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What Is Placenta Extract?

By Christina Edwards
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Placenta extract is a substance removed from a placenta of certain mammals, including humans. Some experts believe this substance has a number of health benefits. Some studies show that this extract can possibly relieve menopause symptoms. Some cosmetics manufacturers also add this extract to hair and skin care products.

In pregnant mammals, the placenta is attached to the uterine wall and passes nutrients and oxygen from the mother to the fetus in her womb. It contains nutrients, hormones, proteins, and other chemical compounds. After a baby is born, the placenta passes out of a mother's uterus. It is also sometimes known as the afterbirth.

Placenta extract may come from several mammals, though human placenta is thought to be the most beneficial. Human placentas can be obtained from hospitals, or a new mother can choose to keep her placenta after giving birth. Placentas from animals like sheep and pigs can be obtained from farms.

Placenta extract can come in a couple forms. It can be put into capsules for oral consumption. It can also be made into a solution that is either injected into a person's body intravenously or dripped onto the tongue.

Certain clinics in Japan offer intravenous drips that contain placenta extract. These drips are believed to help slow the aging process and give a person more energy. The evidence to support this, however, is not considered to be as strong as some make it out to be. In fact, some scientists even believe that this extract may even cause a number of adverse reactions. On the other hand, some research suggests that this extract may help alleviate the symptoms of menopause in middle-aged women.

Several cosmetics manufacturers also add placenta extract to some of their products. Placenta shampoo and conditioner are two popular examples of this. Because it contains so many vitamins and proteins, it is believed that using this substance for hair care can make hair stronger and shinier.

Placenta cream is another example of placenta extract being used in cosmetics. Manufacturers claim this type of cream can help reduce wrinkles and make skin smoother and more supple. Research suggests, however, that some of these creams can cause serious adverse reactions in some individuals, particularly young girls.

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Discussion Comments
By turquoise — On Feb 14, 2014

Placenta products and supplements are very controversial indeed and I've seen some great arguments on both sides of the argument. I think the best way to know what these products are about is to do our own research and to actually try them. It's hard to know whether they really work or not without trying them.

By candyquilt — On Feb 13, 2014

@donasmrs-- I don't know about the long-term side effects of placenta extract. But I've been taking sheep placenta extract for a few months now and I'm very happy with the results. I'm taking it for its anti-aging effects and I think it's working. My skin is looking much better overall. I had lots of fine lines and large pores. My pores have shrunk and the fine lines are less noticeable. I have not even been taking the supplement for very long. So I'm sure that I'm going to get even more results in the near future.

By donasmrs — On Feb 12, 2014

I want to warn women about placenta extract. A close friend of mine had her own placenta made into an extract supplement after birth. Yes, there are actually people who do this and my friend was convinced that the extract would protect her from post-pregnancy depression and other issues. But the results were much different than she expected. She actually fell into depression while on the placenta extract and also developed many other symptoms caused by a hormonal imbalance. She got tested by her gynecologist and they found her estrogen levels to be extremely high.

The truth is that placenta contains a lot of estrogen as well as other hormones. There is a reason why the body throws this out after pregnancy and no it has no benefits. It served its purpose by taking care of the baby and it needs to go after birth.

I think that placenta supplements can be very dangerous. I know that for example, some menopausal women should not take estrogen if they have cysts or fibroids in their breast. Estrogen can cause them to develop into cancer. So please avoid placenta extract, whether it's human placenta extract or animal placenta extract.

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