Till today, researchers have said that placenta consumption post birth has several benefits including improved breast milk supply, faster recovery, prevents postpartum depression. However, a new study by researchers from the Northwestern Univeristy have claimed that not only consuming placenta has no benefits but it might dangerous for health as well.
Eating own placenta has been in trend. In fact, many celebrities claim that eating placenta made them feel rejuvenated and made their recovery easier. Researchers say that easiest way to consume placenta is to encapsulate it and swallow it in a pill. Since, the placenta contains high amount of fatty acid prostaglandin, it helps in faster shrinking of uterus while the presence of oxytocin improves mood and milk production.
“We found that women most frequently chose to engage in placentophagy for the perceived benefit of improved mood and energy recovery,” study author Dr. Crystal Clark, a psychiatrist specializing in reproduction-related mood disorders. “But when we looked at the animal studies, we were not able to find evidence that supported any of the health claims.”
Researchers examined nearly all the studies published on benefits on placentophagy in the past and found no clear evidence that claimed benefits of eating own placenta are real. In addition, researchers were astonished to know that no study has been conducted on negative effects of eating placenta. In fact, it might pose some serious threat to health that has gone unnoticed by scientists.
Clark further added that most of the women don not consult their physicians thus, poses risk of unknown negatives of consuming placenta. In the study, Clark found that post-birth placenta contains several nutrients which are retained by the body. In addition, it also contains harmful substances like mercury and lead which might be dangerous for the health of mother and baby as well.
Co-author Dr Cynthia Coyle said that most women don’t exactly know what they are eating. Also, there aren’t any standard regulations or guidelines to store placenta and prepare the dose. Dr Coyle raised her concern towards women who are so conscious and selective towards their food during pregnancy and are willing to eat something post birth without any evidence of its benefits.
Moreover, researchers believe that more research is required to find the benefits and negatives of eating own’s placenta post birth. However, researchers raised their concern towards the one-sided view of people regarding the placenta.