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An underground market exists online for adults looking to buy breast milk (some people are charging up to $20 dollars for just 8 ounces), but there may be safety concerns about consuming a stranger's breast milk.
Experts say some samples of breastmilk bought online tested with such high bacterial concentration counts that the fluid was comparable to sewer water. Experts also note there is very little evidence that when an adult drinks breast milk that it provides any health or fitness benefits.
Fitness fanatic Jameson says he began drinking breast milk after seeing a video online about another bodybuilder consuming it and he started drinking the milk of his wife. He drank it straight or added it to his protein shakes. He describes the taste as sometimes "soapy." He believes it helped him feel better, improve his skin and build more muscle. He even bought milk from a friend when he was not able to drink the milk from the mother of his kids after they separated. He was spending roughly $200 dollars a month on breast milk.
Public health policy and management nurse Pauline Sakamoto, who works with Mothers’ Milk Bank, warns there is no quality control when someone is buying breast milk online from a stranger. She says in a study, 75 percent of the samples of the breast milk bought online had large amounts of bacteria contamination and some samples contained cow's milk. She also warns that shipping breast milk can contaminate it. She tells The Doctors buying breast milk online is "problematic."
Additionally, CBS News previously reported on the claim that breast milk builds muscle in adults and noted breast milk contains less protein than cow's milk, and while it is very beneficial to babies, "The nutritional benefits in breast milk get broken down differently in the gut of an infant than they do in the digestive system of an adult." CBS News also noted there is the potential for "bacterial food-borne illnesses if the milk is not properly sanitized or stored, and infectious diseases including hepatitis, HIV, and syphilis."
Despite these risks, Jameson (who says he is not currently consuming breast milk) still believes there are benefits to it and will not rule it out.
Find out how moms with an oversupply of breast milk can safely donate to babies (not bodybuilders!) in need, here.