Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Consumption of Omega-3 Lowers Risk of Depression After Childbirth

By consuming omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) during pregnancy will reduce the risk for experiencing the symptoms of postpartum depression (Post partum depression, PPD), it is revealed from the study results presented at the Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in Washington said that the woman women who consumed fish oil capsules containing DHA showed a mean decrease in depression scores are consistently up to 6 points after childbirth.

These findings show that we need to give encouragement expectant mothers to increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy until the recommended dose, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy. In previous research, dr. Judge found that pregnant women who consumed DHA will benefit their children in terms of its development until the age of 9 months.


From the presentation, also said that as many as 25% of new mothers experience postpartum depression. In pregnancies not complicated, long-chain fatty acids are unsaturated double will easily cross the placenta. In the third trimester of pregnancy is accelerating the transfer of DHA from mother to fetus, causing decreased levels of these fatty acids in the mother and cause the mother will experience an increased risk of disruption due to lack of omega-3 fatty acids. Levels of omega-3 fatty acids on animal studies show that omega-3 fatty acids associated with the production of dopamine and serotonin, which can impact on mood regulation. In this study, of 52 pregnant women included and were randomized to receive placebo in the form of corn oil (n = 26, mean age 28 years) or fish oil capsules containing 300 mg DHA (n = 260, mean age 27 years) for 5 days in the week between weeks 24 and the 40th pregnancy.

Researchers say that the amount of DHA is equivalent to the amount contained in half the average serving of salmon. It is unknown at this time that the intake of DHA during pregnancy is estimated at 50 to 70 mg a day, a dose of 200 to 300 mg daily is the optimal amount expected during pregnancy by many experts. Postpartum Depression Screening Scale (PDSS) is used to analyze the symptoms of PPD at week 2, week 6, month 3, and the 6th month postpartum.

The results of this study show that there are significant differences in PDSS total score. PDSS scores were significantly lower in the group receiving DHA compared with the group treated with placebo. Compared with the control group, administration of DHA associated with a reduced mean depression score of 6 points at any time of depression assessment (week 2, week-3 etc.). In addition, those who receive DHA also significantly lower PDSS scores for anxiety, labilitas emotions and feelings of loss. Scores for sleep disorders / eating, mental confusion, guilt / shame and suicidal thoughts were also lower in the group receiving DHA but not statistically significant.
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