Grown-ups Still Buying Lots of Breast Milk Online

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Photo: A Carmichael/Getty Images

About a year ago, the Cut told you about men who drink breast milk, whether as a fitness aid, a health elixir, or as part of a fetish. They purchase it on sites that began as communities for women who couldn't produce enough milk for their babies. It appears the black market breast-juice trade is still booming, as researchers in the U.K. felt compelled to issue a warning about the practice.

In an editorial published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, doctors warned that since the sale of breast milk online isn't regulated, there's really no way to tell if your "liquid gold" actually contains things like syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B and C, or other harmful bacteria from using equipment that hasn't been sanitized. Drinking it can be especially risky for people with weakened immune systems (some chemo patients use it to curb nausea). The authors also stressed that the risks definitely outweigh any potential benefits. "Potential buyers should be made aware that no scientific study evidences that direct adult consumption of human milk for medicinal properties offers anything more than a placebo effect," they said in a statement. They're probably not fans of breast-milk ice cream, either.