American reality television star Kim Kardashian earlier shocked fans by opting for a vampire facial and is now ready to move on to an even more bizarre fad - eating the placenta of her first child.
The 32-year-old star of Keeping Up with the Kardashians is pregnant with her first child, a daughter. And in the episode of her television show where she revealed the gender of her baby, she also claims she wants to eat the placenta after giving birth.
The episode was the premiere of season eight of the television series and aired on 2 June. Kim Kardashian asked her doctor: "Don't you think it makes you look younger?" Her doctor replied: "Some people believe in that. There are cookbooks on placentas."
Kim Kardashian's mother, present at the time, appeared to be disgusted and stated: "Yuck! I don't think we're going to be eating the fountain of youth, if you know what I mean."
However, a determined Kardashian said she "really wants to do it".
As disturbing as the thought may be, if Kim Kardashian really does eat her own placenta, she won't be the only Hollywood star to follow the practice. Mad Men and X-Men: First Class star January Jones revealed she ate capsules containing dried placenta.
In March 2012, speaking People magazine, Jones said: "Your placenta gets dehydrated and made into vitamins. It's something I was very hesitant about, but we're the only mammals who don't ingest our own placentas ... It's not witch-crafty or anything! I suggest it to all moms!"
Eating Placentas: A Fad?
Although eating placentas appears to be a growing trend, there are studies that show there is no real benefit. In a 2012 article, Dr Mark B Kristal, a scientist with the University of Buffalo, wrote in the Huffington Post, stating: "'Placentophagia' pertains to ingestion of placenta, fluids, and tissues by mothers during delivery. The behaviour, which is almost universal among nonhuman mammals (whales and dolphins are exceptions), is virtually absent in human cultures, past and present."
Kristal also explained human cultures normally show a "strong aversion to placentophagia" and suggested the practice could have been inspired by the use of placentas in traditional Chinese medicine.
However, he stressed: "There is no evidence showing that placentophagia by humans medically or physiologically ameliorates... postpartum depression, 'baby blues' fatigue, lactational insufficiency and hormone deficiencies".
Check out the video of Kim Kardashian and the episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians:
(Video Courtesy: YouTube/Layla TheChi)