Cleopatra famously bathed in it as part of her beauty regime.
But now a study claims that asses’ milk could be a good way to lose weight and protect your heart. Researchers have found that milk from donkeys, which was still being drunk in Victorian times, contains less fat and is more nutritious than cow’s milk.
They also found that it be a natural protection to the heart as it contains omega three and six fatty acids, similar to fish oil, which reduce cholesterol.
As it is also much closer to human milk it could be used in young children who are allergic to normal dairy products.
High levels of calcium that make it good for your bones add to its health giving properties.
The study at the University of Naples, Italy, compared the effect of donkey milk compared to cow’s milk in diet and health.
In experiments, they found that the cow’s milk and donkey milk provided the same amount of energy but that the latter caused more weight gain as it raised metabolism.
Rodents that were given the donkey milk also showed lower levels of triglycerides, unhealthy fats that affect the heart, and less stress on the metabolic system.
The study, which was presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Istanbul, concluded that its “consumption should be encouraged”.
Earlier research has shown that it could even be better than semi-skimmed, soya or formula milk, especially in young children as it contains high levels of calcium for bones.
Its make up is very similar to human breast milk and because it is low in proteins it can be used in young children who are allergic to proteins in cows’ milk.