Be cautious of online breast milk, experts warn the public

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In California and New York, the sale of breast milk is illegal. (Courtesy of Human Milk Banking Association of North America)

Doctors have given warning to adults regarding human breast milk consumption available in the online market. Lots of consumers are buying into such claim that human breast milk contains immune-building properties, making it easier to digest than cow’s milk and can even cure cancer.

According to Dr. Sarah Steele of the Queen Mary University of London in a Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, human breast milk has lots of health risks, CBS News reported.

“Human Breast Milk is not delivering the nutritional benefit it touts online. [For adults] nutritionally there is less protein in breast milk than other milk like cow’s milk”, told Steele to CBS News.

Breastmilk contains the protein alpha-lactalbumin that is readily digestible for the baby’s tummy as oppose to casein which is the major protein in cow’s milk, naturally intended for a calf.

She emphasized that human breast milk has extraordinary nutritional benefits for infants, however, the case is different among adults since breast milk is broken down differently in an adult’s gut.

She also warns consumers about the false claims and dangerous impurities that the online sellers continuously advertise. She said that unwanted impurities like alcohol, the everyday food we consume, illicit drugs and even prescription medications can affect the milk’s quality. Given the e-commerce setting, confirming the sources of the supply could be very problematic.

“While many online moms claim they have been tested for viruses during pregnancy…sexual and other activities in the postpartum period may expose the woman expressing to viruses that they may unwittingly pass on to consumers of the milk”, Steele added.

Breast milk is recommended by experts for babies 0- 24 months old as it is specially tailored for the baby’s need. It provides the right balance and composition of vitamins and nutrients with high bioavailability, improves brain development and due to the presence of active antibodies that can protect the baby, as well as prevent early food allergies.

Source: IB Times

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