Breast milk is the only form of food provided to children for months after they are born and is known to be the primary and only source of nutrition for them. As breast milk is very nutrient-dense, and healthy for the baby, many people believe that it will have the same effect on an adult’s body as well. According to the USDA, 8 ounces of human breast milk contains about 2.5 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, 172 calories and 16 grams of carbs decidedly less protein per ounce than cow’s milk. But bodybuilders know this. It’s not the protein they’re after; it’s the human growth hormone present in human breast milk. Insulin-like growth factor, or IGF, shortens recovery time by growing and repairing muscle tissues at a rapid rate.
This is not the first time that breast milk consumption among adults has become popular. As far as the positive health effects on breast milk on adults are concerned, some researchers have found that breast milk contains compounds that can help in the treatment of arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and autism, in grown adults. It is full of nutrients, but those nutrients are meant for a growing baby, and not a full-grown adult. People who want to build muscle without the use of steroids turn to breast milk, thinking it will give them all the energy they need. Breast milk is also known to contain “good calories”, which can help in weight management. However, according to Elisa Zied, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York, “There is no evidence that breast milk has a protective role in the health of adults.”
One of the key factors that need to be looked at when we talk about breast milk consumption among adults, is the availability of breast milk. As the trend of consumption of breast milk by adults, especially grown men increased, it gave rise to an online market for the purchase and sale of breast milk. However, experts have some serious concerns about the milk sold through the medium and believe it can do more harm than good.
Breast milk contains the “perfect combination of proteins, fats, vitamins and carbohydrates” for the development of a newborn. However, this does not hold true for adults, as the way the bodies of an adult and a newborn accept and synthesise these nutrients, differs drastically. The way these nutrients are broken down and absorbed by the body of a newborn and an adult is very different. Not only can buying breast milk from online sources be very risky as it can be infected, stale, and have other issues, its consumption may not benefit adults at all, and may, in fact, cause digestive troubles.A healthy diet and proper exercise are key to building a healthy, fit body. Any consumption of such food should only be done in consultation with a medical professional.