HEADLINES Published June19, 2015 By Bernadette Strong

Human Breast Milk Is Not a Superfood (Unless You Are a Baby)

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Breast milk is best for babies, but does not help adults, and buying it off the internet is not safe.
(Photo : Hulton Archive, Getty Images)

You can buy anything online these days. But along with electronic gizmos and hard-to-find shoe sizes people are offering human breast milk for sale. Although breast milk is considered to be the perfect food for babies and children under age 2, there is no evidence that it is helpful in any way for adults and buying it off the internet is not a particularly safe way to obtain it, according to an article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Breast milk has long been available through breast milk banks that are set up to help infants whose mothers cannot breastfeed, but many of these online milk sales are not for babies. Adults are buying human breast milk for their own use. Some is bought by people who have a fetish about breast milk. But many are buying breast milk because is being touted as a cure for erectile dysfunction and cancer, among other conditions. Fitness fanatics claim that it can give you a competitive edge, keep you healthy, and ward off diseases.

This demand for has created an odd market of products, including breast milk ice cream and breast milk lollipops.

There is no evidence that human breast milk does anything for an adult's health or works as a treatment for any disease, the article states. Breast milk bought on line can be contaminated, which means it can cause food poisoning. Tests of breast milk bought on line found bacteria in 93% of samples, probably due to contamination from the woman's skin or from improper storage. 

Breast milk can also carry diseases if the woman who supplied it has infections such as cytomegalovirus, hepatitis, syphilis, or HIV.

What is sold may not even be breast milk. Many of the samples tested were found to contain cow's milk or soy milk.

People who sell breast milk for adults also charge a premium. The price for breast milk for adults is as much as four times the cost of breast milk for infants obtained through a milk bank.

You can read the whole article at http://jrs.sagepub.com/content/108/6/208.full

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