Omega-3 Deficiency Could Drive Postpartum Depression


A new review lead by Gabriel Shapiro of the University of Montreal and the Research Centre at the Sainte-Justine Mother and Child Hospital suggests that many pregnant women are deficient in omega-3--and that these low levels might be driving postpartum depression.

According to Shapiro:

"The literature shows that there could be a link between pregnancy, omega-3 and the chemical reaction that enables serotonin, a mood regulator, to be released into our brains. Many women could bring their omega-3 intake to recommended levels."

The mother transfers Omega-3 to both her fetus and then later to her infant via breastfeeding. Because of this, a mother's levels decrease during pregnancy and afterwards, making her especially vulnerable to depression. Women in their childbearing years are already more prone to depression and depressive episodes than at any other time in their lives. Childbirth can make it worse.

As it stands, US women aren't getting enough omega-3. "These findings suggest that new screening strategies and prevention practices may be useful," added Shapiro.

Source: MNT


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