Fish oil has no effect on depression in pregnancy

April 11, 2013
Fish oil has no effect on depression in pregnancy
Fish oil supplements do not prevent depression in late pregnancy and postpartum in women at risk of depression, according to a study in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

(HealthDay)—Fish oil supplements do not prevent depression in late pregnancy and postpartum in women at risk of depression, according to a study in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Ellen L. Mozurkewich, M.D., from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, and colleagues randomly assigned 126 women in early pregnancy at risk of depression to fish oil rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), fish oil rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or soy oil placebo. One hundred eighteen of the participants completed the trial.

The researchers found that serum EPA and serum DHA levels were significantly increased in the EPA-rich and DHA-rich fish oil groups, respectively. However, the three groups had similar depression scores at 26 to 28 weeks gestation, 34 to 36 weeks gestation, and at six to eight weeks' postpartum. There was a negative correlation between serum DHA levels at 34 to 36 weeks and scores on the Beck Depression Inventory at the same time point, according to the study.

"In summary, we found no benefit for EPA-rich fish oil or DHA-rich supplementation to prevent depressive symptoms in pregnancy and postpartum," Mozurkewich and colleagues conclude. "We demonstrated that maternal serum DHA concentrations at 34 to 36 weeks were significantly predictive of scores at the same time point. Further research is needed to clarify the mechanism underlying this relationship."

The Nordic Naturals Corporation donated both active supplements and placebos.

Explore further: Nothing fishy about it: Fish oil can boost the immune system

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Nothing fishy about it: Fish oil can boost the immune system

April 1, 2013
Fish oil rich in DHA and EPA is widely believed to help prevent disease by reducing inflammation, but until now, scientists were not entirely sure about its immune enhancing effects. A new report appearing in the April 2013 ...

Study: Omega-3 consumed during pregnancy curbs risk for postpartum depression symptoms

April 12, 2011
Women in the treatment group had significantly lower total Postpartum Depression Screening Scale scores, with significantly fewer symptoms common to postpartum depression.

Recommended for you

Women exposed to smoke while in womb more likely to miscarry

July 13, 2017
Women exposed to cigarette smoke while in their mothers' wombs are more likely to experience miscarriage as adults, according to new research from the University of Aberdeen.

Lack of a hormone in pregnant mice linked to preeclampsia

June 30, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers from Singapore, the Netherlands and Turkey has isolated a hormone in pregnant mice that appears to be associated with preeclampsia—a pregnancy-related condition characterized by ...

Aspirin reduces risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women

June 28, 2017
Taking a low-dose aspirin before bed can reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, which can cause premature birth and, in extreme cases, maternal and foetal death.

The biology of uterine fluid: How it informs the fetus of mom's world

June 22, 2017
A developing fetus bathes in a mixture of cellular secretions and proteins unique to its mother's uterus. Before fertilization, the pH of uterine fluid helps create a conducive environment for sperm migration, and afterward, ...

New clues in puzzle over pre-eclampsia and cholesterol regulation

June 21, 2017
Scientists studying a mystery link between the dangerous pregnancy complication pre-eclampsia and an increased risk of heart disease in later life for both mother and child have uncovered important new clues.

Are maternal hormones different when carrying a boy or a girl?

June 15, 2017
With advances in prenatal testing it's now possible to find out whether a pregnancy will result in a male or female baby as early as eight weeks' gestation.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.