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Camel whey protein as a new dietary approach to the management of free radicals and for the treatment of different health disorders

The balance between free radicals and antioxidants is an important factor for maintaining health and slowing disease progression. The use of antioxidants, particularly natural antioxidants, has become an important strategy for dealing with this cause of widespread diseases. Natural antioxidants have been used as therapeutic tools against many diseases because they are safe, effective, and inexpensive and are among the most commonly used adjuvants in the treatment of several diseases. Camel whey protein (CWP) is considered a strong natural antioxidant because it decreases oxidative stress, enhances immune system function, and increases glutathione levels. The structure of CWP is very similar to that of other types of whey protein from different types of milk. CWP contains many components, such as lactoferrin (LF), lactalbumin, lactoglobulins, lactoperoxidase, and lysozyme, and is rich in immunoglobulins. However, in contrast to other WPs, CWP lacks β-lactoglobulin, the main cause of milk allergies in children. The components of CWP have many beneficial effects, including stimulation of both innate and adaptive immunity and anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antibacterial, and antiviral activities. Recently, it has been shown that CWP and its unique components can facilitate the treatment of impaired diabetic wound healing. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the protective effects of CWP in human and other animal disorders are not fully understood. Therefore, the current review presents a concise summary of the scientific evidence of the beneficial effects of CWP to support its therapeutic use in disease treatment and nutritional intervention.

Badr G, Ramadan NK, Sayed LH, Badr BM, Omar HM, Selamoglu Z. Why whey? Camel whey protein as a new dietary approach to the management of free radicals and for the treatment of different health disorders. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2017;20(4):338-349.

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Camel milk: an alternative for cow’s milk allergy in children

Treatment of cow’s milk allergy (CMA) in children includes avoidance of cow’s milk and providing a milk substitute. This study was designed to determine whether CMA children could safely consume camel’s milk as an alternative, and skin-prick test (SPT) to camel’s milk could be a reliable tool in selecting them. Between April 2007 and February 2010, children with confirmed CMA seen at the Allergy-Immunology Clinic, Hamad Medical Corp., were enrolled into this prospective cohort study. Subjects had a detailed history and medical examination, complete blood count with differential count, total serum IgE, and specific IgE test and SPT to cow’s milk. Patients with positive SPT and an elevated cow’s milk-specific IgE had negative SPT to camel’s milk. Of 35 children (23 male and 12 female children) aged 4-126 months (median, 21 months), 23 patients (65.7%) presented with acute urticaria, 17 (48.6%) with atopic dermatitis, 9 (25.7%) with anaphylaxis, 8 (22.9%) with failure to thrive, and 5 (14.3%) with chronic vomiting. Twenty-eight patients (80%) had family history of allergy. Twenty-six patients (74.3%) were breast-fed for ≤18 months. Mean white blood cell count was 9860.5 cells/μL, absolute eosinophil count was 1219 cells/μL, IgE was 682 IU/mL, and cow’s milk-specific IgE was 22.01 kU/L. Only 7 patients (20%) had positive SPT to camel’s milk and 28 (80%) were negative to camel’s milk. All patients with negative SPT took camel’s milk without any reactions. In children with CMA, SPT is a reliable clinical test in ruling out reactivity to camel’s milk so these children could safely take camel’s milk as an alternative nutrient.

Ehlayel MS, Hazeima KA, Al-Mesaifri F, Bener A.    Allergy Asthma Proc. 2011 May-Jun;32(3):255-8. doi: 10.2500/aap.2011.32.3429

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Camel milk and breast cancer

Korashy (2012) and fellow researchers published one of the first articles about the molecular mechanisms that govern the effect of camel milk on human cancer in 2012.  Their research found the following:

  • Camel milk inhibited HepG2 (liver carcinoma) and MCF7 (breast cancer) cells survival and proliferation through the activation of both the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways.
  • Camel milk significantly inhibited HepG2 and MCF7 cells proliferation (rapid increase in number).
  • Camel milk contains lyzosomes, lactoferrins, immunoglobulins and higher amounts of antioxidant vitamins E and C, compared to bovine milk.
  • Among these mediators, lactoferrin, an iron-binding glycoprotein, is known to exert in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity.
  • This study demonstrated that camel milk induces apoptosis (a form of programmed cell death) in HepG2 and MCF7 cells through apoptotic- and oxidative stress-mediated mechanisms.