Should Adults Consume Breast Milk?
A lot of the information out there on whether breast milk is good for adults is anecdotal. Don’t let that sway you to the nay sayers though. There are many who swear by its potent health benefits beyond childhood.
Medical research has been underway as early as the 20th century. Scientist studied components of human milk against illnesses such as Crohn’s, Arthritis and even Cancer. There are legitimate reasons why it could benefit adults too, unfortunately there is not enough research to back up the claims. yet.
If you are eager to try human breast milk before society has normalized its use, you absolutely can. There are multiple platforms online that connects lactating women with customers seeking this liquid gold. The benefits they believe it may have for their life makes it worth the risks. You can read more about potential risks of consuming breast milk further down in this post.
Popular Uses of Breast Milk By Adults
The use of breast milk by adults in the 21st century is seen as a fad. Mainly because ‘s not readily accessible at your nearest grocery store. Based on what we know about breast milk though, there are many beneficial things you can do with it. (Check out some here). Even if you don’t see the expected results, it definitely does not hurt.
Lets look at some common fads surrounding the use of breast milk by adults:
- Adults are using breast milk to moisturize skin. Its potent properties which include lauric acid helps moisturize skin, control oil, reduce redness and acne.
- Particular demand for breast milk among body builders. (article). Yes, some body builders like drinking breast milk to build muscle and stay healthy. They argue that it’s the most natural and powerful body booster out there. Many will buy breast milk off of websites such as OnlyTheBreast.com.
- Breast milk as energy beverage is another popular use, mainly among men in the fitness world. Because breast milk is incredibly calorie and nutrient dense, it’s thought to have a positive effect on adult energy.
- Used by some to improve health when battling immune disorders. Research on this is still in the early stages and controversial. There are few instances where a physician has subscribed breast milk as an alternative treatment, but it’s uncommon. Others seeking this type of alternative treatment have to go via back avenues which is risky. It lacks proper screening by a middle person.
- Then there are those who drink breast milk as a fetish. Buying breast milk online is legal. Some women are willing to give it to buyers who might have unusual uses for it. I guess we all have our quirks.
==>You might also be interested in What Is Breast Milk Good For? 17 Surprising Ideas<==
Medical Research Using Breast Milk for Adults
Breast milk is an untapped resource for adults due to lack of research. The few studies we have seen show a promising future for its use in the medical field. There are two main compounds found relating to breast milk in the medical field. That is HAMLET and HMO.
Stands for Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made LEthal to Tumour cells. It is a specific protein that has found to kill tumor cells while leaving healthy cells alone. Studies in this area would greatly improve the experience of chemo therapy treatments in patients.
Research on HAMLET started in Sweden in 1995. Scientist mixed tumor cells with this compound found in breast milk and saw it actively kill cancer cells.
Also, another interesting study to bring up is that of Dr. Howard Cohen in 2004. Dr. Cohen started adding breast milk to his smoothies twice a week. He wanted to see what effects it might have on his current prostate cancer. Amazingly, his prostate cancer started going into remission and as far as I know never came back.
It’s important to note that there were many variables that made this personal experiment more anecdotal than anything else. I personally hope that there is some truth to it. Anything that can help save lives of those affected by cancer is ground breaking. This makes HAMLET worth investing more research into.
Stands for Human Milk Oligosaccharides and is a sugar molecule in breast milk. It’s known to help promote healthy fauna in baby’s intestinal tract and protect them from viral and bacterial pathogens.
There are over 200 structurally different strands of HMO discovered in breast milk. Scientists are meticulously extracting them for further research. The goal is to find out which strands of this compound work best for various illnesses. If successful HMO could help patients with Crohn’s disease, Arthritis and possibly Autism (source).
On a side note, HMO is also what increases survival rate in breast fed babies compared to formula fed babies. Exposing HMO to newborn babies can save lives. This is why it’s quite sensational that in 2016 the first formula with HMO was created. It was introduced to the market under the name Similac® Pro-Advance™.
Risks for Adults Drinking Breast Milk
Overall breast milk is absolutely safe to drink when proper screening has taken place. The best screening you will get is from Milk Banks. However, their purpose is to help babies and will not sell it to just anyone.
When customers go online in search of that liquid gold, the screening process is more controversial. They could inadvertently receive contaminated donor milk and become very sick.
There are websites connecting lactating women and customers wanting to purchase their milk. Even if the women’s intentions are genuine, they could pass on bacterial food borne illnesses as well as infectious diseases. These include hepatitis, syphilis and HIV through her pumped milk (and that last one is quite scary!)
The best way to ensure the milk is not contaminated is to pasteurize it first. (You can actually do this easily at home).
Where Can Adults Find Breast Milk to Consume?
As of Nov 2019, there are 28 milk banks in North America. They are associated with the Human Milk Bank Association of North America (HMBANA). If your baby needs breast milk, contact the Human Milk Banking Association of North America for donated milk. Keep in mind it can only be prescribed for your baby via a hospital.
Adults trying to reap the benefits of breast milk, purchase it online from lactating woman. The screening process is questionable which would have me worried, but the websites look legitimate and it’s a huge business. A few of these websites are OnlyTheBreast.com, TheUnconditionalMom and BreastfeedingMomsUnite.com.
==>Are you considering selling your breast milk? Here is a 5 Step Guide to Increasing your Milk Supply<==
So, Is Breast Milk Good For Adults?
I think it depends on who you ask. It probably also depends on in what way it’s consumed. I think research in the field is valid and I am excited to see what the future holds. As of now though, I’ll leave the breast milk for my kiddo and wait for science to catch up.
Don’t want to donate or sell your extra breast milk? Here are 17 surprising uses that benefit you and baby.
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