Omega 3 supplements are a safe and effective treatment for women with mild depression during pregnancy according to recent research.
The double-blind clinical trial included 80 primiparous women who were randomly divided into 2 groups of omega-3 and placebo.
The treatment group received 1 g omega-3 capsules for 6 weeks. The study data were collected by completing Beck Depression Inventory before and 6 weeks after the intervention.
The results revealed the mean difference of depression score before and after the intervention was significantly higher in the omega-3group (P<0.001).
These findings add weight to previous data that show a strong relationship between depression and low intake of omega 3 fatty acids.
The authors of the present study, writing in the International Journal of Community Based Nursing and Midwifery, note “reduction of omega 3 fatty acids has a considerable effect on creation of depressed mood…”
“Evidence has shown the effect of omega 3 on serotonin of cerebrospinal fluid and a relationship between a reduction of its level in the cellular membrane and plasma of depressed patients,” they write.
They argue that, as many mothers experiencing depression during pregnancy refuse to take antidepressants due to fear of side effects of those medicines on their unborn child, non-pharmacological treatments and those with fewer complications are being much more widely considered and investigated.
“Considering the study results, using omega-3 supplement is a suitable method for recovery from mild depression during pregnancy with no complications for mothers and infants” they conclude.
Int J Community Based Nurs Midwifery 2014 Jul;2(3):142-7.