Creative Commons/Andrew Magill

Top Talker:
In Case You Were Wondering—Some Men Drink Breast Milk

Here’s a thing that you didn’t know was a thing: there are men who drink breast milk because they are convinced it offers health benefits to them.

One man talked about how he gets incredible energy from breast milk. Another said he drinks it for health and nutrition.

“Certain studies have suggested that a compound in breast milk could help fight cancer cells, and researchers are exploring other possibilities for medical use. Mainstream medicine, though, has typically been skeptical of adults drinking breast milk. ‘This is quite bizarre, completely anecdotal and probably complete bunkum,’ said an Oxford pharmacology professor and cancer specialist whom The Telegraph asked about adult cancer patients drinking breast milk. ‘It probably won’t do any harm, but it’s unlikely to do any good either.’”

A lactation consultant said that it’s common for chemotherapy patients to drink breast milk. Some feel that it helps with nausea and since it’s easy to digest, it can help people struggling with chemo and losing weight. However, since it’s designed to feed infants, it has a tenth of the nutrients an adult man would need.

Society is quite suspicious of men who want to drink breast milk. One woman went on a site to donate unused breast milk and was shocked by the number of men looking for it. She second-guessed responses from women, wondering if it was just men trolling for milk.

Related: Ask Rene: My Boyfriend Doesn’t Want Me To Breast-Feed!

When I first read this story, I was completely weirded out by it. Why do I feel this way? It’s not like the men are getting milk directly from the source, which would most definitely be weird. After all, people do take bodily fluids and even organs from other people. Most of us have, at some point in our lives, consumed cow’s milk. When you think about it, is it any less strange to drink milk from an animal after the age of 2?

Most of my revulsion comes from consuming a body fluid that contains who knows what. I question the safety of buying breast milk from the Internet. The buyer is just taking the word of the seller that she’s healthy, but as the article points out, the New York Times reported that “64 percent of the samples from milk-sharing sites were contaminated with staph, 36 percent with strep, and almost three-quarters with other bacterial species. Seventy-four percent of the samples would have failed milk bank criteria.”

I went to one of the websites that brings milk buyers and sellers together. There was a section specifically for men looking for breast milk. I clicked on the ads and wondered if some of the buyers thought they were on a dating site. Some ads said things like “single professional man looking for breast milk” and “man seeking woman who can provide fresh breast milk on demand.”

Reputable milk banks provide breast milk to critically ill babies in neonatal intensive care units. Maybe I wish all healthy breast milk went for the purpose of feeding babies. I do understand that in our free market capitalist society, people can buy, sell, and trade almost anything. Does that mean they should?

Related:Top Talker: Should Breastfeeding Be The Law?

What do you think about men who drink breast milk? To each his own? Share your thoughts below.