Adding placenta to your smoothie is not going to boost your mental health - InfoNews

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Adding placenta to your smoothie is not going to boost your mental health

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
May 02, 2019 - 11:47 AM

There are recipes for smoothies, lasagne and chilli, but no matter how new mothers consume their placenta, it’s not going to improve their mental health after birth, according to a new study by B.C.’s Mental Health Institute and the University of B.C.

In fact, the fad for eating placenta – led by celebrities such as the Kardashians - can be unhealthy, the research institute warns.

“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," Jehannine Austin, the lead investigator of the study, said in a news release.

“But there has been no research evidence showing that it really works. Given the health risks associated with consuming your placenta, and the absence of detectable benefits, we strongly recommend women do not.”

The practice of eating placenta is called placentophagy. While some animals consume their own placenta, and there are early historical references, placentophagy really started gaining traction in North America in the 1970s, according to Wikipedia.

There have been a number of earlier studies debunking the health benefits, but there have also been recipe guides including a 2015 article in Women’s Health magazine headlined: “4 Ways to Eat Your Placenta … it’s what’s for dinner!” It includes the recipes for smoothies, lasagne and chilli.

The B.C study was conducted by the B.C. Mental Health and Substance Use Services’ Research Institute and UBC, and was published online today, May 2, in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada. It used data from a 10-year genetic study involving 138 women.

Instead of eating placenta, Austin advises women who are concerned about postpartum depression to talk to health care workers or go online to sites like the Pacific Post Partum Support Society.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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