Eating the placenta provides no mental health benefits for new mothers, suggests new research from the BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Research Institute and the University of British Columbia. The study, published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, is the largest so far to look at the effects of eating one’s placenta—a practice known as placentophagy. Researchers used data from a 10-year genetic study involving 138 women with a history of mood disorders, and compared outcomes of those who had eaten their placenta to those who had not.
Eating one’s placenta following childbirth is a growing trend, with celebrities claiming that the practice provided them with health benefits, including preventing postpartum depression. However, previous studies have shown that consuming the human placenta poses risks for mothers and their babies, including viral and bacterial infections.
The study also showed that women who consumed their placentas did not have more energy, had no increase in their vitamin B12 levels, and required no less lactation assistance than women who did not consume their placentas. More information is available at https://news.ubc.ca/2019/05/02/new-research-suggests-no-mental-health-benefits-to-eating-your-placenta.
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