Home » Diet and Nutrition News & Advice » Increasing Omega-3 Levels May Help Lower Risk of Postpartum Depression

Increasing Omega-3 Levels May Help Lower Risk of Postpartum Depression


Women may be able to decrease the likeliness of postpartum depression by increasing the amount of omega-3 in their diets during pregnancy. Researchers from Montreal, Canada have found a link between omega-3 levels and women suffering from postnatal depression.

According to the research, published in the current issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, women are at the highest risk of depression during their child-bearing years and the likeliness hits a peak during the first year after having a baby.

The study authors found a link between omega-3 fats and serotonin. “The literature shows that there could be a link between pregnancy, omega-3 fats and the chemical reaction that enables serotonin, a mood regulator, to be released into our brains,” according to lead author Gabriel Shapiro.

Pregnant women have lower levels of omega-3 because all of the nutrients are transferred from the mother to the baby during pregnancy. Even after the baby is born, omega-3 levels in the mother are still considerably lower because the fatty acids are being transferred to the baby through breast milk.

Shapiro said their review of 75 articles suggested omega-3 fats and the serotonin gene work in tandem with each other to affect the same part of the brain.

According to the Vancouver Sun, “A woman’s serotonin levels wane during pregnancy because tryptophan, a chemical used to make serotonin, is needed by the placenta to support the developing fetus.”

The team hopes to prove that omega-3 fatty acids can counteract this drop in serotonin production, by boosting activity of the 5-HTT gene.

Shapiro notes that more research is needed before a conclusion can be drawn. He says if a woman is concerned about nutrition, she should consult with her doctor.

Source: Canadian Journal of Psychiatry

 

ADVERTISEMENT

We Recommend

More on ActiveBeat
  • The Top 6 Health Lessons We Learned from Celebrities in 2015
    Admittedly, not everything celebrities do and say is worth repeating. However, sometimes, celebrities like these use their influence for health awareness and the good of the world.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 12 Common Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia
    Bulimia nervosa—more commonly referred to as simply bulimia—is an eating disorder and mental health condition in which a person binges foods, and then proceeds to purge it in...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Things you did NOT Expect while Expecting
    So it’s happened. You’re pregnant. Congrats! Now, you enter into this majestic 9 months of your life where you glow and look adorable and everybody wants to be your friend.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Important Facts About Depression in Women
    Depression is a mental illness that affects millions of Americans – in fact, Healthline.com says that in any given year, about 16-million adults in the country have had at least...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 10 Tips to Help You Get Pregnant Faster
    While you might have spent the majority of your 20s preventing an unexpected pregnancy, once you’re ready for a baby in your 30s or even early 40s, most women expect it to happen...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Am I Pregnant? The 10 Tell Tale Signs That You're Expecting
    Did you miss your last period? Are your breasts unusually tender—more so than they get before you menstruate? Are you suffering from nausea and vomiting in the mornings?
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Sex Won't Jumpstart Labor
    Researchers from the University of Malaya have disproved the widespread belief that sex during the later stages of pregnancy can jump start labor.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Childbirth & Incontinence
    If you’re experiencing urinary incontinence during pregnancy and even following birth, don't be embarrassed. You’re not alone!
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Study Claims Childless People Die Sooner
    A recent study from Denmark has linked childlessness with higher death rates and instance of mental illness.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Baby Mix Up: Breastfed By Wrong Mother
    An unfortunate mix-up at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in  Minneapolis has shocked a new mother.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Royal Pregnancy Sheds Light on Acute Morning Sickness
    Our royal obsession with Britain's Prince William and Catherine Middleton, and more importantly, when and if they are going to announce that they're pregnant, has shed some light...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • C-section Babies More Likely to be Overweight
    Previous research has tied c-sections to a variety of health conditions affecting children, including asthma, allergies and diabetes.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Supplement May Protect Pregnant Women From Diabetes
    According to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gestational diabetes afflicts up to 10-percent of expectant moms across the U.S.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Durex Delivery!
    Durex, the popular contraceptive manufacturer has introduced a condom delivery service in Dubai, in United Arab Emirates.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Contraceptives: Health Right or Religious Infringement?
    What does a company do when its owners don’t believe in contraception yet healthcare regulators are mandating that contraceptives and birth control procedures be offered to all...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice