Omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial for women with post partum depression, according to research (“Randomized dose-ranging pilot trial of omega-3 fatty acids for postpartum depression,” Freeman MP, Hibbeln JR, et al, Acta Psychiatr Scand., 2006; 113(1): 31-5). Subjects of the study were 16 new mothers, randomized into three groups. All participants were rated on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD). The mean scores of those tests at the beginning of the study were 18.1 and 19.1 respectively. The women were divided into three groups and given varying amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. One group was given 0.5 grams per day, another was given 1.4 grams per day and a third was given 2.8 grams per day. After eight weeks of treatment the mean score on the EPDS was 9.3 (a 51.3% improvement) and the mean score on the HSRD was 10.0 (a 48.8% improvement). This shows promising potential for omega-3 fatty acids to improve post partum depression and more studies should be performed.
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