A series of products based on mare's milk is being developed by scientists in Kazakhstan to help soothe people suffering with tuberculosis. The mare's milk is a traditional alcoholic drink in the Central Asian state.
Professor Yuri Sinyasky from the Kazakh National Nutrition Academy said that mare's milk contains important nutrients that can also help cancer sufferers recover from a dose of chemotherapy.
"Mare's milk has high stimulating properties and increases immunity, so it can be used as a base for these products," the Telegraph quoted him as telling Tengrinews website.
Horses play a central role in the national culture of Kazakhstan and its traditionally nomadic neighbours; Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Turkmenistan.
Kumis, fermented mares' milk, is a popular traditional drink and horse meat is widely eaten.
Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital, is named after the churn used to stir vats of Kumis and the yurt, a felt tent carried by nomads on their horses, is a national symbol for both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Many scientists have said that mare's milk can be compared to milk from a woman in many nutritional aspects and that it may be better for human nourishment than milk from a cow.
Professor Sinyasky said a recipe for paste and liquid products based on milk from mares and goats would be developed by the end of 2012 and that production for the new products would start within three years.
"These special products will be used to support the main medical therapy used on patients," he said.