The closest milk in composition to human breast milk, donkey milk is rich in probiotics, vitamins, phospholipids, and ceramides that your skin will love. It's naturally anti-biotic lysozyme content and hypo-allergenic properties make it the ideal milk for the health of your skin. So why isn't everyone using this liquid gold? Perhaps because donkeys only produce a few cups of milk a day, only for a few months at a time, and only when treated well and allowed to be with their babies when not being milked. Compare this to the cow, producing gallons of milk a day, and you get the idea. Below is an ever updating list of articles, documents, and research on Donkey Milk. Do your own research. (I'm still not a doctor, still not making claims. Just milking donkeys.)
From an immunological point of view, donkey’s milk is able to induce release of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines from normal human peripheral blood lymphomononuclear cells, thus maintaining a condition of immune homeostasis.”
Human, donkey and cow milk differently affects energy efficiency and inflammatory state by modulating mitochondrial function and gut microbiota
"We compared the intake of human milk, gold standard for infant nutrition, with equicaloric supplementation of donkey milk, the best substitute for newborns due to its nutritional properties, and cow milk, the primary marketed product. The results showed a hypolipidemic effect produced by donkey and human milk intake in parallel with enhanced mitochondrial activity/proton leakage. Reduced mitochondrial energy efficiency and proinflammatory signals (tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin-1 and lipopolysaccharide levels) were associated with a significant increase of antioxidants (total thiols) and detoxifying enzyme activities (glutathione-S-transferase, NADH quinone oxidoreductase) in donkey- and human milk-treated animals. The beneficial effects were attributable, at least in part, to the activation of the nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor-2 pathway. Moreover, the metabolic benefits induced by human and donkey milk may be related to the modulation of gut microbiota. In fact, milk treatments uniquely affected the proportions of bacterial phyla and genera, and we hypothesized that the increased concentration of fecal butyrate in human and donkey milk-treated rats was related to the improved lipid and glucose metabolism and detoxifying activities"
The donkey’s three major whey proteins are α-lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin and lysozyme. Donkey’s milk α-lactalbumin has two isoforms with different isoeletric point . Recently, it has been shown that α-lactalbumin presents antiviral, antitumor, and anti-stress properties. In particular in human breast milk it was shown that the α-lactalbumin forms a complex with oleic acid called HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumor cells) that proved to be able to induce tumour-selective apoptosis. This complex may be considered as a potential therapeutic agent against various tumour cells . Furthermore it was shown that α-lactalbumin possesses anti-inflammatory activity exerted by the inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and phospholipase A2 .....The amount of lysozyme in donkey’s milk varied considerably during the different stages of lactation, with a mean value of 1.0 mg/ml, and proved to be higher with respect to that in bovine (traces), human (0.12 mg/ml) and goat’smilk (traces), whereas, it was very close to mare’s milk (0.79 mg/ml)..." (Google lysozyme antibacterial for more info on that...)
"Donkey milk consumption exerts anti-inflammatory properties by normalizing antimicrobial peptides levels in Paneth's cells in a model of ileitis in mice.
In this study, we showed the beneficial effects of donkey milk (DM) on inflammatory damages, endogenous antimicrobial peptides levels and fecal microbiota profile in a mice model of Crohn's disease. Nowadays, new strategies of microbiome manipulations are on the light involving specific diets to induce and/or to maintain clinical remission. Interest of DM is explained by its high levels of antimicrobial peptides which confer it anti-inflammatory properties....DM consumption exerts anti-inflammatory properties in mice by restoring the endogenous levels of antimicrobial peptides which contribute in turn to reduce microbiota imbalance."
Human Milk and Donkey Milk, Compared to Cow Milk, Reduce Inflammatory Mediators and Modulate Glucose and Lipid Metabolism, Acting on Mitochondrial Function and Oleylethanolamide Levels in Rat Skeletal Muscle "
Scope: Milk from various species differs in nutrient composition. In particular, human milk (HM) and donkey milk (DM) are characterized by a relative high level of triacylglycerol enriched in palmitic acid in sn-2 position. These dietary fats seem to exert beneficial nutritional properties through N-acylethanolamine tissue modulation. The aim of this study is to compare the effects of cow milk (CM), DM, and HM on inflammation and glucose and lipid metabolism, focusing on mitochondrial function, efficiency, and dynamics in skeletal muscle, which is the major determinant of resting metabolic rate. Moreover, we also evaluated the levels of endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines in liver and skeletal muscle, since tissue fatty acid profiles can be modulated by nutrient intervention."
Human, donkey and cow milk differently affects energy efficiency and inflammatory state by modulating mitochondrial function and gut microbiota☆
"Different nutritional components are able, by modulating mitochondrial function and gut microbiota composition, to influence body composition, metabolic homeostasis and inflammatory state. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects produced by the supplementation of different milks on energy balance, inflammatory state, oxidative stress and antioxidant/detoxifying enzyme activities and to investigate the role of the mitochondrial efficiency and the gut microbiota in the regulation of metabolic functions in an animal model. We compared the intake of human milk, gold standard for infant nutrition, with equicaloric supplementation of donkey milk, the best substitute for newborns due to its nutritional properties, and cow milk, the primary marketed product. The results showed a hypolipidemic effect produced by donkey and human milk intake in parallel with enhanced mitochondrial activity/proton leakage. Reduced mitochondrial energy efficiency and proinflammatory signals (tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin-1 and lipopolysaccharide levels) were associated with a significant increase of antioxidants (total thiols) and detoxifying enzyme activities (glutathione-S-transferase, NADH quinone oxidoreductase) in donkey- and human milk-treated animals. The beneficial effects were attributable, at least in part, to the activation of the nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor-2 pathway. Moreover, the metabolic benefits induced by human and donkey milk may be related to the modulation of gut microbiota. In fact, milk treatments uniquely affected the proportions of bacterial phyla and genera, and we hypothesized that the increased concentration of fecal butyrate in human and donkey milk-treated rats was related to the improved lipid and glucose metabolism and detoxifying activities."
"In the last few decades, there has been a renewed interest in donkeys by the scientific community involved in the recovery of biodiversity, in the rescue of some donkey breeds that have become almost extinct, and in the rediscovery of donkey milk. In addition, due to the increase in food allergies, attention has been focused on the need for a “natural” milk with a good taste, which could be used in some childhood illnesses such as allergy to cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA). Donkey milk is very similar to human milk, especially in terms of its protein profile and lactose content, which increases palatability, stimulates intestinal absorption of calcium, and thus provides an excellent substrate for the development of enteric flora. The high content of lysozyme in this milk favors selective action against pathogenic microorganisms. In addition, the mineral content (such as calcium) and liposoluble vitamins make it an excellent nutraceutical product. A project aimed to create a donkey milk supply chain from the Amiata native breed has recently been developed in Central Italy (Tuscany). In this paper, the nutritional and nutraceutical characteristics of donkey milk are reviewed in detail. In addition, some of the potential uses of donkey milk have been briefly described: in the diet of children with CMPA, in the diets of the elderly and of people who need to lose weight by virtue of the low-fat content, and the good contribution of omega 3."
- Donkey milk is rich in lysozyme with low bacterial count.
- GC-MS metabolomics confirms itself as a powerful and versatile tool to study foods.
- Donkey and human milk metabolites change with lactation time.
- GC-MS metabolite profile of human milk resembles more donkey than formula milk.
Proteins and bioactive peptides from donkey milk: The molecular basis for its reduced allergenic properties
- Since ancient times donkey milk has been used for infant nutrition.
- Nowadays the alleged therapeutic properties of DM are validated by many trials.
- Donkey milk is the best mother milk substitute for allergic newborns.
- The mechanism of this tolerance is strictly related to protein components.
- DM proteins are more closely related with the human rather than cow homologues.
anti-tumor, immunological, for preventing atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries), and probiotic properties
A study on donkey milk in Italy….the rats on cows milk fattened up, the rats on donkey milk were super energized. “And their mitochondria – the tiny batteries that power cells – were super-charged, turning food into energy at a fast pace”
NIH (National Institute of Health) Research Studies on Donkey Milk:
Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-allergenic Properties …”in infants with intolerance to cow’s milk, donkey’s milk represents a good alternative due to its chemical characteristics similar to those of human milk….From an immunological point of view, donkey’s milk is able to induce release of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines from normal human peripheral blood lymphomononuclear cells, thus maintaining a condition of immune homeostasis….in these milks the presence of their own microbiota may normalize the human intestinal microbiota with a cascade of protective effects at intestinal mucosal sites, even including triggering of intestinal T regulatory cells.”
Hypoallergenic properties of donkey’s milk: a preliminary study. “Cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) is an abnormal immunological response to cow milk proteins, which results in IgE-mediated reactions. The therapeutic strategy to respond to CMPA envisages the total elimination of milk or the administration of cow’s milk substitutes. For this reason the use of milk from other mammalian species was tested. Among them, donkey’s milk proved to be the best alternative in feeding infants affected by CMPA, since its chemical composition is comparable to human milk.”
Efficacy of donkey’s milk in treating highly problematic cow’s milk allergic children: an in vivo and in vitro study. “Successful therapy in cow’s milk protein allergy rests on completely eliminating cow’s milk proteins from the child’s diet: it is thus necessary to provide a replacement food. This prospective study investigated tolerance of donkey’s milk in a population of 46 selected children with cow’s milk protein allergy, for whom it was not possible to use any cow’s milk substitute. Thirty-eight children (82.6%) liked and tolerated donkey’s milk at the challenge and for the entire duration of follow-up. Catch-up growth was observed in all subjects with growth deficit during cow’s milk proteins challenge. The degree of cross-reactivity of immunoglobulin E (IgE) with donkey’s milk proteins was very weak and aspecific. Donkey’s milk was found to be a valid alternative to both IgE-mediated and non-IgE-mediated cow’s milk proteins allergy, including in terms of palatability and weight-height gain.”
Tolerability of donkey’s milk in 92 highly-problematic cow’s milk allergic children. “STUDY DESIGN: A prospective study was conducted on 92 children with CMA, diagnosed through a CM elimination diet, followed by double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge (DBPCFC) unless contraindicated. Maternal milk was unavailable and current CM substitutes could not be used. Moreover, 89 percent were affected by multiple FA, and subjected to very restricted diets. Within 3 months after the last CM challenge, DBPCFC for DM was performed. CM or DM skin prick test and sIgE determination preceded the CM or DM challenge, respectively. Native electrophoresis and immunoblotting were used to identify CM and DM cross-reactive proteins. Z-scores of weight and length/stature for age were calculated at DM food challenge (T0) and during DM assumption. RESULTS: 83 children (90.2 percent) liked and tolerated DM, at challenge and during follow-up, with increased Z-score for weight and length/stature and improved nutritional parameters. Bovine beta-lactoglobulin was identified as the cross-reacting protein among the DM allergic patients. CONCLUSIONS: DM was found to be a valid alternative foodstuff, in terms of clinical tolerability, palatability and nutritional adequacy, in subjects with CMA who were highly problematic from the feeding standpoint.”
Hypoallergenic properties of donkey’s milk: a preliminary study. “Cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) is an abnormal immunological response to cow milk proteins, which results in IgE-mediated reactions. The therapeutic strategy to respond to CMPA envisages the total elimination of milk or the administration of cow’s milk substitutes. For this reason the use of milk from other mammalian species was tested. Among them, donkey’s milk proved to be the best alternative in feeding infants affected by CMPA, since its chemical composition is comparable to human milk. In this work an in vitrostudy was performed in order to analyze the IgE reactivity to milk protein allergens from cow, donkey and goat. In particular, immunoblotting experiments using sera from milk-allergic and non-allergic adult volunteers were conducted with the aim of verifying the hypoallergenic property of donkey’s milk. This study provided a preliminary evidence of the hypoallergenicity of donkey’s milk when compared to bovine and goat milk” (Vincenzetti S, et al. Vet Ital. 2014 Apr-Jun.)
Donkey’s milk detailed lipid composition “Donkey’s milk (DM) has recently aroused scientific interest, above all among paediatric allergologists. A deeper knowledge of both proteins and fats in donkey’s milk is necessary to evaluate the immunological, physiological and nutritional properties. By using the most refined techniques for fatty acids analysis, the paper offers a detailed comparative analysis of the lipid fractions of DM as well as of human and cow milk, also indicating the distribution of fatty-acid moieties among sn-1/3 and sn-2 positions of the glycerol backbone. In DM the position of fatty acids on glycerol backbone, above all of long chain saturated fatty acids, is very similar to that of human milk: this fact, in conjunction with the relatively high contents of medium-chain triglycerides, makes the lipids in DM, through quantitatively reduced, highly bioavailable. The high PUFA n-3 content of donkey’s milk, and especially its low n-6/n-3 ratio, acquires particular interest in subjects affected by cow’s milk protein allergy. Whole DM might also constitute the basis for formulas suitable for subjects in the first year of life..” (Gastaldi D, et al. Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2010.)
Profile of nucleosides and nucleotides in donkey’s milk “Nucleotides play a crucial role to cellular functions; they can be obtained from the diet or through the nucleotide salvage pathway, however, in particular situations (occurring mainly in newborns) the metabolic demand of nucleotides exceeds the capacity of their synthesis. These molecules, are receiving attention from a nutraceutical point of view because of their potential direct role in regulating metabolism and infant body condition. Donkey’s milk may be considered a good replacer for cow’s milk in feeding children with severe Ig-E mediated cow’s milk protein allergy, due to its high similarity with human milk. In this study, the presence of cytidine, uridine, CMP, UMP, guanosine, and adenosine, involved in numerous biochemical and physiological activities, were detected for the first time through a RP-HPLC method.”. (Vincenzetti S, et al. Nucleosides Nucleotides Nucleic Acids. 2014)
Identification of Equine Lactadherin-derived Peptides That Inhibit Rotavirus Infection via Integrin Receptor Competition “Human rotavirus is the leading cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and children under the age of 5 years in both developed and developing countries. Human lactadherin, a milk fat globule membrane glycoprotein, inhibits human rotavirus infection in vitro, whereas bovine lactadherin is not active. Moreover, it protects breastfed infants against symptomatic rotavirus infections. To explore the potential antiviral activity of lactadherin sourced by equines, we undertook a proteomic analysis of milk fat globule membrane proteins from donkey milk and elucidated its amino acid sequence. Alignment of the human, bovine, and donkey lactadherin sequences revealed the presence of an Asp-Gly-Glu (DGE) α2β1 integrin-binding motif in the N-terminal domain of donkey sequence only. Because integrin α2β1 plays a critical role during early steps of rotavirus host cell adhesion, we tested a minilibrary of donkey lactadherin-derived peptides containing DGE sequence for anti-rotavirus activity. A 20-amino acid peptide containing both DGE and RGD motifs (named pDGE-RGD) showed the greatest activity, and its mechanism of antiviral action was characterized; pDGE-RGD binds to integrin α2β1 by means of the DGE motif and inhibits rotavirus attachment to the cell surface. These findings suggest the potential anti-rotavirus activity of equine lactadherin and support the feasibility of developing an anti-rotavirus peptide that acts by hindering virus-receptor binding.”. (Civra A, et al. J Biol Chem. 2015.)
Donkey Milk for Manufacture of Novel Functional Fermented Beverages “The aim of this work was to investigate on the functional features of a donkey milk probiotic berevage as a novel food. Particularly, it was to study the decrease of lactose content and the antioxidant activity of standard yogurt (YC) and probiotic yogurt (YP; Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei) from donkey milk during the storage up to 30 d at 4 ºC. The evolution of lactose content using enzymatic-spectrophotometric kits was analyzed. Antioxidant activity of yogurt was measured using 2,2′-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), and thiol assays. Parallel consumer sensory studies were carried out as consumer test in order to gain information about the impact of these novel fermented beverages on sensory perceptions. The statistical analysis has shown significant effect of studied factors. The results showed that the lactose content gradually decreased during storage in both yogurts, reaching values of 2.36% and 2.10% in YC and YP, respectively, at 30 d (P < 0.05). During storage of both yogurt types, the antioxidant activity increased, but YP showed a higher antioxidant activity than YC. The results suggest that the antioxidant activity of yogurt samples was affected by cultures of lactic acid bacteria (LAB). We conclude that the fermented donkey milk could be configured as health and nutraceutical food, which aims to meet nutritional requirements of certain consumers groups with lactose or cow milk protein intolerance.”. (Perna A, et al. J Food Sci. 2015.) (***PERSONAL NOTE: I would avoid making yogurt or kefir from Donkey milk (or any milk) unless you can find a strep free strain of starter if you have a child with PANDAS disease.)
Anti-proliferative and anti-tumour effect of active components in donkey milk on A549 human lung cancer cells: “The anti-proliferative and anti-tumour effects of donkey milk on A549 human lung cancer cells were investigated in vitro, and its effects on cell cycle progression, apoptosis and cytokine production were examined. Donkey milk active fractions reduced the viability of A549 cells in dose-dependent and time-dependent manners. Fraction-IV, a fraction of whey protein with a molecular mass >10 kDa, was the most effective fraction (P < 0.05) in inducing an accumulation of A549 cells in the G0/G1 and G2/M phases, indicating a potent cytotoxicity and causing cell death by apoptosis. The anti-proliferative activity of conditioned medium, prepared with fraction-IV-stimulated murine splenocytes, was significantly higher than that of fraction-IV alone (P < 0.05). Moreover, it could increase the secretion of Interleukin-2 (IL-2), Interferon-γ (IFN-γ), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and Interleukin 1β (IL-1β). The active components of donkey milk not only could directly suppress tumour proliferation in vitro, but may also indirectly kill tumours through activation of lymphocytes and macrophages. A high content of lysozyme in fraction-IV may contribute to its anti-tumour activity.” Study by Xueying Mao1, Junnan Gu1, Yan Sun, Shiping Xu, Xiaoying Zhang, Haiying Yang, Fazheng Ren http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0958694609001009
Pope drank donkey milk as a baby (fun fact)
Donkey milk and it`s benefits by Johannes Visagie: Donkey Milk is…”A serum protein content similar to breast milk with a casein content significantly lower than cows’ milk; this promotes improved digestion and assimilation, reducing the allergenic potential A balanced relationship between the various essential fatty acids, with a predominance of those promoting anti-inflammatory and vascular protection effects; the easily digestible bio-available fat content makes donkey milk an optimum source of energy, particularly in demanding situations such as the practice of combat sports when it is essential to maintain a constant metabolic energy supply Enzymes and immuno-protective substances (lysine, lactoferrin, lactadherin) which boost the immune system and reduce the risk of intestinal infection…..”
Research articles via Eurolactis
Intolerance to hydrolysed cow’s milk proteins in infants: clinical characteristics and dietary treatment. Conclusion: Donkeys milk was confirmed as a safe and valid treatment for the most complicated cases of multiple food intolerances.
Uses of Ass’ Milk in Multiple Food Allergy Efficacy of Donkey’s Milk in treating highley problemactic cow’s milk allergigic children: an in vivo and in vitro study Ass’s milk in children with atopic dermatitis and cow’s milk allergy: crossover comparison with goat’s milk
Cleopatra had her own herd of 700 donkeys for her daily donkey milk beauty bath. Hippocrates prescribed it for various health and skin conditions.
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