New research is also advising obstetricians to discourage their patients from eating the placenta in any form.
A gynaecologist said there is no proof that eating the placenta boost health and that the “practice borders on cannibalism", The Independent reported.
Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Coleen Rooney who have admitted to eating it has created a trend with many new mothers. It has become so popular that a vegan mother caused quite a stir online when she posted an image of her placenta on Facebook, which she later consumed.
In recent times, human placenta is consumed in many forms: raw, cooked, roasted, dehydrated, steamed and dehydrated in capsule form, or in smoothies or other drinks.
The placenta, also known as afterbirth, grows throughout the pregnancy delivering nutrients and oxygen to the baby. It is also where waste passes.
"Medically speaking, the placenta is a waste product," gynaecologist Alex Farr, from the Medical University of Vienne, told The Independent. "After the placenta is genetically part of the newborn, eating the placenta borders on cannibalism," she added.
It does not contain high amounts of nutrients like iron, selenium and zinc that many presume it does. In fact, "heavy metals have been found to accumulate in the placenta during pregnancy", the report stated.
The US Department of Health had reported of a mother who had eaten placenta capsules and suffered a life-threatening blood poisoning. New research is also advising obstetricians to discourage their patients from eating the placenta in any form.
While eating placenta had beneficial effects on animals, further research is needed to understand why.