The crucial role of omega-3 in helping to tackle pre and post-natal depression has been underlined by a new meta-analysis, which also found such cases of depression were associated with a higher omega-6/omega-3 ratio. Researchers from Taiwan and Singapore said omega-3s were promising antidepressant treatments for perinatal depression (PND) due to their safety, anti-inflammatory and neuroplastic effects.
There were significantly lower levels of total omega-3s and DHA and significantly increased n-6/n-3 ratios in PND patients. In the subgroup analyses, there were significantly lower levels of omega-3s, EPA, and DHA in women with prenatal depression. The n-6/n-3 ratio was significantly increased in both prenatal and postnatal depression subgroups. The meta-analysis consolidates the important role of omega-3s in PND. Nutritional medicine is an important strategy to improve the effectiveness of treatment for depression, and the findings provide strong rationale to conduct clinical trials to test the therapeutic and prophylactic effects of omega-3s in PND.