The Role of Nutrient Supplementation to Prevent Perinatal Depression. A Narrative Review

Author(s): Hend Abdelbary Ibrahim Aly and Karl J. New

Background: Micronutrient supplements are widely available and can play a crucial role in the prevention of perinatal depression; however, their benefits are still not well studied.

Objectives: The authors performed this literature review to assess the effectiveness of micronutrients to prevent perinatal depression.

Method: The authors searched electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, and USW Library) until May 1, 2023. The studies were included if they were evaluating the preventive effect of micronutrients on perinatal depression.

Results: The authors identified 3218 articles, of which 14 were eligible to be included in the review (8 RCTs, 3 Cohort studies, and 3 cross-sectional studies). Results of the review illustrate some degree of effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation, calcium, selenium, manganese, and probiotics to provide preventive effects against perinatal depression, while there is no evidence of a significant preventive effect for PUFAS (fish oil) supplementation.

Conclusion: Despite the popular information. PUFA supplements had no role in preventing perinatal depression. Other nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, selenium, manganese, and probiotics showed some protective effects, which warranted more research in this area and preferably in women with a history of perinatal depression for a better understanding of their preventive effects.

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