Saturday, June 13, 2015

Still No Known Benefits From Eating Placenta

Eight years ago I reported on what was then a relatively new phenomenon - eating one's own placenta (see this blog July 19, 2007.) I pointed out that the reported health benefits of this practice were based on anecdotal reports, meaning that they were scientifically untested. My hope was that some day someone would look into this phenomenon and be able to tell us whether it is just a fad or whether there really is something to it.

Flash forward to the present day. A recent search of the scientific literature on the subject found 49 papers, only 10 of which were deemed of sufficient quality to be included in the final analysis. None of the 10 papers offered conclusive evidence of a health benefit of eating the placenta. The bottom line is that eight years on, there is still no good evidence that eating the placenta after birth has any health benefits at all.

According to the study's authors, the health benefits and risks of eating the placenta "require further investigation." But at this point I'm wondering, why bother - why not just refrain from eating placenta in the first place? Problem solved.

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