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What Is a Placenta Treatment?

Studies conducted on laboratory rats have shown that injections of placenta can help repair damaged liver tissue.
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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2014
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Placenta treatment is a type of alternative medicine that is used in a number of Asian nations. The treatment consists of injecting placental material, harvested either from a human or an animal, into a human patient’s bloodstream. Many people claim that injections offer numerous health benefits, including increased energy, relief from the symptoms of menopause, and repair to damaged liver tissue. Though there is little medical evidence to confirm the health benefits of placenta treatment in human patients and some evidence that there may be health risks associated with its use, many people continue to receive it.

Before placenta treatment is administered to a patient, the placental material is processed to make it safer for human use. Placenta, which can be extracted from an animal or from a human who has just given birth, is chemically altered, purified, and sterilized to render some of the proteins inactive and eliminate a number of blood borne diseases. The placenta is also tested, if it comes from a human donor, to make sure that no serious human diseases are present, such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis.

Despite the measures taken to ensure that placenta treatment is safe, many doctors, in 2011, are skeptical about its use in humans. In Japan, people who have undergone placenta treatment are not allowed to donate blood. In many other countries, the treatment is not approved as safe or is even outlawed by the government.

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The hormones, immune cells, and other materials present in placenta nourish the growing fetus. It is believed by those who receive placenta treatment that these enzymes and molecules can provide health benefits to humans who receive injections of placenta. Studies conducted on laboratory rats have shown that injections of placenta can help repair damaged liver tissue, and though trials have not been conducted in human patients, the treatment is often prescribed for that purpose. Initial studies also suggest that injections of placenta may boost energy and lessen the symptoms of menopause in humans.

Despite the fact that many people believe placenta treatment to be a panacea for a variety of problems, there is little medical evidence to support its usefulness. Anecdotal reports, preliminary tests on human subjects, and tests on animals indicate that the treatment may have some limited effects on human subjects. More testing is needed to evaluate both the safety of the treatment and its efficacy.

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stoneMason
Post 3

@SarahGen-- Yep, placenta treatments are used for various different things and they're becoming more and more popular. It's a trend among the rich now to use various placenta treatments to prevent aging.

SarahGen
Post 2

I thought that the article was about the injection given after birth to deliver placenta when it has a tendency to stay behind during birth. I had to have one after I delivered my baby.

This is the first time I'm hearing about a placenta treatment injection. I've heard of placenta supplements. Some women have their placenta made into capsule supplements after birth. That doesn't sound too bad, but I don't think I would want to get a placenta injection.

Proponents say that placenta helps new mothers recover faster and it's supposed to help prevent postpartum depression. I wasn't aware that other people use placenta treatments.

fBoyle
Post 1
Do placenta injections contain the hormones normally found in placenta?

If so, I think that may be harmful, especially for men and children. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone can cause many issues. I've heard that some young girls who used placenta hair products suffered from early maturity due to the estrogen. Their breasts grew and they had their menstruation earlier. Even in an adult female, these hormones will cause a hormonal imbalance.

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