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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

Jul 7, 2017

Some women, after giving birth, choose to preserve their child’s placenta—the organ that connects a fetus to the wall of the uterus—and eat it. They eat this placenta raw in smoothies, or cooked in lasagna, or freeze-dried and placed in ingestible capsules.

Jul 3, 2017

The growing phenomenon of mothers eating their own placentas seems to have caused a baby to be infected with group B streptococcus, according to a new report detailing the case that was published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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.

Articles Featuring Daniel C. Benyshek

researchers test drone
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.

Daniel Benyshek and Sharon Young
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.