False! Camel urine cannot aid breast cancer and stomach ulcer treatment

A horse seller in Accra, Ibrahim Adams, has said that the urine of a camel can assist in the treatment of breast cancer and stomach ulcers.

He made this claim in an interview with Accra-based TV3 in a vox-pop series by the station dubbed the Ghanaian Grind. The claim has been shared on the media house’s Facebook, X and YouTube handles and has generated a considerable amount of conversation about the topic.

Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claim and presents the findings as follows.

Claim: “The camel’s urine aids in treating breast cancer and stomach ulcer”

Verdict: False


Camel urine is commonly used in countries around North Africa, Asia and the Middle East like Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Some scholars have suggested that it can be used for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) like spiritual purposes.

In 1928, a study by Bernard Read found that unlike other animals, including humans, camels excrete very little ammonia and urea, which are responsible for the unpleasant odour and toxicity of urine. Instead, camel urine contains more creatine and creatinine. Creatine helps maintain energy supply to one’s muscles during exercise. Creatinine is creatine’s byproduct found in the urine, blood and muscles.

Again, Read’s study showed that camel urine has about 10 times more mineral salts than human urine and is basic in nature, with a pH of 7.8 or higher.

Other research has suggested that camel urine has potent antiplatelet activity, similar to medications like painkillers. Another study has shown that camel urine inhibits the expression of a gene involved in cancer development.

With all these positive reports on what camel products may be able to do, there are enormous studies that have identified severe adverse side effects associated with the usage of camel products like urine and raw milk.

For example, in a 2023 study published by the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, the researchers found that some patients experienced severe side effects, including the development of brucellosis, an infectious disease caused by bacteria, after using camel urine for treating cancer. The researchers therefore urged that the promotion of camel urine as a traditional medicine should be stopped because there is no scientific evidence to support it.

In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) discovered the prevalence of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in countries like Saudi Arabia and Jordan, with camels identified as the host reservoir. MERS spreads through close contact with camels and can also pass from infected humans.

The disease was found to be harmless to camels but is infectious to humans and can be severe, with 35% of cases resulting in death.

Therefore, WHO has advised individuals should desist from activities involving camels, such as close contact, consuming raw camel urine or milk, or eating undercooked camel meat

The World Health Organization has however urged people of the Uganda, where people are said to believe camel urine cures many diseases including HIV and AIDS, to refrain from drinking it. It says the urine has been proven to cause the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a viral respiratory disease that can prove fatal.

Another study, published in 2023, titled “Observational Study and Literature Review on the Use of Camel Urine for Cancer Treatment,” found that camel urine did not yield positive effects for cancer patients. It may even have caused infections in animals, the study reported. The researcher further concluded that promoting camel urine as a traditional medicine should stop because there is no proof it works.

However, there is still a lack of sufficient scientific evidence to confirm the potential benefits of camel urine in treating breast cancer as other researchers stated here.

To further verify Ibrahim Adams’s claim, Fact-Check Ghana consulted with an oncologist and a diagnostician. Both experts debunked the claim.

“No, there is nothing like that. For breast cancer, there is a radiotherapy, there is a chemotherapy, and there is a hormonal therapy you can use. For stomach ulcers, it depends on what is causing the stomach ulcer. I have no idea about something urine or whatever” Dr. Appiah Kubi, an oncologist at the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), explained.

Also, Dr. Michael Owusu, a diagnostician at the Department of Medical Diagnostic at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology said: “For me, I have done a number of researches but I have not seen it in any local literature. We may rely on a proven scientific evidence”.

Studies have examined the potential of urine to treat breast cancer and stomach ulcers, but no scientific evidence supports the claim that camel urine is one of the cures. Researchers have stated the need for more research to verify its validity. Thus, the claim that camel urine aids in treating these conditions is unfounded.

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