chronic conditions, there are some downsides that you might want to look at.

Camel milk is More Expensive

The demand for camel milk is gradually growing in the market. Rarely any online/ offline store can stock up on camel milk for their customers. The breeding practices for camels are also in their developing stage. Hence, it might take some time to produce breeds that can provide us with more milk. Thus, camel milk is more expensive as compared to the bovine milk available in the market.


Not all Forms of Camel Milk are Pasteurized

Drinking raw camel milk is an age-old practice. However, healthcare professionals recommend drinking pasteurized milk in order to overcome the risk of food poisoning. Unpasteurized milk can consist of microorganisms that can cause fatal/ deadly health conditions. But every camel milk provider does not choose to provide pasteurized camel milk. In such a scenario, it is recommended to either go for pasteurized camel milk or  camel milk powder to avoid such health risks.


Camel Milk Comes With Its Fair Share of Ethical Concerns

Camel milk was initially produced in Eastern countries. In order to increase and ease the supply of camel milk, the farmers need to import efficient camels from these countries. Further, camels are not used to milking machines, and introducing them can raise ethical concerns. Lastly, selective breeding is necessary to increase their milking capacity. These ethical issues can also contribute to decreased demand for camel milk in the market.


The Credibility Of Camel Milk for Autism

Thus, camel milk has potential benefits to treat chronic health conditions like ASD. This paves the way for the emergence of camel milk therapy that has been known for ages in the traditional medicines of the middle east, Asia, and Africa. Camel milk is also proven to be equivalent to human milk. Daily consumption of camel milk is known to relieve the symptoms of autism. It can significantly improve the communication, cognition as well as social interaction of autistic patients.


About The Author

Disha Doshi is an expert nutritionist with a post-graduation degree specializing in nutrigenomics along with nutrition and dietetics. She has worked with multiple organizations in her career and has a diverse background in life sciences and healthcare. With an additional flair for writing, Ms Disha comprises a perfect mix for an ideal healthcare marketing professional. While having worked on weight loss, endocrine disorders, cardiac disorders, and other lifestyle issues, she also has steady experience in biochemistry and molecular biology disciplines. Apart from that, she has also worked on balancing the human gut microbiome with diet, nutrigenomic dietary practices, and corporate nutrition. With a keen interest in Ayurveda, she is also engaged in linking the age-old Ayurvedic practices with modern dietary practices.


Pro-tip:

  • Skipping the camel milk routine can relapse the autism symptoms. Hence, it is advisable to consume it regularly.
  • While shopping for camel milk, consider buying pasteurized or powdered milk to stay away from food-borne infections.

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