A recent craze for adults to consume human breast milk purchased online has no scientific basis and may pose serious health risks, experts warn.
“Health professionals and regulators both must be aware of this growing trend and issue public guidance against the purchasing of human milk from Internet sources for adult as well as infant feeding, said the authors led by Sarah Steele, from Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London.
Online forums were replete with posts boasting about the immune, recovery, nutritional and muscle building benefits of human milk.
A ‘clean’ super food, it is purported to lead to ‘gains’ in the gym, to help with erectile dysfunction, to be more digestible and to contain positive immune building properties, they wrote in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
However these purported benefits do not stand up clinically or nutritionally, they said.
There is less protein in breast milk than other milks like cow’s milk and chemical and environmental contaminants are known to make their way into breast milk, just like the food chain more broadly.
“The benefits of breast milk are being found in the lab, not in drinking a bottle ordered online from an expressing mum,” they said.