Consuming Human Breast Milk Sold Online Poses Health Risk – There’s a new trend among body builders, cancer patients, and fitness communities – drinking human breast milk in the hope that it can ward off disease and improve health. Numerous websites have cropped up to allow women who have excess breast milk to sell it online, making it a lucrative business for many.
According to UK researchers, the practice of drinking human breast milk among adults can be extremely hazardous to health. Researchers from the Queen Mary University of London claim that since the milk is unpasteurized, it could carry germs and expose consumers to serious infectious diseases, such as hepatitis, HIV and syphilis.
Dr Sarah Steele, from Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, one of the authors of the study, says that while they don’t have exact numbers, there has been a tremendous growth in the breast milk trading market. Initially, the trade was started to help women who could not produce enough breast milk for their babies, but now the milk is being traded to adult consumers for their ostensible health benefits.
Researchers found that 93% of breast milk sold online contains detectable levels of bacteria due to sanitation issues, such as use of non-sterile equipment for expressing and storing the milk, and personal hygiene. Consumers may also be in danger of contracting any diseases that the sellers may have. Experts also point out that human breast milk has less protein than cow’s milk. The health risks are greater for cancer patients and others whose immune system is already compromised.
The study was published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.