A new meta-analysis has found a critical role for Omega-3 in decreasing pre and post-natal depression (perinatal). This meta-analysis also found cases of depression might be associated with a higher Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio. This translates into a potential new way to treat perinatal depression (PND) because of Omega-3’s neuroplastic, anti-inflammatory and safety effects.
12 eligible studies which became available in December of 2016 were analyzed. Researchers found a significant reduction in the total of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids and a significant increase in the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratios in the women who were experiencing PND. Researchers concluded that the results of this meta-analysis emphasize how important Essential Fatty Acids are in clinical depression. They pointed out that the brain is enriched with Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids which regulate many biological processes like neuroinflammation, Neuroplasticity and neurotransmission and hence also regulate mood as well as cognitive function. They further pointed out that both EPA and DHA and their benefits for reducing depression have been studied and recognized for many years, the imbalance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 as seen in this meta-analysis need to be examined more fully as a possible prediction of metal health in women during and after pregnancy. Modern diets often show a profound imbalance between Omega-6 and Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids, as much as 10-20:1. Anthropological studies indicate humans evolved with a dietary ratio of Omega-6’s/Omega-3’s of 1:1.
Clinical trials are needed to test the therapeutic effects of Omega-3’s in the treatment of PND.
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