A new study is debunking common health recommendations for mothers to eat their placenta after birth. (Pxhere photo)

HEALTH AND SCIENCE

Eating your placenta can do more harm than good: B.C. study

Celebrities like Mayim Bialik, Blac Chyna, and Hilary Duff have all spoken highly of placentophagy

Mothers eating their placenta post-birth has become a growing fad, raved about by celebrities like Kim Kardashian. But a new B.C. study suggests there is next to no mental or physical health benefits.

Researchers with BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services and the University of British Columbia conducted the largest study to date looking at the effects of eating one’s placenta, which is also known as placentophagy. The placenta is a blood-rich organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy, and is how a fetus receives nutrition and oxygen to grow.

“When you ask women why they’re consuming their placenta, many will say that they think it will help improve their mood in the postpartum period,” said Jehannine Austin, executive director of the health agency’s research institute, in a news release Thursday.

“But there has been no research evidence showing that it really works, and our new study adds weight to this idea.”

The placenta can be consumed raw or dried and is most commonly made into capsules.

The practice has existed in Chinese medicine for centuries and is promoted in parts of India and elsewhere. Apes, monkeys, rodents and bunnies are some of the many animals who eat the placenta post-birth.

Over recent years, many celebrities from the Kardashian clan to actress Alicia Silverstone have claimed the practice boosted their physical and mental health, but studies suggest it actually poses risks for mothers and babies, such as viral and bacterial infections.

ALSO READ: Drugs containing placenta seized from Richmond beauty shop

ALSO READ: B.C. pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

The B.C.-based study used data from a 10-year genetic survey involving 138 women who had a history of mood disorders. Researchers compared the outcomes between those who had eaten their placenta and those who had not.

In addition to the lack of health improvement, women who ate the placenta also didn’t have more energy or higher vitamin B12 levels. Some also still struggled with lactation.

Austin recommended that women who are concerned about postpartum depression speak with their doctor, midwife or public health nurse.

Womencan also access services through the Pacific Post Partum Support Society and the Reproductive Mental Health program at BC Children’s Hospital.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Island community scurrying to ban rat poisons

In-house municipal ban ‘small but important first step’ to protect wildlife, Saanich councillor says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Victoria Clipper suspends services through April 2021

International travel restrictions, COVID-19 uncertainty lead to decision

Vancouver Island family loses everything after house fire next door

Friends of Paula and Clifford Lucas are raising funds to help the young family

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Two taken to hospital after Island Highway crash near Cobble Hill

Vehicles damaged, drivers taken to hospital as incident south of Duncan temporarily snarls traffic

Owner of Langford construction company gets nine months for sexual assault

Kyle Mostowy already spent time in prison for sexually assaulting employees

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Province announces plans for permanent supportive housing at four Nanaimo sites

B.C. ministry and City of Nanaimo partnering on 190 supportive housing units

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Most Read