Study finds possible link between omega-3 deficiency and post-natal depression

Mothers to be encouraged to eat more oily fish

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Scientists at the Universtiy of Montreal believe that a lack of omega-3 in women who have just given birth may contribute to post-natal depression, according to a report on nursingtimes.net

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The researchers believe that a combination of certain genetic factors and a deficiency of the acid can lead to depression after childbirth.

Their study found that a mother’s omega-3 levels fall during pregnancy and remain lowered for at least six weeks after birth.

Dr Shapiro, of the University of Montreal, said there might be a connection between the fatty acid, pregnancy and the chemical reaction in the brain that produces the mood regulator serotonin.

Post-natal depression affects 10%-15% of mothers in the first year after birth.

Further research is needed to reinforce the findings, but Dr Shapiro said that women should make sure they take recommended levels of foods containing omega-3. The most common source of omega-3 is oily fish or certain food supplements.

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