Donkey’s milk is similar to human milk for its minerals, proteins, lactose, and omega-3 fatty amino-acid content. The average fat content is lower in donkey milk despite the high lactose content. The milk from the domesticated donkey has been used for infant nutrition and cosmetic purposes since antiquity. It is also known as jenny milk and ass milk. Here Anne Danahy, MS, RDN, HealthLine.com, reflects on donkey milk uses, benefits, and downsides; medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo, LDN, RD:
“Donkey milk may sound like a trendy newcomer to the milk market, but in reality, it has been around for thousands of years.
It has become popular again recently, especially in parts of Europe, appealing both to adventurous foodies who want to try new foods and beverages, as well as those who aim to eat natural foods with health benefits.
This article looks into the benefits, uses, and downsides of donkey milk.
Donkey milk’s history and uses
Donkeys belong to the Equidae family, which also includes horses and zebras. Various breeds of domesticated donkeys live all over the world, and like many other mammals, female donkeys, known as jennies, have been raised for thousands of years for their milk (1).
Donkey milk has a long history of medicinal and cosmetic uses. Hippocrates reportedly used it as a treatment for arthritis, coughs, and wounds. Cleopatra is said to have maintained her soft, smooth skin with donkey milk baths (2Trusted Source).
Compared with milk from other dairy animals like cows, goats, sheep, buffalo, and camels, donkey milk most closely resembles human breast milk. In fact, it was first used in the 19th century to feed orphaned infants (3).
Donkey farming is becoming more popular. However, most farms are small with 5–30 milking jennies. Each produces only about 4 cups (1 liter) of milk per day. Thus, the milk is somewhat hard to find and considered a specialty item (1, 4, 5).
Raw donkey milk is usually sold at farms where donkeys are raised. In the United States, federal law prohibits the transportation of raw milk across state lines. Some larger farms may sell pasteurized donkey milk (5, 6).
It’s more widely available as freeze-dried powdered milk and an ingredient in some European-imported chocolate bars. In Italy, where it’s especially popular, donkey milk is used in some infant formulas and as a medical food (4, 7Trusted Source).
Benefits of donkey milk
Fans of donkey milk often drink it for its health benefits, which go beyond its nutritional content. In particular, it has gained a lot of attention as an allergen-friendly and immune-boosting food.
Compared with the protein in cow’s milk, which has about five times more casein than whey, the protein in donkey milk has roughly equal parts casein and whey (12).
That can be a plus for anyone who’s allergic to cow’s milk but may benefit from the protein and other nutrients that dairy milk provides.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/donkey-milk
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