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Should Adults Drink Human Breast Milk?

What is the truth?

For some people, drinking human breast milk is a fetish. For others, especially amongst male fitness and bodybuilding types, human breast milk is supposed to be a good source of protein or a boost for the adult immune system. There are also claims that human breast milk can cure cancer, erectile dysfunction, improve athletic performance or work other miracles. The truth? Breast milk does have many benefits. For babies.

When you read about all the amazing things breast milk does for babies, contributing to both physical and mental growth, it does seem like it would translate to adulthood. So there’s no age where breast milk isn’t beneficial. Human breast milk actually contains less protein than cow’s milk, so it’s unlikely to be a perfect source of protein for working out.

More troubling is that human breast milk from adults is often sourced from the black market and can be filled with diseases, contaminants, and poor storage practices. This can lead to everything from a mild case of food poisoning to infectious diseases ranging from syphilis to HIV. To help prevent the spread of disease through breast milk, The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), founded in 1985, screens donors and offers good hygiene practices. But that milk is meant for babies, not grown-ups.

Breast milk is low in protein because it is meant for babies, which don’t need it. Other mammal milks contain higher levels of protein. And any minerals and other nutrients it contains that helps with a workout recovery can likely be found in sports drinks and other supplements.

If you are going to try breast milk and find that it gives you more energy, improves your skin or works any other healthful miracles, you are more likely experiencing the placebo effect, not the wonders of breast milk. And be sure to source responsibly, to be sure to avoid any risks and conditions that could result.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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