Published: 2018-05-25

Placentophagy: a controversial trend

Cleofina B. Bosco, Eugenia G. Díaz


This work presents the latest scientific results of research in placenta, highlighting the description of the organ’s associated microbiotic, whose possible deleterious effects will be of greater magnitude in a hemomonochorial placental barrier, as is the case in the human species. We want to make solid scientific evidence available to Health Professionals in the delivery and post-delivery care area, so that they may adequately inform their patients that the supposed benefits of the placentophagy are not supported by scientific studies. On the contrary, they are based on misguided popular beliefs spread on social media and untrustworthy maternity/health blogs and internet pages. None of these sources warn mothers about the fact that placentophagy involves a potential risk of exposure of the baby to vertically transmitted infections, risk of the mother developing a thromboembolism due to the estrogen content in the organ, or that the accumulation of heavy metals and/or environmental toxins in the placenta could prove poisonous to mother and baby. It is also of great concern that the presence of normal prions in the placenta has been reported lately, because, normal prions can be transformed into the infective forms albeit by a mechanism that yet remains unclear. This adds another risk to those previously described. Therefore, it is imperative that Health Professionals warn their patients that placentophagy is not a safe practice and can constitute unnecessary risks for both mother and baby.


Amyloidosis and placental prions, Microbiotic, Placentophagy, Placental barrier

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