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Higher DHA and Omega-3s Protect Against Postpartum Depression

dha for postpartum depression
Study Title: "The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial."
Number of Participants: Participants of 12 Controlled Studies
Length of Study: 12 Studies of Varying Length
Type of Study: Meta-Analysis
Publication: Biological Psychiatry
Study Result: "There were significantly lower levels of total Omega-3s and DHA and significantly increased n-6/n-3 ratios in postpartum depression patients. In the subgroup analyses, there were significantly lower levels of Omega-3s, EPA, and DHA in women with prenatal depression."

Omega-3 fatty acids are a promising treatment for postpartum depression because of evidence from clinical trials, the advantage in safety, and their anti-inflammatory and cognitive health effects.

In this meta-analysis, omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, and EPA were analyzed in women suffering from postpartum depression. The meta-analysis included 12 eligible studies available as of December 2016.

There were significantly lower levels of total omega-3, DHA and EPA, as well as significantly increased omega-6 levels in the postpartum patients, when compared against healthy women controls.  The omega-6/ omega-3 ratio was significantly increased in both the prenatal and postnatal depression subgroups, validating the theory that an elevated intake of omega-6s and a low intake of omega-3s are a causative factor in postpartum depression.

According to the researchers:

“Our findings provide a strong rationale to conduct clinical trials to test the therapeutic and prophylactic effects of omega-3 fatty acids in postpartum depression.”

Postpartum DepressionPrenatal & Pregnancy
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