This post sponsored by Desert Farms; all opinions are my own.
A few years ago, as you know, we got on this crazy journey of trying to recover my daughter from some of the more painful and detrimental issues that come with autism, like the inability to sleep and abdominal issues. I had a lot of help from a friend of mine, who some time ago, told me about the wonders of camel milk.
I can hear your thoughts: “What?? Wait, milk from actual camels??”
That’s what I thought too but after weeks of hearing stories from her about how much it benefited her autistic son and the rest of her family, I had to ask about where she acquired this stuff. I mean, you don’t hear a lot about local camel farms here in the U.S., you know? You may be wondering a lot of other things, like what makes camel milk special or where y can you buy camel milk?
Getting the camel milk at the time was not easy in the U.S. and priced accordingly. There was a club to join and minimums on top of bottle costs, and those are not things were not a good fit for me.
That’s why I just had to stop at the table for Desert Farms during Natural Products Expo East 2016. A camel milk company looking partner with vendors and get their brand out into stores? I was intrigued.
The Overall Benefits of Camel Milk
Let me back up, though. Why is camel milk such a great choice? These are some of the benefits of camel milk that have been reported and are being studied:
- It’s 50% lower in fat and saturated fat than USDA cow milk.
- It can act as a natural probiotic, which can help balance your child’s gut.
- It contains plenty of vitamin C, zinc and insulin, as well as protein, vitamin B1 and potassium.
- One study showed camel milk eliminated severe allergies (mostly food allergies) in children who participated.
- Camel milk doesn’t contain the same allergy-causing proteins as cow milk so it’s safe for kids with cow milk sensitivity or allergies. It’s also easier to digest than cow milk.
- Camel milk has been linked to diabetes prevention, preventing fatty liver disease and promoting HDL cholesterol levels (the “good” cholesterol).
- It’s been linked to immune benefits, including fighting infections, antibacterial and antiviral properties. It contains a number of beneficial immune proteins, such as lactoferrin, which can prevent microbial overgrowth, fighting things like E. coli. And it has special immunoglobulins (antibodies), which are much tinier than human ones and can therefore penetrate deeper into the body’s systems.
Camel Milk and Autism
Now anyone of those things can be beneficial for a child with autism, but how specifically can it help ease your child’s symptoms?
- A 2 year study by Dr. Millie Hinkle, ND, showed that children with autism drinking camel milk had improved symptoms, including better eye contact, increased vocabulary, better socialization, better sleep patterns and less aggression. It’s important to note that the milk relieves symptoms but underlying toxic issues must be addressed. A 2005 study also supports these claims.
- Because autism is now considered by some experts to be an autoimmune issue and connected to gut health, we can see that the unique properties of camel milk may help a child who is struggling. (Common issues for autistic children such as diarrhea, constipation, withholding, and late potty training can be red flags of gut issues.)
- Many believe that oxidative stress can be a cause of autism (or some cases of autism – I believe it has many roots and causes). Lots of kids with autism don’t properly produce glutathione, an antioxidant which can prevent this stress. (I’m making this as simple as I can; it’s a more complex process than I’ve described here.) The results are conditions that negatively impact health and behaviors. In children with autism, Camel milk was shown in one study to enhance glutathione levels.
Maybe you want to dig a little deeper before you consider this for your child. That’s always a smart idea. New research shows that some children with autism have cerebral folate deficiency (CFD), a condition of below normal levels of folate in the central nervous system. Because of the way this affects brain receptors, some doctors recommend that children with this deficiency avoid camel milk. (Dr. Dan Rossignol recommends that all children with autism be tested for folate receptor protein alpha (FRA) antibodies to see if they have this deficiency.) I suggest you use a pediatrician that supports dietary and/or biomedical approaches to autism, so he will be knowledgeable in this area.
Buying and Using Camel Milk
If you are wondering whether camel milk can benefit your child his doctor doctor allows, today, you can get it much easier than before! Desert Farms Camel Milk is 100% raw, natural camel milk as well as pasteurized camel milk that you can order online, by the bottle or in powder format. It is more expensive than organic cow milk, because camels don’t give as much milk as cows and they are a bit harder to breed. That’s a good thing – you won’t see camels stacked up in barns, like some dairy farms. And compared to prices I’ve seen in the past, these are much more reasonable!
You can use camel milk just like you would any other milk – in your coffee, tea, cereal, chocolate milk, whatever! Desert Farms even has a recipe page. However, if you are treating a child with autism, Desert Farms recommends giving it to him straight up for maximum benefit. Additionally, you should try it for a few weeks. Some of the studies suggested marked improvement after 30-40 days.
In my own experience, my daughters were off cow milk for 2-3 weeks before seeing results, so that changeover rule is important too if your child is still drinking cow milk.
Still unsure? No problem, you can try it before you buy it. Desert Farms offers 4 free 8oz. bottles of camel milk for you to try. You can also get a 25% discount with my code, GINA for purchases!
Camel milk has helped some children with autism. If you are a looking for an easy dietary change that your family can use, I recommend you try this one!