The antidiabetic action of camel milk in experimental type 2 diabetes mellitus: an overview on the changes in incretin hormones, insulin resistance, and inflammatory cytokines

Horm Metab Res. 2014 Jun;46(6):404-11. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1368711. Epub 2014 Mar 13.


Folk medicine stories accredited the aptitude of camel milk (CMK) as a hypoglycemic agent and recent studies have confirmed this in the diabetic patients and experimental animals. However, the mechanism(s) by which CMK influences glucose homeostasis is yet unclear. The current study investigated the changes in the glucose homeostatic parameters, the incretin hormones, and the inflammatory cytokines in the CMK-treated diabetic animals. A model of type 2 diabetes mellitus was induced in rats by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin 40 mg/kg/day for 4 repeated doses. Camel milk treatment was administered for 8 weeks. The changes in glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucose dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP), glucose tolerance, fasting and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, insulin resistance (IR), TNF-α, TGF-β1, lipid profile, atherogenic index (AI), and body weight were investigated. The untreated diabetic animals showed hyperglycemia, increased HOMA-IR, hyperlipidemia, elevated AI, high serum incretins [GLP-1 and GIP], TNF-α, and TGF-β1 levels and weight loss as compared with the control group. Camel milk treatment to the diabetic animals resulted in significant lowered fasting glucose level, hypolipidemia, decreased HOMA-IR, recovery of insulin secretion, weight gain, and no mortality during the study. Additionally, CMK inhibits the diabetes-induced elevation in incretin hormones, TNF-α and TGF-β1 levels. The increase in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, decreased HOMA-IR, modulation of the secretion and/or the action of incretins, and the anti-inflammatory effect are anticipated mechanisms to the antidiabetic effect of CMK and suggest it as a valuable adjuvant antidiabetic therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / blood
  • Atherosclerosis / complications
  • Atherosclerosis / pathology
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Camelus
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Fasting / blood
  • Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide / blood
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / blood
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Incretins / blood*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cytokines
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Incretins
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1