A study has finally dismissed the notion that some thought was hard fact. While there has been a growing number of celebrities and influential people who feel that placenta is a healthy thing to eat, that actually has a lot of nutritious benefits – the truth is otherwise. The newest scientific paper published on placentophagy found that there are no benefits to eating your own placenta, or for that matter, consuming any placenta. While it might seem barbaric to some, it is something that has grown in popularity, now though, scientists are dismissing it as a tale.
Dr. Crystal Clark, who co-authored the paper and is an assistant professor at Northwestern University pointed out that, “There are a lot of subjective reports from women who perceived benefits, but there hasn’t been any systematic research investigating the benefits or the risk of placenta ingestion.” She went on to point out that, “The studies on mice aren’t translatable into human benefits.”
Sharon Young, of the University of Nevada, who is a Ph.D candidate at the university pointed out that, “While previous research has identified some important areas to direct future studies, the data supporting the benefits of placentophagy for human mothers is limited to anecdotal and self-reported evidence.” This particular study was going after tangible evidence that would suggest the placenta has value, but it came away with none after an extensive look at the benefits and risks of consuming placenta.
Clark went on to point out that most of the benefits that people thought they were gaining from the placenta was so subjective that it became impossible to actually gain results. However, what the research does point out is that there is no negative side-effects of consuming a placenta. So, for those who still feel passionate enough about consuming their placenta after birth – in an effort to recover more quickly – then this option is still available.
The evidence here though, with this particular study, just really reiterates the notion that while there isn’t any negative side-effects – that doesn’t at all mean there are positive side-effects to consuming placenta. In fact, it’s generally found to be useless in the grand scheme of recovering after a pregnancy and giving birth.
While the evidence against it wasn’t black and white, Clark did point out that there are definitely risks. She said, “Bacteria and elements such as mercury and lead have been identified in the post-term placenta.” She went on to point out that, “So if the theory is that we retain nutrients and hormones such as estrogen and iron that could be beneficial, then the question becomes what harmful substances can also be retained that could harm the mother or the baby if she is breastfeeding.”
That portion though, remains completely unsubstantiated in individual studies that have looked directly at that. This remains something that the health world will continue looking into and researching more as more interest comes of this story.