Drinking human breast milk is the new craze—that’s right, human breast milk.
Fitness communities, fetishists, and chronic disease sufferers are buying the milk over the Internet.
The milk is being marketed as a “clean” super food for adults, and that it will lead to physical gains in the gym, help with erectile dysfunction, and even cancer. But experts are warning that the lucrative online business is poorly regulated and poses many health risks.
Lead researcher Dr. Sarah Steele, from Queen Mary University of London, said: “Potential buyers should be made aware that no scientific study evidences that direct adult consumption of human milk for medicinal properties offers anything more than a placebo effect.”
According to The Guardian, Steele said “she feared that babies would die from unscreened milk sold online if the market was not regulated. In one of the studies she cited, more than 90% of breast milk purchased online was found to have bacterial growth. Some of the sellers interviewed included intravenous drug users.”
The fact is, in a nutritional sense, there is more protein in cow’s milk than breast milk.
Steele said in a statement: “Human breast milk is potentially very hazardous if used to replace a healthy, balanced diet.”
Why men are drinking breast milk:
Unregulated websites selling breast milk attract tens of thousands of users in the U.S., the research found. One site reported growing by 800 users each month. It also reported an emerging market in the U.K. on specialist sites, as well as general retail sites, including Gumtree and Craigslist. Premium prices of up $4 (£2.70) per fluid ounce (30 ml) are offered by mothers who purport to eat only organic or vegan food, or can boast having “fat, chubby babies,” the researchers found, wrote The Guardian.
Scientific study—folks gotta lay off that breast milk:
The online market started for mothers who could not breastfeed their babies for a variety of reasons, which is serving as a cheaper alternative than the regulated milk banks—the milk at these banks is always pasteurized.
Steele explains: “When sellers freeze milk and send it in the mail, it thaws out. That’s when bacteria has time to grow and becomes really dangerous, especially for infants.”
The editorial that was published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, also said that the lack of pasteurization and no testing not only indicates that there is a bacterial risk, but this also exposes consumers to a host of infectious diseases, including hepatitis, HIV, and syphilis.
“While many online mums claim they have been tested for viruses during pregnancy, many do not realize that serological screening needs to be undertaken regularly,” said Dr Steele.
Study finds cow milk is added to breast milk and sold to parents online:
“Sexual and other activities… may expose the women to viruses that they may unwittingly pass on to consumers,” Dr Steele added.
The paper concludes: “Although breast milk holds many known benefits, seeking out another’s milk rather than turning to instant formula poses risks. When breast milk is screened and treated appropriately, as the World Health Organisation states, it remains second to a mother’s own milk as best for infant feeding. At present, milk bought online is a far from ideal alternative, exposing infants and other consumers to microbiological and chemical agents. Urgent action is required to make this market safer.”