Impact of Oxidative Stress on Children
Extensive studies have demonstrated that oxidative stress plays a vital role in the pathology of several neurological diseases, and children with special needs often have excessive oxidative stress. 1, 2
What is Oxidative Stress?
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between damaging free radicals and antioxidants in a body. Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules with an uneven number of electrons. The uneven number allows them to easily react with other molecules. Free radicals can cause large chain chemical reactions in the body because they react so easily with other molecules.
When there are more free radicals present than can be kept in balance by antioxidants, the free radicals can start doing damage to fatty tissue, DNA, and proteins in a child’s body. Proteins, lipids, and DNA make up a large part of the body, so that damage can lead to a vast number of diseases over time, including neurodegenerative diseases and inflammatory diseases.
What Causes Free Radicals?
Free radicals are derived either from normal essential metabolic processes in the human body or from external sources such as exposure to X-rays, ozone, cigarette smoking, air pollutants, and industrial chemicals.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that can donate an electron to a free radical without making themselves unstable. This causes the free radical to stabilize and become less reactive. 3
Camel Milk as a Potent Antioxidant
Findings suggest camel milk could play an important role in decreasing oxidative stress and improving scores on behavior rating scales. 2
A study evaluated the effect of camel milk consumption on oxidative stress biomarkers in children, by measuring the plasma levels of glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and myeloperoxidase before and 2 weeks after camel milk consumption, using the ELISA technique. All measured parameters exhibited significant increase after camel milk consumption. These findings suggest that camel milk could play an important role in decreasing oxidative stress. 2
In another study of children consuming camel milk, significant differences were detected by behavioral rating scales following 2 weeks of camel milk consumption, but not in the placebo group. 4
Camel milk can play a role in alleviating symptoms in children with cognitive and behavioral issues. 5
Benefits of Camel Milk
Camel milk is highly nutritious, packed with vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamins C, A, E, D, B group, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
Camel milk also has some very unique health benefits because it provides potent anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support.
Camel milk does not contain A1 beta casein or beta lactoglobulin, two of the proteins in cow’s milk that cause allergies for children. It is low in lactose and so is usually very well tolerated by children who are lactose intolerant.
Camel milk has a lower pH than other milk, so that upon entering the stomach it does not break down into casein and whey and therefore does not break into casomorphins. Casomorphin creation from cow milk consumption is a common problem in children. 6
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1. Autism + Metabolism. Stephen G. Kahler, MD
2. Camel Milk as a Potential Therapy as an Antioxidant in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Laila Y. AL-Ayadhi and Nadra Elyass Elamin
3. Healthline, Everything You Should Know About Oxidative Stress; Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP — Written by Megan Dix, RN, BSN — Updated on September 29, 2018
4. Behavioral Benefits of Camel Milk in Subjects with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Laila Y Al-Ayadhi , Dost Muhammad Halepoto , Abdul M Al-Dress , Yasmine Mitwali , Rana Zainah
5. Current nutritional approaches in managing autism spectrum disorder: A review. Hande Cekici , Nevin Sanlier
6. The Medical Benefits of Camel Milk, Barry Smeltzer MPAS, PA-C, Healing Provisions.