Organs and glandulars were a staple of our early ancestors' diets as the ultimate superfood, for good reason. It turns out, this nourishing tradition is backed by science... "Radioisotope labeling studies in animals have shown conclusively that, when eaten, organs and glands selectively travel to the corresponding organs and glands in high concentrations. This research, done at the University of Scotland in Edinburgh, lends credence to the ancient practice of eating animal organs to help ensure health in one’s corresponding organs..." - Dr. Ron Schmid, ND.(4)
Placenta is rich in heme iron, vitamins D3, B6, B12, E, selenium, stem cells, growth factors, cytokines, and hormone cofactors. The daily requirements for these essential vitamins and minerals increase during pregnancy, and each plays an important role in speeding postpartum healing, stimulating lactation, and supporting overall health.
Grass Fed Beef Placenta is a rich source of bioavailable heme iron. For women, there is a clear link between low iron status and poor pregnancy outcomes... such as low birth weight, preterm birth, and miscarriages. Iron requirements during pregnancy are considerably higher than usual; yet, over 20% of women in developed countries enter pregnancy with extremely low iron stores, with figures in developing countries likely even higher.
Depending on whether we are female or male, we have about 2-4 grams of iron in our bodies. Iron comes in two forms: heme and non-heme. More than 95% of functional iron in the human body is in the form of heme. Heme iron is only found in animal food sources (muscle meat, organs, blood, etc.). Non-heme iron is found in plant foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and leafy greens. Heme iron is more bioavailable (absorbed more efficiently) than non-heme iron, thus the body is more likely to absorb iron from animal products than iron derived from plant foods.
If you are interested in learning more about heme iron supplementation, be sure to check out our Blood Vitality page and read the section titled Iron Management.
Other than the skin, liver, and kidneys, the only other organ which metabolizes vitamin D is the placenta, where it is synthesized into the active metabolites involved in bone growth and fetal development.
For pregnant women and those planning to become pregnant, vitamin D is of particular importance as it helps to mitigate glucose regulation, develop healthy bones and even helps to tone the uterus – helping the uterus to contract properly during labor. For women suffering from polycystic ovarian disease, vitamin D is helpful as it offers beneficial effects on insulin resistance.
For the good of your placenta and growing baby too, get your daily dose of midday sunshine and enjoy vitamin D-rich foods like Wild Caught Fish Eggs, pastured animal fats (including our Pure Marrow, and Tallow) and raw Grass Fed dairy. One tablespoon of fish eggs supplies even more Vitamin D3 than a midday dose of daily sunshine! This is the vitamin D3 boost that the Inuit and traditional mountain-dwelling tribes of South America used to feed children, pregnant women, and their elders when sunlight was not a readily available option.
Several B-vitamins help the body metabolize fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. They also help the nervous system function properly and are necessary for a healthy liver, skin, hair, and eyes. Grass Fed Beef Placenta is a whole food supplement that is rich in B vitamins, which support fundamental health, positive mental outlook, iron status, immune function, and cardiovascular health.(5)
Grass fed beef organs, including liver and placenta, are some of the richest sources of bioavailable vitamin B6, which is an important catalyst for over 100 different reactions in your body. (6) Pregnant women with low levels of B6 are at high risk to suffer preeclampsia or eclampsia, which is usually also associated with folate and vitamin D deficiency.(7) Vitamin B6 is also an ingredient for all three of the important neurotransmitters in the brain: dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Imbalances of these neurotransmitters are connected with specific symptoms of major depressive disorder and may also contribute to postpartum depression.(8) The human body neither produces nor stores vitamin B6 so it is essential to get enough in your diet every day by eating grass fed beef liver, pasture-raised poultry, wild-caught seafood, and whole food supplements like Grass Fed Beef Placenta.
Vitamin B12 works synergistically with folate to synthesize DNA and red blood cells. It assists in the production of myelin, which protects your nerve cells (neurons) and regulates nerve impulse transmission.(9) Vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy is associated with neural tube defect (NTD) and preterm delivery. That said, many other B12 deficiency symptoms that can occur in anyone including anemia, cognitive decline, memory loss, brain fog, depression, cardiovascular problems, peripheral neuropathy (numbness, tingling, burning in the hands, legs, and feet), impaired immune function, infertility, developmental and learning disabilities. Unfortunately, B12 deficiency is often missed by physicians and diagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
A common myth among vegetarians and vegans is that it’s possible to get B12 from plant sources like seaweed, fermented soy, spirulina, and brewer’s yeast. The truth is, there are almost no vegan sources of vitamin B12. Nearly all seaweed tested has been revealed to contain vitamin B12 analogs (that is, chemically similar) called cobamides that actually block the intake of—and increase the need for—true B12.(10)
B12 is also known as Cobalamin because it contains the trace element cobalt. Cobalamin is produced in the gut of animals and is found almost exclusively in animal foods. Some of the best sources of B12 are liver, clams, oysters, mussels, fish eggs, octopus, crab, lobster, beef, lamb, cheese, and eggs. We can avoid all forms of anemia, cognitive decline, cardiovascular and immune issues simply by consuming the foods of our ancestors.
Selenium deficiency is a modern health issue...common in people worldwide who are dependent on food grown in low-selenium soil, and also those with digestive disorders, HIV, or who are undergoing dialysis. A high serum level of selenium has been shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, and prostate cancer.(11) So you don’t want to mess around with not getting enough.
Due to farming practices, soil conditions, and climate, plant-based sources of this essential mineral are notoriously random, with the actual amount of selenium ranging from 11% to 288% of the recommended daily amount in one study of Brazil nuts.(12) Even in deficient environments, all animals have homeostatic systems to regulate the amount of selenium and other micronutrients in their organs.(13) Grass Fed Beef Placenta is an ideal candidate for a bioavailable whole food dietary source of selenium.
Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF)
The ingestion of placenta produces pain-relieving effects in mammals. According to a recent study, this is due to the ‘Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor’ (POEF) which is present in the placenta of humans and related species.
To be fair, the native inhabitants of North and South America and Ancient Egyptians would not be very impressed with these “modern medical breakthroughs.” Whether the molecular mechanism was perfectly understood is purely academic, our ancestors knew all about the pain-relieving qualities of high-quality animal placenta for thousands of years.
Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone (CRH)
CRH is secreted by the hypothalamus and placenta to release hormones and endorphins which work together to reduce stress and elevate mood. The hypothalamus in the brain is the only source of CRH for most women and all men. During pregnancy, however, the placenta begins to release large amounts of a special kind of CRH to keep the expectant mother’s stress hormones in balance. The placenta increases CRH production threefold during the late stages of pregnancy.(14) Following childbirth, the placenta retains a large amount of CRH, however, the mother’s level now drops to below normal.(15) This is important because CRH stimulates the production of both cortisol and β-endorphin, the latter binds with opioid receptors to elevate mood and relieve stress. Cortisol releases stored glucose, stimulates fat metabolism from adipose tissue and modulates the immune system to maximize the healing response. CRH seems like a good candidate for why consuming placenta may have a positive effect on postpartum depression and stimulating healing after childbirth.(16)
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is essential for the production and maintenance of healthy skin. Consuming Vitamin E rich foods provides our sebum with the raw materials to hydrate and nourish our skin. It's interesting to note that topically applying nourishing fats, like Pure Marrow, can also supply the skin with specific vitamin E forms that we don't absorb when we eat them.
According to the National Institutes of Health, Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that may help reduce free radical damage and slow the aging process of your cells. Vitamin E can also absorb the energy from ultraviolet (UV) light. It plays an important role in photoprotection, preventing UV-induced free radical damage to skin.