Adults are drinking breast milk as a fitness supplement in the latest health food trend

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Image: Body builders are now drinking breast milk. Really

Photo: Jamieanne/ CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: jamieanne

Goodbye protein shakes, the trendy new drink in the bodybuilding world is breast milk. Seriously.

 

According to reports from the US, adults are now drinking breast milk as a health and fitness supplement (the demand is so high that a Michigan woman sold her extra breast milk on Craigslist to the highest bidder) and there are whispers that the UK might be getting a taste for it, too.

 

Only The Breast carries classified adverts in both the UK and US for men seeking breast milk for “health and workout purposes” and women who are willing to supply them for upwards of £2 per 30ml.

 

While we all know that breast milk contains vitamins and nutrients that benefit babies, is the hype for this latest health trend justified?

 

Not quite.

 

While bodybuilders claim that drinking the white stuff can help add bulk more effectively and is beneficial to strength training, there is no evidence to back up these claims and medical professionals have said that the milk doesn't hold the same worth for adults.  

 

Dr Jacques Mortiz told ABC News: “There is nothing specific in breast milk that will cause adults to gain muscle mass.”

 

The British Nutrition Foundation told The Telegraph: “Breast milk is designed specifically to match a baby’s requirements and has all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals they need to grow … it is not designed to support adult health.” 

 

In fact, breast milk could be doing more harm than good.

 

An article published in the journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in June 2015 warned that buying breast milk online was dangerous since the milk was unpasteurised and potentially exposed consumers to various types of bacteria.

 

Dr Sarah Steele, a lecturer at Queen Mary University in London and one of the authors of the report, said that consuming breast milk bought online could even put people at risk of contracting viruses including hepatitis, syphilis and HIV.

 

And it's not only bodybuilders who have bought into the breast milk craze: cancer patients and foodies are also lapping it up, convinced that breast milk is an all-natural, protein-packed "superfood".

 

"For cancer patients and other immuno-compromised people, the immune system is not functioning the same as in a healthy adult," explained Dr Steele.

 

"It is advertised with an immune benefit, but actually it poses real risks, and you're exposing yourself to bacteria and viruses that could complicate the medical condition in a dangerous way."

 

We'll stick to the semi-skinned, thank you.