Arsenal forward Robin van Persie's radical treatment for his ankle ligament damage has been rubbished by a medical expert.
Van Persie flew to Serbia on Tuesday with hopes that he could reduce his recovery from two months to less than three weeks thanks to the help of a controversial placenta cure.
The Dutch striker had feared he could be out for the season after being stretchered off against Italy at the weekend.
However, Professor Edzard Ernst of Peninsula Medical School at the University of Exeter believes the procedure – which involves massaging liquid from a horse’s placenta into the affected area – could have serious repercussions for Van Persie’s health.
“It could cause serious adverse effects, allergic reactions including anaphylactic shock, of which you can die,” he told Sky Sports News.
“I don’t know of any data that it would help sports people or any other people. The method was very popular in Germany where a lot of rich people want to rejuvenate their bodies with that method.
“Apart from a beneficial effect on the bank account of the producer, I’m not aware of any other beneficial effect for the patient.
“Opinions don’t lead us any further in health care. We need data.”
Professor Ernst also disputed theories that consuming the placenta could benefit your health.
“I wouldn’t even call it a treatment. It’s utterly disgusting and useless," he said.
“If a sports person takes this to cure an injury faster it is wishful thinking unless the people [providing it] produce some data.
“I’m not aware of any evidence that it does anything.”
Van Persie has been in scintillating form for the Gunners this season and supporters will be praying the 26-year-old makes a speedy recovery as Arsenal aim to sustain their title challenge.
Lynnea Shrief, from Koala Therapies, denies the treatment will have any implications for Van Persie and is adamant the treatment will be a success.
“The placenta contains over 128 rich growth factors which help with cell mitosis or cell division within the skin and would promote healing and halve healing time,” Shrief also told Sky Sports News.
“The placenta also contains many other nutrients and vitamins all needed for health and recovery and I believe it’s an excellent treatment [for Van Persie] to receive.”comments