Placentophagia: ¿culture or business?

“Eating placenta has not affected the mother”, revealed a study conducted by the University of Nevada

Placentophagia: ¿culture or business?

This investigation came about because “placentophagia” has transformed into one of the most popular practices of women in countries like the United States, Germany, France, Australia and the United Kingdom. According to many experts, consuming the placenta is good for lactation, it prevents postpartum depression, and accelerates healing, but others strongly disagree.

However, researchers of the study of the University of Nevada studied 12 women who were taking a capsule of placenta for two weeks. Meanwhile, they oversaw fifteen femeles taking a capsule of placebo after giving birth. The result revealed that the “placentophagia had not worked [the way it was expected to] because [there] wasn’t a variation in the level of maternal hormones or in the postpartum state [of the woman]”, explained Daniel Benyshek, lead author of the study.

In spite of the result, the placentophagia seems to come from the similarities between animal’s and human’s way of bearing offsprings. After the female animal gives birth, she will eat the placenta; scientists have stated that said practice is because of its high levels of nutrients which can help in the process of healing.

Due to this, some people believe that engaging in such behavior will also benefit their lives. According to the Huffington Post, “our placenta brings similar analgesic components as that of other species”, but it has not been proven.

In countries like China, the concept of placentophagia was used to cure infertility and sexual impotence, but studies haven’t been conducted to see if it’s just a myth or if it actually benefits those who consume it.

The business of placenta  

The placenta can be eaten in different ways. Some like to take it as a pill, others incorporate it in their milkshakes, while others like to eat it raw. According to CNN, most women prefer to consume it as a pill, but it can be rather expensive.

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Latin American Post | Vivian Viacava

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