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Daniel C. Benyshek

Associate 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

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.

Nov 16, 2016

I know what you're thinking; if it's good enough for Kim Kardashian-West it's good enough for me, right? After Kardashian-West gave birth to son Saint in 2015, she reportedly had her placenta freeze-dried into pill form to combat possible iron deficiency. Well, a new study has found that eating placenta has no iron benefit.

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.