Scientists have studied this unique organ, which is formed together with the child in the womb, thoroughly, but so far incredible myths are told about the placenta and it is attributed non-existent miraculous properties.
What is the placenta
This disc-shaped organ, in its mature form, with a diameter of 15-20 cm and a thickness of 2-3 cm is a 400-600 grams layer of basal membrane and vascular endothelial cells. It really has unique capabilities; it performs gas exchange, excretory, nutritional, hormonal and protective functions for fetal maturation. And after the baby is born, the placenta ceases to function and dies off. But it doesn’t have any special, incredible properties and usually isn’t preserved.
Placenta for Sale
A few years ago, placenta-based rejuvenating creams appeared on the cosmetic market. There are expensive medications that also contain placental elements. Knowing this, almost all future mothers now believe that after giving birth their doctors will take the placenta for free, and then sell it to pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies. After all, it is a real source of youth! But this is a myth. The production of placenta creams and medications is engaged in large corporations, located in European countries, where it is prohibited by law to use human biomaterial. To create their products, these manufacturers buy recycled animal placental tissue, necessarily stripped of all hormonal components.
The Source of Stem Cells
Many women who have given birth tell us that doctors, after cutting the baby’s umbilical cord, carefully preserve the blood inside the placenta to then obtain stem cells from it, again, for sale to Western medical companies.
Umbilical cord blood is indeed a source of hematopoietic and active stem cells. And in some cases, doctors perform cord blood collection, but only by prior arrangement with the woman in labor. For the effective use of this biomaterial compatibility is necessary, so the umbilical cord blood of a newborn may be required primarily by the baby itself, if even during the intrauterine examination there is a suspicion of certain diseases. Also this biomaterial can be used to treat other blood relatives. But in order to harvest umbilical cord blood, the placenta must come out intact and healthy, and the medical institution must have the appropriate capacity. The average Russian maternity hospital has only the capacity to dispose of the waste of operations and some of them – clinical and histological examination of the obtained organ. This is done only when indicated, after which the placenta is disposed of anyway.
A Hollywood Trend
More recently, many tabloids have published tips of Hollywood stars to restore health after pregnancy and childbirth with the help of their own placenta. So actress Gabby Hoffman told journalists that she took her own placenta, froze it in the fridge and now periodically adds it to her diet. After all, this organ is rich in vitamins, amino acids and hormones. It has been consumed in ancient times by Central Asian women, and in the wild, some female animals eat the placenta to recover.
In fact, the eating of the placenta by humans is a true act of cannibalism. Even animals do it involuntarily – either because they have been without food for a long time, or to hide traces of their offspring.
A woman, in order to restore the level of hemoglobin and other important elements in the blood after childbirth should eat beef. Meat from animal muscle fibers, which have been sanitized, will give more strength and will not cause poisoning, unlike the membranous organ, which may have a pathology and retain bacteria in it.
The placenta is indeed unique, but its use in medicine is limited. The main purpose of this human organ is to ensure the normal development and vitality of the fetus and its other uses may be illegal.