Breast milk for adults? Experts are divided on this ‘healing’ trend

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Actresses Tia and Tamera Mowry are taking the term “twinning” to another level.

In an Instagram video posted Thursday, Tamera revealed that she was drinking her sister’s breast milk in an effort to boost her immune system.

“Your breast milk is the best milk I’ve ever tried in my life!” Tamera exclaimed in the video.

READ MORE: Sharing breast milk: Should you ever nurse someone else’s baby?

According to Tia, who also shared the video, Tamera was “desperate for some healing.”

“[Tamera is] sicky poo and I sent her an article on breast milk has healing properties and was okay with drinking my breast milk,” Tia said in her caption. “P.s., she’s had some before and I mean, she’s my twin.”
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Tia gave birth to her daughter Cairo nine months ago.

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Well, I do feel better 🤷🏽‍♀️

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The Mowry sisters aren’t the first to test the power of human breast milk.

In an episode of Kourtney & Kim Take Miami, Kim Kardashian tried both drinking and rubbing sister Kourtney Kardashian’s breast milk into her skin in an effort to ease her psoriasis.

The skin condition causes red, itchy, scaly skin, and Kardashian has struggled with it for years.

The National Psoriasis Foundation later debunked this myth, saying there’s no scientific basis for Kardashian’s at-home treatment.

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Other people, like Amber Tamblyn’s husband David Cross, simply like the taste.

After Tamblyn had her first post-birth alcoholic drink, her “next two pumping sessions ended up in my husband’s mouth,” she told People.

Tamblyn says Cross initially only wanted to try it but liked the flavour so much, he drank it all.

Whatever the reason for doing it, drinking human breast milk as an adult has long been a source of controversy for doctors, dietitians and new moms alike.

READ MORE: Flight attendant breastfeeds passenger’s hungry, crying baby mid-flight

Dr. Jack Newman, who founded the International Breastfeeding Centre, believes human milk could have beneficial qualities for adults — especially someone who is sick.

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“There are dozens of various immune factors in a living fluid that will help people fight off infection,” says Newman. That would explain why babies often avoid the infections their mothers catch.

“When the mother is sick with something [like] pneumonia, she produces antibodies towards the particular bacterium or virus that is causing her pneumonia,” Newman says.

When she breastfeeds, she passes some of these protective antibodies to her baby and strengthens their immune system. Newman believes human milk can have the same effect on adults.

“As long as the person providing the milk doesn’t have HIV, then there really isn’t a problem,” Newman says.

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On the contrary, registered dietitian Abby Langer believes drinking human milk can be potentially dangerous for adults.

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“It’s a bodily fluid, and if a person has a communicable disease, then it’s going to come right through the breast milk,” Langer says.

“I would highly caution against it. It’s a biohazard.”

Langer thinks this is just one in a series of unscientific wellness trends to come out of Hollywood.

READ MORE: Study finds breast milk sugar may stop food allergies in babies

“We’re constantly after these healing trends, but [breast milk] has never been proven to be beneficial for adults,” Langer says.

“Of course, we should remain open to new ideas. There are probably a lot of undiscovered cures and remedies in our world, but I also think there’s this push to be shocking.”

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