A study of the anti-diabetic agents of camel milk

Int J Mol Med. 2012 Sep;30(3):585-92. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2012.1051. Epub 2012 Jun 29.


The number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has risen steeply recently exhausting the ability of health care systems to deal with the epidemic. Seventy-five percent of people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries. The largest populations of diabetics are in China and India, with many of those people living in extreme poverty. Combined forces of governmental health care, charities and donation of pharmaceutical companies would not be able to cope with the financial demands needed for medicaments and treatments for these people. Therefore, it is worth looking into traditional folk remedies to find if there is any scientific merit to justify their claims for alleviating symptoms of diabetes. There is a traditional belief in the Middle East that regular consumption of camel milk helps in the prevention and control of diabetes. Recently, it has been reported that camel milk can have such properties. Literature review suggests the following possibilities: i) insulin in camel milk possesses special properties that makes absorption into circulation easier than insulin from other sources or cause resistance to proteolysis; ii) camel insulin is encapsulated in nanoparticles (lipid vesicles) that make possible its passage through the stomach and entry into the circulation; iii) some other elements of camel milk make it anti-diabetic. Sequence of camel insulin and its predicted digestion pattern do not suggest differentiability to overcome the mucosal barriers before been degraded and reaching the blood stream. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that insulin in camel milk is present in nanoparticles capable of transporting this hormone into the bloodstream. Although, much more probable is that camel milk contains 'insulin-like' small molecule substances that mimic insulin interaction with its receptor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Camelus
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / chemistry*
  • Insulin / chemistry*
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Conformation
  • Proteolysis
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin