An infectious diseases researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York City is currently pooling women volunteers for a clinical study that may lead to finding a cure for corona virus from breast milk.
Dr. Rebecca Powell, assistant professor of medicine and an infectious diseases expert hypothesizes that there would be antibodies in the breast milk against COVID-19 because there is some proportion of antibodies in milk that comes from blood.
“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.”, says Dr. Powell.
In an article published by Forbes describing Dr Powell’s work, around 900 lactating mothers from around New York City have signed up as study participants. Since the online call has been posted, the number of volunteer participants kept on growing including more mothers from all over the United States.
In the same Forbes article, Dr Powell was quoted saying that in her early experiments, she found COVID-19-specific antibodies in the milk. If these experiments can be reproduced, the clinical claims could help combat the current COVID-19 pandemic. Although very promising, the study might take years before actual findings can be published but it’s utility could depend on the approval of the US FDA and medical authorities.
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To be clear, Dr Powell does not recommend people consuming or trading fresh breast milk. It’s not totally safe. In fact, the milk needed further processing to purify and extract the antibodies which can be utilized in the therapy against coronavirus. “I 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.”
Dr Powell is still recruiting participants who are primarily lactating mothers for her study. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. #
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