The Potential of Camel Milk and Extracts of Major Plants Browsed by the Animal for Diabetes Treatment

  • Negussie Bussa Food Science and Post Harvest Technology, Institute of Technology, Haramaya University, Ethiopia
  • Anteneh Belayneh Department of Biology, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia
  • Merga Deressa School of Nursing, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia


Abstract: Diabetes is one of the world's greatest healthcare challenges affecting millions of people, and recognized as one of an emerging, and challenging public health problems in Ethiopia. This study was done to evaluate the potential of camel milk and extracts of major plants browsed by the animal for the treatment of diabetes. Fresh samples of both camel milk and major plant species frequently browsed by camels were collected from Babile (Oromia Region) and Shinille (Somali region). Taxonomic identification of the plant species browsed by the animal was made, the leaves were dried under shade, and pulverized for nutrient analysis and extraction. Crud extracts were kept under a low temperature (40C) until fed to experimental rats. Eighty adult Winstar rats were divided into sixteen groups and group one through twelve were injected Streptozotocin (STZ) for diabetic whereas groups thirteen through sixteen kept non-diabetic. Group one through six were fed on the plant extracts. Groups seven through sixteen were diabetic and non-diabetic male and female treated with camel milk, Glibenclamide (500 μg/kg, p.o.), and aqueous solutions. Blood glucose levels of the rats were measured before STZ, 72 hours after STZ, and every week until the end of the experiment. Camel milk feeding showed glucose level reduction by 20.5% in male rate and 21.1% in female rate. There is no significant difference in glucose level reduction between male and female (p>0.05). Extracts from Acacia brevispica and Dichrostachys cinerea showed 28.1% and 21% of glucose level reductions, respectively in diabetic rats. Balanites aegyptiaca showed 55.4% of glucose level reduction, significant change (p>0.05).  This preliminary finding indicated that using camel milk in the diet could be alleviate diabetes, which is encouraging for further research work with more parameters and better laboratory facilities.


Keywords: Babile; Blood Glucose; Glibenclamide; Shinille; Streptozotocin; Winstar rats


Author Biographies

Negussie Bussa, Food Science and Post Harvest Technology, Institute of Technology, Haramaya University, Ethiopia

Department of Food Science and Post Harvest Technology, Institute of Technology, Haramaya University, Dawa, Ethiopia

Anteneh Belayneh, Department of Biology, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia

Department of Biology, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia

Merga Deressa, School of Nursing, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia
School of Nursing, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia


AACC (American Association for Clinical Chemistry). 2000. Approved methods of the AACC (10th ed.). St. Paul, MN: American Association of Cereal Chemists (Methods 08-01, 30-25, 44-15A, 46-10, 54-10, 54-21).
Agrawal, R. P. Swami, S. C. Beniwal, R., Kochar, D. K. Sahani, M.S. Tuteja, F. C. and Gouri, S. K. 2002. Role of camel milk in type I diabetes. National Research on camel, Bikaner, India.
Agrawal, R. P. Budania, S. Sharma, P. Gupta, R. and Kochar, D. K. 2007. Zero prevalence of diabetes in camel milk consuming Raica community of north-west Rajasthan, India. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 76: 290-296.
Amal, B. S. 2015. Camel milk as a potential therapy for controlling diabetes and its complications: A review of in vivo studies. Journal of food and drug analysis, 23: 609-618.
Aminu Mohammed, Koorbanally, N. A., and Shahidul Islam. 2016. Anti-diabetic effect of Xylopia aethiopica (Dunal) A. Rich. (Annonaceae) fruit acetone fraction in a type 2 diabetes model of rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 180: 131-139.
Anteneh, B. and Sebsibe, D. 2011. Diversity and Population Structure of Woody Species Browsed by Elephants in Babile Elephant Sanctuary, eastern Ethiopia: an implication for conservation. Ee-JRIF – Agriculture and Forestry issue, 3(1): 20-32.
Anteneh, B. Tamrat, B. and Sebsebe, D. 2011. The natural vegetation of Babile Elephant Sanctuary, eastern Ethiopia: implications for biodiversity conservation. Ethiop. J. Biol. Sci., 10(2): 137-152.
AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists). 2000. Journal of AOAC International. An international Journal of Analytical Science, AOAC International. 83: 1-6.
Asresie, A. and Yusuf, M. 2014. Traditional Consumption, Therapeutic Value and Its Derived Dairy Products of Dromedary Camel (Camelus Dromedaries) Milk in Somali Regional State, Eastern Ethiopia: A Review. Global Journal of Animal Scientific Research, 3(1): 240-246.
Atmakuri, L. R. and Dathi, S. 2010. Current Trends in Herbal Medicines. Journal of Pharmacy Research, 3(1): 109 – 113.
Bailey, C. J. and Day, C. 1989. Traditional plant medicines as treatments for diabetes. Diabetes Care 12: 553-564.
Bhuyan, B. K,. Kuentzel, S. L., Gray, L. G., Wallach, D. and Neil, G. L. 1974. Tissue distribution of streptozotocin (NSC 85998). Cancer Chemotherapy Report, 58: 157-65.
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). 2001. Estimated camel population of Africa and the World. FAO STAT Database. (
Felleke, G. 2003. A Review of the Small Scale Dairy Sector - Ethiopia. FAO Prevention of Food Losses Programme: Milk and Dairy Products, Post-harvest Losses and Food Safety in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Near East.
Gader, A. G. M. A. and Alhaider, A. A. 2016. The unique medicinal properties of camel products: A review of the scientific evidence. Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences, 11(2): 98-103.
Gul, W., Farooq, N., Anees, D., Khan, U. and Rehan, F. 2015. Camel Milk: A Boon to Mankind. IJRSB, 3(11): 23-29.
Khaskheli, M. Arain, M. A. Chaudhry, S. Soomro, A. H. and Qureshi, T. A. 2005. Physico-chemical quality of camel milk. Journal of Agriculture and Social Sciences, 2:164-166.
IDF (International Diabetes Federation Diabetes). 2013. IDF diabetes atlas (6th Edn.). Belgium, Brussels.
IDF (International Diabetes Federation). 2012. Clinical Guidelines Task Force. Global Guideline for Type 2 Diabetes. International Diabetes Federation, 166 Chaussee de La Hulpe, B-1170, Brussels, Belgium.
IDF (International Diabetes Federation). 2011a. Global diabetes plan 2011-2021. Retrieved from
IDF (International Diabetes Federation). 2011b. IDF diabetes atlas (5th ed). Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation.
IDFA (International Diabetes Federation Atlas). 2012. Diabetes at glance, Africa. Estimate of diabetes prevalence based on extrapolation from similar countries. Sixth edition.
Ikebukuro, K. Adachi, Y. Yamada, Y. Fujimoto, S. Seino, Y. and Oyaizu, H. 2002. Treatment of Streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus by transplantation of islet cells plus bone Marrow cells via portal vein in rats. Transplantation, 73 (4):512-8.
Karunanayake, E. H. Hearse, D. J. and Mellows, G. 1975. The metabolic fate and elimination of streptozocin. Biochemical Society Transactions. 3: 410-14.
Khalid, A. A. Alia, A. A. and Abdella M. A. 2007. Milk Composition of Dromedary Camels (Camelus dromedaries): Nutritional Effects and Correlation to Corresponding blood Parameters. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 10: 2724-2727.
Konuspayeva, G. Faye, B. and Loiseau, G. 2009. The composition of camel milk: a meta-analysis of the literature data. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 22, 95-101.
Kula Jilo 2016. Camel Milk and its Therapeutic Effects: A Review. Global Veterinaria 16 (4): 378-388.
Lenzen, S. 2008. The mechanisms of alloxan-and streptozotocin-induced Diabetes. Diabetologia, 51: 216–226.
Levi, J. A. Wiernik, P. H. and Diggs, C. H. 1977. Combination chemotherapy of advanced Previously Treated Hodgkin’s disease with streptozocin, CCNU, Adriamycin and bleomycin. Medical and pediatric oncology, 3: 33-40.
Magjeed, N. A. 2005. Corrective effect of milk camel on some cancer biomarkers in blood of rats intoxicated with aflatoxin B1. Journal of the Saudi Chemical Society, 9: 253-263.
Motala, A. and Ramaiya, K. 2010. Diabetes: The Hidden Pandemic and its Impact on Sub-Saharan Africa. The Diabetes Leadership Forum, Africa, Johannesburg, 30 September and 1 October, 2010 Novo Nordisk.
Nasser, S. A. K, Alaa S. A, Salwa A.W.A., Wasfy, El Mileegy, I. M. H., Hamed, M. Y. and Hussein M. A. 2016. Antidiabetic and Antioxidant Impacts of Desert Date (Balanites aegyptiaca) and Parsley (Petroselinum sativum) Aqueous Extracts: Lessons from Experimental Rats. Journal of Diabetes Research, 2016: 1-10.
Omar, A. A. and Hamad, A. A. 2010. Compositional, technological and nutritional aspects of dromedary camel milk. International Dairy Journal, 20: 811-821.
Pari, L. and Umamaheswari, J. 2000. Antihyperglycaemic Activity of Musa sapientum Flowers: Effect on Lipid Peroxidation inAlloxan Diabetic Rats. Phytotherapy Research, 14(2): 136 – 138.
Quan, S. Tsuda, H. and Miyamoto, T. 2008. Angiotensin I-converting enzyme inhibitory peptides in skim milk fermented with Lactobacillus helveticus 130B4 from camel milk in Inner Mongolia, China. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 88: 2688-2692.
Rastellini, C., Shapiro, R., Corry, R., Fung, J., Starzl, T. E. and Rao, A. S. 1997. An attempt to reverse diabetes by delayed islet cell transplantation in Humans, Transplantation proceedings, 29: 2238-2239.
Sallam, A. B., Ali, M. A. and Nikhala, M. A. 2008. Camels (Camelus dromedarius) under pastoral systems in North Kordofan, Sudan: Seasonal and parity effects on milk composition. Journal of Camelid Sciences, 1: 32-36.
Samir A. M. Z., Somaia Z. A. R., and Mattar, A. F. 2003. Anti-diabetic properties of water and ethanolic extracts of Balanites aegyptiaca fruits flesh in senile diabetic rats. The Egyptian Journal of Hospital Medicine, 10: 90 – 108.
SAS (Statistical Analysis System). 1999 – 2016. The SAS System of software for data management, analysis, and presentation. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Solomon Mekonnen Abebe, Yemane Berhane, Alemayehu Worku and Abebayehu Asse 2014. Diabetes mellitus in North West Ethiopia: a community based study. BMC Public Health, 14: Page 97.
Tamiru, S, and Alemseged, F. 2010. Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Diseases among Diabetic Patients in Southwest Ethiopia. Ethiop J Health Sci., 20: 121- 128.
Tarafdar, R. G. Nath, S. Talukdar, A. D. and Choudhury, M. D. 2015. Antidiabetic plants used among the ethnic communities of Unakoti district of Tripura, India. Journal ofEthnopharmacology,160: 219–226.
Thulesen, J. Qrskov, C. Holst, J. J. and Poulsen, S. S. 1997. Short Term Insulin Treatment prevents the diabetogenic action of streptozotocin in rats. Endocrinology, 138 (1): 62-68.
Valiathan, M. S. 1998. Healing Plants. Current Science, 75 (11): 1122 – 1127.
Weiss, R. B. 1982. Streptozocin: A review of its pharmacology, efficacy and toxicity. Cancer Treatment Report, 66 (3): 427-38
Yagil, R. and Van Creveld, C. 2000. Medicinal use of camel milk. Fact or fancy? In: Proceedings of the 2nd International Camelid Conference on Agroeconomics of Camelids. Kazakhstan: Almaty, September P80.
Yadav, A. K., Kumar, R., Priyadarshini, L. and Singh, J. 2015. Composition and medicinal properties of camel milk: A Review. Asian Journal of Dairy and Food Research, 34(2): 83-91.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

Obs.: This plugin requires at least one statistics/report plugin to be enabled. If your statistics plugins provide more than one metric then please also select a main metric on the admin's site settings page and/or on the journal manager's settings pages.