Would you drink milk that comes from a camel? Don't act so weirded out. Thanks to the Oasis Dairy Camel, plus new research touting the milk's health benefits, you might just find it soon in the dairy aisle.
The LA Times reports on a recent study from India, which explains why the salty milk helps control diabetes. Researchers gave those with type-2 diabetes camel milk and found that it boosted C-peptide levels, which could boost the body’s own insulin secretion. Camel milk (and its insulin) has long been touted for treating high blood sugar in nomadic folklore, but camel milk itself is scarce. While it's commonly found in countries like Sudan and Somalia, it would be difficult to make camel milk commercially available in the U.S. for safety reasons, as well as logistics (camels only produce one to two gallons per day).
Still, that hasn't stopped one California farmer from testing it out. Meet the Oasis Camel Dairy farm, where farmers Gil and Nancy Riegler sell milk from four dairy camels. They even give out farm tours and camel rides (and made a recent stop at the OC Fair). While the USDA won't let them sell raw camel milk, they use it to make soap and get the word out about the nutritional impact of camel milk. "In other countries across the oceans, adults and children suffering from a wide variety of maladies including colitis, Crohn's, autism, and diabetes have found relief and reduced their symptoms with raw camel's milk," the Reiglers write on their website. "And we are working to find a way to help them acquire camel's milk."