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Asian Institute of Research, Journal Publication, Journal Academics, Education Journal, Asian Institute
Asian Institute of Research, Journal Publication, Journal Academics, Education Journal, Asian Institute

Journal of Health and Medical Sciences

ISSN 2622-7258

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open access

Published: 26 June 2020

Scoping Review of the Effects of Dietary Supplements on Postpartum Depression

Shian Ming Chen, Anne TM Konkle

University of Ottawa, Canada

journal of social and political sciences
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Pages: 228-259

Keywords: Antibiotic, Dietary Supplement, Maternal Mental Health, Mineral, Omega-3 Fatty Acid, Omega-6 Fatty Acid, Postpartum Depression, Probiotic, Vitamin


Postpartum depression (PPD) can emerge as one of many maternal risks during the postpartum period. Though antidepressants have traditionally treated PPD, dietary supplements have been increasingly studied as a more accessible remedy, focusing on prevention. The goal of this study is to consolidate information about the effects of dietary supplements on PPD. A scoping review was conducted to identify a possible relationship between various supplements and PPD, using relevant studies on PubMed and Medline published between January 1, 2010 and February 1, 2020. Only English language literature with human subjects was included. 39 articles (from 606 articles originally retrieved) were included and summarized under headings related to: vitamins; minerals; fatty acids; antibiotics and probiotics; and, combination of supplements. The results revealed that dietary supplementation with Vitamin D, multivitamins, selenium, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), or probiotics generally lead to decreased PPD risk. Supplementation with calcium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, iron, or any B-vitamins has no effect on PPD, although there are conflicting reports regarding folate, Vitamin D, and n-3 PUFA. Furthermore, antibiotic usage and n-6 PUFA intake have correlated with increased PPD risk. Studies assessing supplement co-exposure were limited. The results of this review are mixed, with some dietary supplements having a positive effect and others having a negative or no association with PPD. This review highlights the limited knowledge regarding the effects of selenium, iodine, probiotics, and antibiotics. Further research is needed to study the combined effects of various supplements on PPD, as mothers often take multiple supplements during pregnancy.


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