Some celebrities swear by it, but a new study has found eating placenta offers no proven health benefits.

Kourtney Kardashian had her placenta made into pills and admitted she was sad when they ran out.

Yummy…PLACENTA pills! No joke…I will be sad when my placenta pills run out. They are life changing! #benefits #lookitup

A photo posted by Kourtney Kardashian (@kourtneykardash) on

The practice first began in the 1970s but has become more popular recently, with celebs like January Jones and Alicia Silverstone also trying it. 

The supposed benefits of eating placenta is increased energy, help with lactation, improved skin elasticity, iron replenishing, improving mother-baby bonding and combatting postpartum depression and pain.

But a study, published in Archives of Women’s Mental Health, found no data to support any health benefits.


But researchers also found no studies that examined any risks of eating placenta.

“Bacteria and elements such as mercury and lead have been identified in the post-term placenta,” corresponding study author Dr. Crystal Clark told CBS News.

“So if the theory is that we retain nutrients and hormones such as oestrogen and iron that could be beneficial, then the question becomes what harmful substances can also be retained that could harm the mother or the baby if she is breastfeeding,” she said.

The lead author of the study, psychologist Cynthia Cole from Northwestern University in Illinios, also spoke of potential risks of ingesting placenta. 

“Our sense is that women choosing placentophagy, who may otherwise be very careful about what they are putting into their bodies during pregnancy and nursing, are willing to ingest something without evidence of its benefits and, more importantly, of its potential risks to themselves and their nursing infants,” she said.

“There are no regulations as to how the placenta is stored and prepared, and the dosing is inconsistent. Women don’t really know what they are ingesting.”


Researchers from the study recommend talking to doctors before making a decision to eat placenta.

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