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

PHOTO: Add flavour to your weekend with the Chilliwack Garlic Festival

The annual garlicky event runs Saturday and Sunday at Fantasy Farms

Fleeing helicopter that landed in Chilliwack part of major cross-border drug bust: documents

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vedder Rotary trail network in Chilliwack will be closed for five days on the south side

The upgrade will take until Friday so trail users asked to take alternate routes

Chilliwack encouraged to commemorate liberation of Holland

Planning already underway to mark the 75th anniversary of the event

UPDATE: RCMP confirm body of missing Chilliwack senior found

Ethel ‘Grace’ Baranyk had severe dementia

VIDEO: B.C. Mountie killed by drunk driver honoured by memorial playground

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

Border crossings across Lower Mainland seeing lengthy delays

Sumas, Peace Arch and Surrey-Blaine border crossings seeing long wait times

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Most Read