Kamis, 19 Juli 2007

Would You Eat Your Placenta?

It’s called placentophagy (or placentophagia). There are no statistics on the percentage of new moms who do it, but there are a surprising number of references to it on the Web. There are even recipes for preparing placenta – placenta pills; placenta blended with V8 juice; placenta sauteed with olive oil and garlic; placentaburger; placenta lasagna; even placenta smoothies! Maybe I'm just not adventurous, but I think I'll pass on this one.

Proponents argue that most mammals eat their placenta (true, but what’s the relevance?) and that eating the placenta confers nutritional or health benefits to the new mom, including reduction of post-partum pain, depression and bleeding (largely untested). There are lots of anecdotal testimonials from new moms who say they feel just great after eating portions of their placenta. But hey, if you’re willing to chow down on your placenta in the first place based solely on your belief system, is it any surprise that you would report feeling better afterwards? There are even fathers trying it. Call me a skeptic, but what would it do for the father?

Eating raw human blood products could increase the risk of contracting hepatitis B, C, and HIV. And anyone thinking about frying up some placenta for its alleged health benefits should know that there are plenty of other ways (pharmaceutical drugs, hormones, and vitamin pills) to reduce post-partum pain, bleeding, and depression, or to maintain good post-partum nutrition.

Instructors could use this topic to explain the difference between belief and scientific evidence; between anecdote and statistically significant data. They could also have students research the topic, bring in statements about the health benefits of eating the placenta, and then discuss (or vote) on whether the statements are closer to “belief/anecdote” or to “science/data” so they can begin to see the differences. Who knows, they might even find that there is some good scientific evidence out there that I am not aware of.

0 komentar:

Posting Komentar

Copyright 2010 Biology Blog Education. All rights reserved.
Themes by Ex Templates Blogger Templates l Home Recordings l Studio Rekaman