Camel Milk Beneficial to Children With Food Allergies

Summary
Camel milk has been known to have certain components that could help in the mitigation of food allergies, especially in children. The objective of this study was to analyze the effect of camel milk on eight children with severe food allergies, especially to milk. These children found no benefit from conventional therapy and their parents had decided to try camel milk as the last resort. They were put on an exclusive camel milk diet for two weeks. All of them responded well and recovered at the end of the therapy.

Introduction
The effects of food allergies could either show immediately or much later. Immediate reactions occur within 45 minutes and are expressed as intense itching and swelling. Late reaction could be in the form of diarrhea or vomiting and occurs anywhere from 45 minutes to 20 hours or even later. The incidence of these immediate reactions (also called anaphylaxis) is 30 per 100,000 people in the United States. Although milk products can cause allergies, camel milk has been known to relieve people of their allergies. This is attributed to the difference in the composition of camel milk. It has less fat and sugars and does not have proteins that could induce allergic reactions, unlike cow’s milk. This study was done on children to assess the effect of camel milk in improving resistance to food allergy.

Methodology
* Eight children between the ages 4 months and 10 years were the participants in this study. They had severe food allergy and did not respond to conventional treatment.
* All these children were monitored for a month prior to the study, to confirm their food allergy.
* They were fed exclusively on camel milk for two weeks. Prior instructions like avoiding heating the milk were given to the parents, at the beginning of the study.

Results
* The children showed fewer symptoms within 24 hours of consuming an exclusive camel milk diet.
* All previous symptoms disappeared in four days and no recurrences were reported until the end of the study.
* One of the subjects, who had intense allergic responses on consuming cow’s milk, could tolerate camel milk well.
* It was also found to influence calcium build-up in one of the children.

Shortcomings/Next steps
The authors suggest further research on the effects of camel milk by using larger clinical trials.

Conclusion
Camel milk has a positive effect on food allergies and the improvements that it brings are also rapid. It has also been reported to treat other diseases related to the immune system. In most Arab countries, feeding camel milk to children is a common practice. It is recommended when treating immune-related disorders, as the antibodies in camel milk are 10 times smaller than those in the human body. Pasteurization, although a common practice in sterilizing most milk, is detrimental with camel’s milk. It could destroy most immunoglobulins and other protective factors that the milk contains. More research needs to be done on camel milk and its effects on relieving the consequences of food allergies.

For More Information:
Camel Milk for Allergies in Children
Publication Journal: Immunology and Allergies, December 2005
By Yosef Shabo MD; Reuben Barzel, MD; Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel and Maccabi Health Services, Beer Sheva, Israel

*FYI Living Lab Reports Are Summaries of the Original Research.


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