Often called the ship of the desert, camel is less susceptible to a whole host of diseases. Camels produce an adequate amount of milk in drought areas which contain low fat, high concentration of potassium, iron, and vitamin C. The camel milk contains only two percent of polyunsaturated fat and is more easily digestible and heart-friendly. Camel milk does not have casein, which can trigger an allergy in some people. Though the lactose content of camel’s milk is comparable with that of cow’s milk, it is suitable for lactose-intolerant people. Camel milk remains fresh for over 48 hours as it contains antibacterial and antifungal agents that boost immunity. People who regularly drink camel milk seem to have a long and sexually active life. Camel milk contains a large concentration of insulin. Stomach acidity destroys insulin. But the insulin of camel milk appears to pass through the stomach without damage. The tribe of camel breeders in the dunes of Rajasthan are immune to diabetes, and camel milk in their daily diet could be the reason.
Camel’s antibody structure is less complex than that of humans. An antibody consists of molecules produced by animals in response to an antigen — a toxin or an enzyme that triggers an immune response. In human beings, antigens are large molecules. Size often determines how effective it is. The smaller the size, the better therapeutic value it has. Small antibodies can overcome the delivery problems associated with antibody-based therapies, which is through injection. The camel antibody being smaller in size, has a natural advantage. The human immunoglobulin consists of two light chains bound to the heavier main chain. The camel immunoglobulin only has the main chain. Due to its size and weight, the camel antibody finds it easier to penetrate through enzyme active sites. Researchers say that camel antibodies are easier to clone. Also, they are much easier and less expensive to produce than conventional antibodies. But we will have to wait for more research to prove this hypothesis. Camel immunoglobulin could be used to tackle salmonella, tuberculosis, Hepatitis C, and skin diseases. The antibodies could also be used as enzyme inhibitors for diagnostic purposes. It has even been proposed for the treatment of tumors.
It is said that a camel is a horse designed by a committee, implying that the design is needlessly complex, inconsistent, and illogical. Even if it were designed by a committee, they had the wisdom to include an immunologist in the team. Thanks to the camel’s immune system, it is much more than a ship of the desert. It is a veritable laboratory of beneficial drugs.