Breast Milk Caveat Emptor, Sleep and Alzheimer’s


Apparently buying someone else’s breast milk over the internet is a real thing. I had no idea. The folks at the journal Pediatrics are more on the ball than I and just published a study analyzing human breast milk samples purchased from an unnamed “popular website”. They compared the internet samples to unpasteurized samples from the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, which, apparently, is also a thing. What they found was pretty unsettling. The internet samples were twice as likely to contain significant levels of gram-negative bacteria (72% vs. 35%) and 2.5 times as likely to contain significant amounts of staphylococcus (63% vs. 25%). Their conclusion is that purchasing breast milk online places kids at risk, especially if they are preterm or otherwise medically compromised, and that increased use of lactation support services is needed to address the gap for women who wish to feed their children human milk but who are unable to meet those needs.

Seniors who report poor sleep are more likely to have beta-amyloid plaques on brain scans. Beta-amyloid is the brain marker for Alzheimer’s. We don’t know whether poor sleep leads to plaques or vice versa, but it appears that Ben Franklin’s advice still holds true.

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