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Daniel C. Benyshek

Professor, Anthropology

Expertise: Diabetes and Obesity, Developmental Origins of Health and Disease , Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition, Human Placentophagy


Daniel C. Benyshek has more than 20 years of experience in medical anthropology. His research focuses on aspects of health and disease which are significantly affected by maternal nutrition. One line of research in this area explores key maternal dietary factors during pregnancy that are associated with the increase of obesity-related health disorders around the world.

Benyshek also studies the emerging practice of human postpartum consumption of the placenta and the potential health benefits and risks this practice may yield for both mother and child. Benyshek has authored numerous academic and professional publications spanning topics on diabetes, obesity, human placentophagy, and maternal nutrition and health.


  • Ph.D., Medical Anthropology, Arizona State University
  • M.A., Anthropology, Arizona State University
  • B.A., Anthropology, University of Colorado

Daniel C. Benyshek In The News

Apr 25, 2017

As someone who's been at this parenting gig a while, and has subjected myself (and my kids) to quite a few parenting trends over the years, I tend to view most parenting choices, as "you do you and I'll do me." However, I draw the line at choices that might put someone or their kids in harms' way. I don't want people to get hurt just because something seemed like a good idea and everyone else was doing it. That's one of the many reasons why I refused to eat my placenta and, honestly, why I think you shouldn't either.

Jan 17, 2017

I stared at the crimson-colored organ sealed in industrial-strength Tupperware and labeled with the international symbol for biohazard.

Nov 28, 2016

Roast it, fry it, steam it, drink it, pill-pop it — each of these is one of the various methods a small minority of women may choose if she has decided to consume her placenta after birth. While some women opt for placenta lasagna, placenta chili or placenta-topped pizza, most go with encapsulation, in which the placenta is dehydrated, pulverized and then consumed in pill capsules. The process typically costs around $200 to $350.

Nov 16, 2016

Hey new moms, don't put down that can of spinach just yet. A research team led by UNLV medical anthropologists found that eating encapsulated human placenta, a practice known as placentophagy, may not be as good a source of dietary iron for postpartum mothers as proponents suggest.

Articles Featuring Daniel C. Benyshek

Dec 28, 2016

UNLV researchers and inventors made national headlines this year with their discoveries. Here's a round up of some of our top stories of 2016.

Nov 3, 2016
Campus News

First clinical study of its kind finds no benefit for women who eat their placenta as a source of needed iron after giving birth.