London, (IANS) Asses' milk happened to be the secret lotion in Cleopatra's beauty armoury, but now scientists say its consumption could help you lose weight effectively, while protecting your heart.
Milk from donkeys, used in Victorian times, contains less fat and is more nutritious than cow's milk, say researchers.
They also found it to 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 for young children who are allergic to normal dairy products, the Telegraph reports.
High levels of calcium that make it good for your bones add to its health-giving properties. The University of Naples (Italy) study compared the effect of donkey milk with that of cow's milk in diet and health.
In experiments, they found that cow's milk and donkey milk provided the same amount of energy but 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".