Health

Experts Working On ‘Breast Milk’ As Potential Treatment For Coronavirus

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Breast milk for Coronavirus
Lactating mothers in the New York City area, as well as around the country, are signing up for a study that may lead to a breakthrough in finding a treatment for the coronavirus.

Dr. Rebecca Powell, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is actively gathering breast milk to study the antibodies.

She put out an online call for volunteers in early April and says she’s been inundated with responses—right now there are about 900 women involved and she expects that number will continue to grow.

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“The hypotheses is generally that there would be antibodies in the milk against COVID-19 because there is some proportion of antibodies in milk that comes from blood,” explains Dr. Powell.

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“We hope that the antibody levels are high and have protective function. This is important for breastfed babies, obviously, Beyond that, if there are high levels of protective antibodies, those antibodies could be purified and used in treatments in severe cases of COVID-19.”

She cautions that she’s not talking about people buying breast milk off the Internet and drinking it. “I’m don’t recommend anyone to buy bodily fluids online and ingest them. Any bodily fluid can also carry other illnesses. I’m talking about purifying specific antibodies from the milk and using therapeutically.”

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Dr. Powell’s research is similar to current studies on the antibodies of blood plasma, but the collection of breast milk is non-invasive and looks at a particular population—lactating women.

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