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Placenta: Pet superfood or not?

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In recent years, controversy has arisen regarding a unique medical trend called placentophagy for its supposed nutritional and health benefits.

This may not be a common procedure that you can find in any pet hospital Virginia Beach yet has been gaining momentum in medical circles and health or nutrition communities.

The process involves the preservation of a mother’s placenta after childbirth and consumed. In the United States, the most common method of placentophagy involves freeze-drying the placenta then processing it into powder form and filled into pills or capsules.

It is natural for mother dogs to eat the placenta, also known as afterbirth, of new-born puppies. Any veterinarian Virginia Beach VA would not hesitate to advise preventing mothers from eating the placenta for health reasons; however, it is advised to not let the dog eat more than two at the time of birth.

Supposed health and nutritional value of placenta

The placenta is an organ that connects the puppy’s embryo to its mother through the uterine wall throughout the gestation period. The placenta is how the unborn puppy receives oxygen and much-needed nutrients for its development, as well as help maintain its normal body temperature. It is also how it effectively removes waste that can contaminate the unborn pup and risk death inside the mother’s womb.

Each puppy is enclosed in individual placenta sacs that is expelled at birth. Placentas that do not get expelled from the mother’s womb can be dangerous to the mother’s health and could result in death.

One prevailing theory suggests that placentas are made up with high concentrations of prostaglandins that aid in cleaning the body during birth and supports the uterus in returning to its original size before gestation. 

Are there studies that support this?

While theories abound regarding the actual health and nutritional benefits of eating the placenta, there are no studies that have been conducted to date that investigates the practice. 

Placentophagy enthusiast Chelsea Werdel said that she is aware about women taking their placent, have it processed and prepared in pill form. Werdel, however, pointed out that the conversion process can be difficult and has not found any peer-reviewed research supporting those claims nor its health benefits especially when taken orally.

Werdel also pointed out that such nutrients could get wasted during the conversion process and lose its potency, whatever the case may be. 

Currently, Werdel said she is seriously involved in the studies investigating how to use the practice as an alternative source of nutrition for pets, at the same time in devising methods of reducing waste and finding solutions to food problems.

Werdel added that her research is still in the early stages and that she is hoping more scientific and credible studies are made to support the theory.

But until then, no pet hospital Virginia Beach may be able to promote the practice for the time being until there is enough scientific evidence to support the practice.