Fed up with skimmed milk and can’t stomach soya? Give donkeys’ milk a try.
Said to be the secret of Cleopatra’s flawless complexion, donkeys’ or asses’ milk also works wonders on waistlines, according to research.
And with high quantities of omega-3 oils and calcium, it may be better for the heart and help keep energy levels up throughout the day.
Previous research has also suggested the protein-rich drink might be a good alternative to cows’ milk for those with allergies, so donkeys’ milk could soon become the next big thing among the health-conscious who can’t bear to give up dairy.
In the latest study, Italian scientists gave rats either cows’ milk or asses’ milk to drink on top of their usual food.
While those given cows’ milk became heavier than normal rats, those drinking asses’ milk put on less weight.
They also had lower levels of blood fats and other fats that can damage the arteries and the heart.
And their mitochondria – the tiny batteries that power cells – were super-charged, turning food into energy at a fast pace.
Taken together, this suggests that the consumption of asses’ milk should be encouraged, the researchers told the International Congress on Obesity in Istanbul.
Previous Italian research has suggested that asses’ milk is a good alternative to cows’ milk for children with allergies.
However, those who are keen to give asses’ milk a try may have to be patient.
Although popular in Victorian times, it fell out of fashion and is not believed to currently be on sale anywhere in Britain, according to the Donkey Breed Society.