Breast milk has long been the best way to nourish an infant. However, can it also play a role in providing nutrition and guarding against disease in adults as well? It would seem that if it prevents breastfed infants from contracting certain diseases and illness that it just may do the same for others as well. In fact, there are people who are using this controversial form of nourishment to help guard against certain illnesses and even to help fight certain diseases and conditions, like Cancer and Crohn's Disease. So, is there a real benefit?
While there is no documented evidence specifically on using breast milk in adults, there is however, a real possibility that breast milk compounds could cure cancer. In 1995, scientists at Lund University used a compound found in breast milk called human alpha-lactalbumin to kill brain tumor cells in a test tube. It seemed to have worked. The same research team, in 2004, used the breast milk compound to destroy many warts caused by HPV, creating the possibility that it could be used to treat cancer caused by HPV.
Howard Cohen, diagnosed with prostate cancer, drinks breastmilk in smoothies and believes that it has helped put his cancer into remission. A woman named Patty uses breast milk to help treat her 15 year old son for Crohn's disease. She claims that using the breastmilk has helped to control her son's dietary habits and other symptoms, so that he could again return to a normal weight. Many Crohn's patients suffer weight loss from frequent bowel movements and other dietary symptoms.
Many believe breast milk can heal or help conditions such as cancer, Crohn's disease, infections, rashes, and more. Breast milk is already used by many as a topical agent for many different skin ailments, however drinking it beyond the infant stage is not widely discussed.
The main risk that comes to mind for the use of breast milk by adults is that if the milk was used from an unknown source, there might be a risk of catching a disease if the woman who supplied the milk had a disease. There could be other risks, but since little to no scientific study has been done on adults using breast milk, it would be impossible to say for sure what other risks may be present.
Another problem lies in the fact that even if an adult has the need for breast milk and knows someone who is lactating, they may not be comfortable asking that person and if they do ask that person, she may not always be willing to donate her milk for that purpose. That's when the adult has to seek out alternatives like milk banks, which may or not provide breastmilk to an adult with or without a prescription. Also, if they do get the breast milk from a milk bank, they do not know the source or whether she had diseases or not. Milk banks will screen their donors. However, as with any test, there is risk of inaccuracies.
That said, the main possible risks regarding health is the fact that risks are unknown, coupled with the fact that some diseases might be undetected and be spread through the breast milk.
Why Not Try It?
Some people might be hesitant to do this for many reasons. Fear of ridicule could cause a hindrance for many people. Fear of the unknown could be another possible reason for people not wanting to try this. Still others might just be grossed out even by the thought of it. They may think it is either unsanitary or just eerie. There could be many reasons a person might not want to try this. Also, there is the lack of convenience, as there are very few breast milk banks willing to provide breast milk for adults with prescriptions. Most breast milk banks supply only to preemies or infants with otherwise weakened immune systems.
When deciding whether or not this is an option for you, all factors must be considered. Think about whether this will gross you out, whether what your family and friends think will matter to you, and weigh all the risks associated with doing this. Also, a medical professional should always be consulted in your decision. Not only will the medical professional tell you if it's needed and whether it's right for you or not, but in most instances, you cannot be supplied with the breastmilk without a prescription. Whatever decision you choose, be sure you are comfortable with it and any situation that may arise from the choice you have made.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Whole Body Health, Healing, & Medicine Journal
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