The placenta is linked to the unborn infant’s blood supply separated from the one of its mother. The umbilical cord links the placenta to the baby. Nutrients and oxygen from the mother’s blood reach the baby and waste products coming from the baby reach the mother’s blood stream through the placenta.
It is believed that the placenta has vitamins and that is a reason why eating it should be beneficial for a woman’s health. So the practice of eating placenta has increased in recent years. However a research conducted at Northwest University proved that there are no benefits from it. It is said that if women eat the placenta either cooked, raw or encapsulated this will help them decrease post-delivery pain, it protects them against depression, enhances maternal bonding, aids lactation, increases the amount of iron in the body and it boosts energy and skin elasticity.
A new study published in the journal Archives of Women’s Mental Health investigated ten published researchers about placenta eating and they could not find any data which indicates that eating it is beneficial. The researchers involved in this study also remarked that no studies analyzed the risks of placentophagy so far.
A study from 2013 reported that a significant number of women involved in the research really felt more energetic after ingesting placenta and said that they would do it again. However the placenta which they consumed was in the form of capsules. The situation is different with the actual organ placenta.
Since the placenta protects the fetus from pollutants and toxins by absorbing them scientists say that the placenta tissues can have viruses or bacteria after birth. The lead author of the study psychologist Cynthia Coyle from the Northwest University said:
„Women who may otherwise be very careful about what they are putting into their bodies during pregnancy and nursing, are willing to ingest something without evidence of its benefits and, more importantly, of its potential risks to themselves and their nursing infants.”
She also added that since there are no regulations to how the placenta should be stored, prepared and dosed mothers have no idea what they are eating. Women do not follow physician’s advices when eating placenta, but they just do what is said in media reports, and on blog and websites. The authors of the study declared that further research is needed in order to determine what the placenta contains.
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