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

The conflicting ideas of economy and ecology examined in Ellingsen’s work

Artist talk for photographic exhibition The Last Stand is part of this weekend’s Art & Earth Festival

PHOTOS: Storm split weekend effort at the Brindy

After home stand, Campbell River to head on the road Saturday

Global Climate Strike comes to Campbell River

Rally and march to be held at Spirit Square on Sept. 20

NIC Artist Talk Series to kick off with abstract artist

Vancouver-based Fiona Ackerman to speak at Comox Valley campus on Sept. 26

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Vancouver Island man bikes through B.C. Interior for mental health, addiction awareness

Vancouver Island Resident Mat Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Most Read